In the era of social media a new trend has taken the promotional products industry by storm. The phenomenon of “moment merch” involves transforming current topics of conversation in sports, politics or pop culture into imprinted merchandise. In a fast paced world highly influenced by our social media consumption, it only takes seconds for an occurrence to go viral. For t-shirt designers, identifying those events and quickly acting on them can turn likes into real leads.
The promotional products industry is reaping in the benefits of this fad, as this is a demand-driven market which responds to the personal preferences of consumers. If a particular topic or moment has enough of the public’s attention, this can represent an opportunity to immortalize it by printing it on physical objects. Sports are a natural choice for viral apparel because they are passionately followed, and widely discussed live events that generate a number of emotions. A huge moment in a sports game can translate into a huge advertising opportunity, if the moment is captured successfully. In the world of sports if you blink, you might miss something important and that’s almost how fast moment merch needs to be produced in order to meet demand.
Direct-to-Garment printers allow promotional products distributors to quickly setup and print full-colour designs on apparel such as t-shirts. These are often “flash in the pan” opportunities so being able to quickly react to a new viral moment is key for creating a unique personalized item. Speed to market is absolutely crucial, because if someone beats you to the punch then the product won’t have the same effect. Although apparel is highly preferred for imprinting these viral moments due to their ability to resonate in public places, office products such as mugs, phone holders and related tech products are also highly coveted for this trend. The choice in products alludes to a younger demographic’s preferences and speaks to the rise in popularity of retail-influenced promotional items that can be sold, as well as used for giveaways.
It is certainly interesting to see how customizable products have become a platform for voicing positions, support, discontent and even to bridge differences. For this reason this trend has had a profound impact on political spheres. Custom branded merchandise can be seen at political rallies, protests, marches, etc used as vehicles to bring important issues to light. Regardless of perspective – when political figures speak publicly or on social media you can bet designers are sure to keep their ears perked. Moment merch has been used just about everywhere from championship parades, political demonstrations, and even to capitalize on hot topics in entertainment and pop culture. The possibilities are nearly endless when you combine creativity, originality and speed to create a unique product.