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27 May 2015

Unique Ways To Market Your Indie Studio: Merchandising

Continuing our theme on unique ways to market your indie studio, today we’re going to focus on using merchandise to promote your indie games and studio at large. We’ve mentioned self-promoting your indie game via merchandise before, but we’re going to take another look at how it can positively affect your indie studio. Below are a few ways that merchandising can help you to market your indie studio in a unique yet effective way.

Opt for the cheapest, most effective merchandise first

If you want to effectively market your indie studio in the cheapest, best way possible, you need to consider taking advantage of custom garments and other wearables. T-shirts, caps, lapel pins, even coffee sleeves (more on that in a second) are all fair game. Consider creating wearables with your indie studio’s logo, your latest game’s logo, a character from one of your games – essentially anything that alerts people to your brand.

In our past article (linked above), we mentioned a few places where you can custom order t-shirts – One Hour Tees, Uber Prints, and Spread Shirt to name a few. Vista Print and Pin Mart are also great places to go if you need custom caps and lapel pins, respectively.

No matter which type of wearable you opt to use, know this: it is vital that your design gets your intended message across the moment someone lays eyes on the t-shirt, cap, pin – whatever it may be! Whether you want to plug your website, Facebook Page, or something else entirely, ensure that your wearables get the job done.

Coffee sleeves

Almost everyone loves coffee – and it’s everywhere. Offered at nearly every board meeting and even offered at some booths, people love their coffee. Everyone needs a coffee sleeve to comfortably drink their cup of joe, and it’s a great way to advertise your brand. Consider purchasing custom coffee sleeves from a place such as Sleeve a Message – a company that specializes in designing custom coffee sleeves, coasters, and even bags (other types of merchandise that are fair game).

Perfect for trade shows, if you get a bunch of coffee sleeves and give them away to everyone holding a piping hot cup of coffee? Your booth is going to be a hit and your brand is going to get some great exposure!


Klei Entertainment (Don’t Starve/Don’t Starve Together, Invisible, Inc., Mark of the Ninja) designs games with memorable characters – which is perfect for selling figurines. They sell figurines and plush toys directly from their website, and I would have to assume that they make a significant amount of money selling these things. While that’s awesome, selling these types of figurines works wonders for marketing their games and ultimately, their brand.

If you have memorable characters from your indie games, you can do this as well! A company known as Shapeways allows you to design a figurine via a 3D print file (which you have to provide), and if you need a large production of figurines custom-made? Happy Worker provides 5000+ runs of your custom figurines if you want to get really serious about it. These things are marketing wonders, so if it makes sense to at least design a few figurines, try it out!

Do you have any questions or comments about marketing using merchandise? Let us know in the comments below!

1 Response

  1. carlos

    Hello Trey wonderfull and insightfull article as always, you are the don juan matus for the indies! I wanned to sugest a dark article, like u gave great tips about having a hobie, doing and exersise, to sleep well, but how about an article or things when things are going wrong, when u do actually HAVE TO work 16 hrs a day cous if u dont turn in you get sue, your grandmother die and ur dog, i am shure as we all u had some dificult days, but how u get out of them , how to keep a bit quality in these marathons?! tyvm best wishes

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