hen planning and merchandising for your online company store, it’s always important to offer the basics. It’s even more important,though, to include newer, trendier, high-quality pieces that employees will want to keep grabbing from their closet time and time again.
Most people take pride in where they work and gladly want to show it off through stylish merch. That’s why having fun and unique designs to pair with trendy apparel will entice employees to buy company swag. Doing this will ultimately boost the impression rate of the product, because the items will be worn way more often. Keeping this in mind is sure to increase company store sales and help boost overall recognition for your client’s brand.
Company stores aren’t about just strictly offering products with your company logo on them. They’re also a marketing channel that gives you another way to connect with your audience through creative brand messaging and show what your company is all about.
A great example of thinking beyond the logo, comes from the Google’s company store, which has a design option showing an illustrated bike painted with their iconic brand colors. The average person may not understand the bike reference with Google, but would recognize the colors in it. Employees, on the other hand, will love the bike reference, because that’s how everyone gets around the Google campus. It makes the design feel like a personal inside joke, that happy employees would love to buy and wear with pride. On the other hand, if you just happen to be an avid biker and love Google, this is a must buy for you.
Some other ideas for decoration include using inside jokes between company/departments, employee milestones (“Heros work here” - UPS during peak of the pandemic in 2020), company mottos and taglines, fun sayings (“Occupy Mars” - SpaceX) (“I’m Mac compatible” - Apple).
You may not do a ton of paid advertising like Tesla for example, but they believe in the power of branded merch to give a clear understanding of what their brand is all about. Creating a personal experience for your employees and customers through merchandise can lead to healthier and longer relationships with them.
Now it’s time to give you my top five fashion-forward styles that surely won’t get lost in the back of an employee’s closet.
My Top Five Products Every Company Store Should Offer
1. A Boyfriend Flannel (Coming in Early 2023)
Oversized flannels are very on-trend right now with the rise of western inspired fashion. This specific flannel has a unique feature – an elongated drop tail hem that makes it longer in the back. The neutral plaid color offering makes this item the perfect shirt to layer over any tee or tank. Another benefit is that It’s it’s versatile and comfortable enough to wear at the office or during happy hour. It has the oversized feel of a men’s shirt, but specially designed for women. Everyone will want to be showing off their inner urban cowboy with this flannel.
2. Sweat Shorts
Sweat shorts hit every mark. They are stylish, comfortable, practical and best of all – transeasonal (Meaning they can be worn several different seasons of the year). Sweatshorts are typically made from cotton, which means they're breathable and airy. Women and men alike, from Gen Z to Millennials, all live in sweat shorts because they are a work-from-home staple piece. Pairing sweat shorts with a fashionable top can give anyone the perfect zoom-ready look.
3. A Retail Inspired Puffer Jacket
Puffer jackets are a classic, never go out of style piece that anyone and everyone can wear. The adidas Puffer Jacket, which is also an S&S Activewear exclusive, is unique in that it has the iconic adidas logo on the collar, leaving both the left and right chest open for corporate branding. It also includes the iconic 3-stripes down the side adding an elevated detail, without compromising decoration space.
Sustainability is becoming a more important factor in consumer shopping habits and this jacket being made with 100% recycled polyester should appeal to them even more. Adidas is also making huge strides in sustainable manufacturing, so it’s a brand people can feel good about wearing.
4. Athleisure Matching Sets
These days comfort is king. Matching sets are being worn everywhere from the around the house to the gym and even during a night out on the town. Whatever the occasion calls for, there’s a coordinating set to be worn. The new women’s athleisure matching-set from Champion (which is exclusive to S&S) is a great addition to any company store, because activewear apparel has become such a huge part of our wardrobe.
The best matching set can take you from the gym and beyond, which is exactly the type of versatile apparel we all need in our closet. It’s a surefire way to get your branded merch seen at the most places any given day.
5. The Shacket
Unisex shirt jackets (aka “Shackets”) have become extremely popular over the past couple of years, and because we see that momentum carrying over into 2023, we’ve expanded our collection of shackets for the new year. One of our latest additions is this staple piece from Columbia, which is very on-trend and comes with some added UPF sun protection to make it functional as well. Because shackets have the warmth of a jacket, but can also be layered like a shirt, they can be worn with most outfits for almost any occasion. That kind of versatility makes this Columbia piece the perfect addition for every company store.
Keep It Cool
Solid branded company merchandise with unique decoration methods engages employees, bring in loyal clients and potential buyers in ways that traditional marketing can’t. When merchandising stores, thinking beyond the basics and including on-trend products is a definite must. Ultimately, if your company store merch is cool, you’ll be able to entice employees and consumers alike to become a walking billboard for your client’s brand.