What makes the of marriage music and fashion so intriguing? It captures a lifestyle. But from concept to creation, there is a business behind it all, and it starts with your band’s brand. I recently had the opportunity to speak with TRUNK LTD’s Director of Retail Sales, Kristine Van Galder. TRUNK LTD pioneered the reissue of the classic rock and roll t-shirt as an iconic fashion piece. Inspired by the art of music, TRUNK LTD designs and develops authentic limited edition apparel and accessories for men, women, and children, with products available in over 600 specialty stores and boutiques around the world. Kristine is naturally gifted in her ability to successfully market music in a merchandising sense, and it always boils down to one important thing: you must have an impactful brand.

Think about some of the most iconic imagery throughout music history. Rock bands tend to do it the best: The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover. The Rolling Stones’ logo. The Who’s logo. These images are big, broad, and memorable. Think about what your own band stands for. To successfully translate your band into merchandise, you must have interesting branding that works well and can be incorporated into different mediums. Think about the small square size of an album cover, or the space on the front or back of a t-shirt. That’s the only space you have to fit your logo, your photo, or any other fonts for your band’s name. It’s essentially an advertisement space for your band, so make sure you’re creating images and graphics that are genuinely wearable. Your logos, photos, album covers – make sure you’re the primary owner of these materials so you can use them again and again in various merchandise. Always strive to maintain the rights to all of these assets.

Spend every penny like it’s your last. As an independent artist, you need to put your money where it matters the most! Don’t worry about inventory. If you’re selling out of merchandise, that’s a great thing. You’re creating demand. All you need is five shirts, and you can offer online ordering on your band’s website. Keep the investment in inventory low so you can continually strive to understand where the demand is highest for your products.

Start out small, but always be thinking big picture for your band. With a well-balanced mindset of creativity and business savvy sense, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a merchandising genius if you first start with a good brand!

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About The Author

Jill Kreinbrink

Jill Kreinbrink has worked in the music industry for three years in Nashville, Indianapolis, London and currently Los Angeles, where she lends her efforts in entertainment marketing at Tourdesign Creative. She also assists with editing promotional materials and brand imaging for her friends at Rabbit Hole Creative. Her experiences and passions extend across the realms of live entertainment, artist management and music publishing. Hailing from small town Warsaw, Indiana, Jill is a proud alum of Belmont University, where she studied Music Business and Marketing and received a degree in Business Administration. A forever fan of Chicago sports teams, she always supports the Bears on game days. In her free time, Jill enjoys playing banjo (very badly), learning to surf (even more badly), longboard skating and blogging about music and popular culture.