It’s not every day that we see insanely cool swag that intrigues us. We’ve been around for a few years (30+) so we like to think that we’ve seen it all.

But there are still a few things that make us giddy with delight…and others that leave us scratching our heads in wonder.

These are just a couple of them…

Arby’s Smoked Sweats

It’s all about the senses here!

There’s nothing better than throwing on a pair of cozy, retro-inspired sweats after work.

But what if they smelled like your favorite comfort food?

Ahhhh, ribs!

They did it. They actually did it. They subtly branded a pair of old school sweats and literally smoked them with their ribs.

And they SOLD OUT…multiple times.

Now, who knows how long the scent will ooze from the fabric, or if it will make your whole closet wreak of a smoky, carnivorous treat. You may need to secure it in a fancy garment bag so you don’t walk into the black tie New Years event smelling like an Arby’s dining room.

Regardless, notice how there was no need for a big logo dropped across the front chest or down the leg — when you smell them, you know what that little “A” stands for.

That’s the power of product. (#ThePowerOfProduct)

Whataburger Retail Co-brand Mashup

Here in Texas, when you see an orange “W”, you can almost taste a Whataburger.

Sure, they sell merch on their corporate website and at the drive-thru window — many restaurants do these days — but Texas-based Whataburger ventured outside of their box in 2021 to co-brand with Magellan Outdoors using a branded POS display strategically placed just inside the entrance doors of Academy.

Now that’s a lot of Texas right there in one spot.

Here you have a few strong brands coming together to capitalize on each others’ market share. We’d love to see the ROI on this to see if the master plan worked to help increase their brand footprint.

The Morale of the Story?

Your branded merch can tell your company story in a variety of different ways, but getting creative is what can really take it to the next level and actually engage a captive audience.

Here are a few tips to kickstart a new marketing plan for 2022:

  • Co-brand with like-minded businesses to target your niche market
  • Utilize retail space for maximum exposure
  • Choose colorful brand palettes for instant attraction and recognition (e.g. orange + triangle roof = Whataburger)
  • Consider retail inspo for branded graphics – this can increase the ROI exponentially above a standard logo drop

* Disclaimer: these aren’t even our products, but we are always in the market for inspo — as we truly believe everyone should be.