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Blog / Beginner's handbook / Complete Guide to Creating Company Swag

Beginner's handbook

How to Create Company Merch with Printful [6 easy steps + actionable tips]

How to Create Company Merch with Printful [6 easy steps + actionable tips]
Una Berzina-Pudule

By Una Berzina-Pudule

8 min read

Company swag can do wonders for your brand and team morale. But there’s a fine line between meaningful merch and forgettable freebies. Company merch isn’t just about giving away some branded pens or keychains. In this remote work era, well-crafted merch can serve as a tangible connection to your team and business partners.

So, how do you go beyond the basics and create items your employees will actually use and love? Come along and dive into:

  • What’s MerchShare, and how can it make a huge difference for you

  • Creating company merch in 6 easy steps

  • Expert tips and tricks to up your company swag game

What is Printful MerchShare?

Printful MerchShare is a tool that simplifies group orders. It allows you to design, save, and share product templates with other people. With MerchShare, each person can pick their own size, color, and delivery details.

With MerchShare, there’s no need to buy a bunch of items in advance and find a place to store them. It’s a simple way for companies to give out cool, custom stuff that employees and business partners will actually want, helping everyone feel more a part of the team.

Why create company merch with Printful?

Company merch or “swag” is more than just branded items—it reflects your company culture, values, and brand identity. While it’s fun, it can also put a well-meaning HR rep in a tight spot.

Ever gifted your team custom t-shirts only to hear John from Marketing complain about never getting his in the mail? Or maybe you’ve discovered a box of untouched mugs in a storage closet from last year’s holiday event? Company swag can be tricky, but Printful’s MerchShare is here to change the game.

Eliminating the hassle and human error

Juggling shipping addresses, sizes, and color preferences can be daunting. With MerchShare, employees and partners enter their choices themselves, cutting down errors and simplifying the process. Forget the hard-to-navigate spreadsheets and crossing fingers that everyone writes their address in the correct field.

Sustainable choices, no stockpile

a woman sitting in a pile of clothes

Source: Printful

Did you know that people keep only 21% of branded merch? Over 50% is given away, but 23% goes straight into the trash. And even if your company doesn’t throw away unclaimed swag, it’s still a shame to waste money and room to store unwanted merch.

With our print-on-demand model, you’re not only cutting costs but also making a conscious, eco-friendly choice. No more boxes of outdated tees collecting dust in a storage room. You print what your employees need when they need it, reducing waste and supporting sustainability.

Global reach in the age of remote work

Upwork’s estimated that by 2025, 22% of American employees will work remotely. This makes picking up company merch at the reception inconvenient. In some cases impossible even.

Imagine the joy when Bianca in your Berlin branch gets the same cool company cap as Tom in Texas. MerchShare bridges the distance with worldwide shipping, ensuring every team member feels connected no matter where they are.

Quality that speaks volumes in brand representation

Company swag isn’t just for the team. When it reaches partners, conference attendees, or potential clients, it becomes an ambassador of your brand.

You better make the quality crisp, because 72% of consumers believe that the promo product quality = the company’s reputation. You don’t want to build a brand for years only for someone to judge it by a poorly made tote.

With Printful, you have a reliable partner committed to upholding your brand’s standards, ensuring every item resonates with the quality you strive for.

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How to create company merch in 6 steps

Now that all is clear on the why, let’s move on to how. Here’s how you can eliminate the pains of ordering merch forever in just 6 easy steps.

1. Set up a Printful account

Register your company account. We also recommend filling out your billing info at this step, so it’s easier to pay for your employee orders later.

2. Select products

Pick products that best suit your employee or business partner needs. For example, if you work in the service industry and want employees to wear the merch at work, pick classics like embroidered polos.

man looking up, wearing an embroidered polo shirt

Source: Printful

If you want to offer free merch as a welcome gift to new employees, choose something more comfortable for everyday use, like hoodies, t-shirts, or mugs. I’ll go more in-depth about how to pick the perfect products in the next chapter!

3. Design your company merch

Upload your company logo, slogan, or any other branding element. Use our free Design Maker to edit and place your design on the product. In the Design Maker, you’ll find a lot of free design assets like:

  • 300+ clipart collections

  • 700+ fonts for text designs

  • Background colors and graphics

  • And more

Feel free to use these to enhance your existing design. For example, create limited-time holiday swag by adding festive elements to your logo.

a screenshot of mug Design Maker

Source: Printful

4. Save it as a template

Once satisfied with the product and design, save it as a template. This way, you can create shareable links for your employees.

5. Share the link with your employees, business partners, and others

Go to Dashboard > Product templates and pick the product template you want to share. Then, edit sharing settings, making sure that Shareable link and MerchShare are enabled.

Here’s where the magic happens! Click Copy link and share it with your team. They can now fill out their preferences—like the desired product size and color—and add their delivery info.

