Should I wear my own band’s merchandise?

A question asked as long as bands have been a thing; “Should I wear my own band’s merchandise?” Bands often think that wearing your own merchandise is “cheesy”, “desperate”, or just unprofessional. In this article we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of wearing your own band’s merchandise.

Hulk Hogan wearing his own merchandise
Hulk Hogan wearing his own merchandise

Wrestlers in promotions such as WWE, NJPW, or even Impact/TNA often wear their own merchandise when going to the ring and sometimes even while wrestling. So why do us bands who are also entertainers find it cheesy when we widely accept it from wrestlers? We have created a stigma that it appears like a desperate attempt to push merch onto fans or that you’re doing whatever it takes to sell and promote your band. However isn’t that one of the main goals of being a musician? In this article we’re going to discuss the pro’s and con’s of wearing your own band’s merchandise.

Pro’s of wearing own merchandise

Wearing your own merch draws attention to what you’re selling.

While wearing your merchandise on stage you’re displaying what you have for sale in front of everyone watching you play. This is a great opportunity to display what you have available for sale without saying to the audience “check out our merch for sale”. They already have an idea of what they could buy which will guide the fans to buy that shirt or look at other available merch.

Boosts brand awareness.

Lets say someone walks into the show late just in time for your set. They know your band is playing but unsure on the order of bands playing. If you’re wearing your own band’s merch they will be able to recognize your band before announcing your name. Basically, if they see your band name on the flyer and you’re wearing your own band’s shirt, they can associate the flyer and the shirt to the band playing.

Con’s of wearing own merchandise

Wearing your own merch still looks cheesy.

Bands still look at wearing your own merch as a cheap attempt to sell more merchandise. It’s often hard for bands who have been around for a long time to break away from that mindset. So, they may deem bands that wear their own merch appearing as “unprofessional” or “newbs“.

Destroying the merchandise means grabbing another or paying your band for a new one.

You’re going crazy on stage and lets say a fan pulls on the shirt and the shirt stretches. Now you’re left wearing your own band’s shirt that all stretched out that looks unappealing. If the shirt doesn’t look good then the crowd may be less likely to buy it so you grab another. Because you’re pulling a shirt out of your inventory that can be considered a loss. Even if you decide to pay for a new shirt it’s still considered a loss as you’re putting your own money back into the band.

In conclusion

Wearing your own band’s shirt is a matter of personal preference. I’ve seen many people wear their merch on stage but also outside of doing band related stuff. Sure I’ve said “you’re wearing your own band’s shirt?” but that’s just the band member being proud of the product they’re putting out and enjoying what they help create.

What are your thoughts on wearing your own band’s merchandise? Comment below!

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