Plus, flexibility is key. Decide who foots the bill: you or the recipient. If you opt to pay, simply review and confirm the order in your Printful Dashboard > Orders before it goes into fulfillment.

6. Leave the logistics to Printful

After your team makes their selections, it’s our turn. We’ll handle the printing, packing, and shipping of each item. No fuss on your end!

And with that weight off your shoulders, you’re free to focus on other tasks, confident that experts are handling your company merch. Improve your merch flow straight away, or read on to find tips to elevate the swag.

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Company merch tips ‘n tricks

While a logo-branded item has its charm, you can you can achieve much more with design. If you’re investing in merch for employees and partners, make it memorable. Here are some ways to enhance your company swag.

Go beyond t-shirt printing

T-shirts are often the go-to for company swag. They’re a classic choice, easy to design, and universally liked. However, most employees might already have a closet full of tees. It’s time to think of merch ideas outside the tee box.

If you’re set on apparel, dress to impress with other clothing pieces like hoodies and caps. Both, made from a sturdier material, will have a longer life and look more expensive than the humble t-shirt.

Or how about lifestyle items? Think drinkware, notepads, tech accessories, and other stuff. Whichever you pick, make sure it’s something that your typical employee would use. For office dwellers, a sleek laptop case might become their daily companion. But for the coffee shop crew? Handing them a laptop case might just brew some confusion.

Remember, create merch that fits the daily grind of your team.

Try both printing and embroidery

Embroidery or printing? It’s not a question of which is better, but rather, which is right for your design. Embroidery exudes a polished look and is great for simple designs like logos or text. Meanwhile, printing shines when showcasing vibrant, detailed designs.

a man in a black jacket

Source: Printful

For an extra edge, consider combining both. That way, you can get both the luxury feel of embroidery and the crisp details of prints. So, when planning your merch designs—mix, match, and make a memorable mark.

Add a signature touch with custom labels

a group of t-shirts on swingers

Source: Printful

You’ve already invested in personalized merchandise. So, why not take it a step further with custom labels? While the primary design catches attention, it’s the little things that embed the brand identity.

Think of a colleague showing off a new tote at a conference. When it catches an admirer’s eye, and they reveal the brand label inside, it signals company pride. A label might seem minor. But it subtly transforms your merch, signaling dedication to those in the know.

Add custom pack-ins

Here’s a little fact about me—I like to give books as gifts. And when I do, I always pair it with a matching bookmark. Small gestures like that, from custom labels to additional freebies, leave a lasting impression.

Imagine your employee unwrapping their new company hoodie and finding a sticker that echoes the company’s values or a postcard with a thank-you note for their hard work. Often, it’s not just about the main product; it’s the cherry on top that adds thoughtfulness to the whole package.

a card and two plants on a table

Source: Printful

Use feedback for better designs

When it comes to company merch, one size does not fit all—especially in design. Take advantage of the flexibility MerchShare offers. Instead of making a wild guess on what your team might like, why not ask them for merch ideas?

Survey your team to gather feedback on design preferences. Your tech team may be into geeky puns, while the marketing folks love pop culture references. Tailoring designs to different teams or even seasons can make each piece feel more personalized.

With MerchShare, updating and rolling out new designs is a breeze. No more stacks of unwanted merch—only fresh, desired, and often-worn items that resonate with your team. Plus, when employees see their feedback come to life, they’ll feel more connected to the brand and company culture.

When all else fails—use virtual swag bags

Sometimes, physical merch just doesn’t work out. Maybe your employee doesn’t need any of the merch you offer. Or maybe your remote employees travel often, leaving them without a reliable delivery address. In case your employee can’t get the merch for some reason, have virtual swag bags as an alternative.

Virtual swag bags are digital goodie packages companies give their employees, customers, or partners. These packages usually include digital items like:

  • Gift cards and coupons

  • Online courses and classes

  • Ebooks

  • Online subscriptions

While digital swag isn’t the same as physical merch, this way, you’ll have a safety net.

Time to upgrade your company merch

Your company merch isn’t just a branding tool—it builds team spirit, reaches a global audience, and speaks volumes about your quality standards. Remember to:

  • Ensure your employees want the merch items

  • Use embroidery and custom labels to add a luxury feel

  • Add custom pack-ins for a personal touch

  • Update and improve company merch based on employee feedback

Ready to take the next step? Try MerchShare to streamline your company’s merch system.

 

author

By Una Berzina-Pudule on Sep 25, 2023

Una Berzina-Pudule

Content Marketing Specialist

Una’s a Senior SEO Content Writer with a knack for SEO-friendly copywriting and building stunning landing pages. In her spare time, she's an avid reader and keeps close tabs on all things social media and mental health.

Una’s a Senior SEO Content Writer with a knack for SEO-friendly copywriting and building stunning landing pages. In her spare time, she's an avid reader and keeps close tabs on all things social media and mental health.