Are Custom Patches Still Relevant?

Are Custom Patches Still Relevant?

Published Jun 16, 2023 by Rick Cundiff

In our modern, connected world, it seems like everything is digital, online and interactive. Even the nature of what we call “reality” is subject to “augmented” or “virtual” variations.

So in a world where we deal every day with so-called “smart” devices, some things seem hopelessly old-fashioned. When’s the last time you picked up an actual physical copy of a newspaper, for example? For most of us, the news moved from paper onto a screen some time ago.

Even business cards have gone virtual. Tap a button to send your contact information to a colleague’s phone. Walk into just about any office and you’ll never see a Rolodex®, that long-gone keeper of vital information on paper cards that once graced every desk.

With that in mind, it’s not unreasonable to think that analog, physical promotional products such as custom patches might no longer be relevant today. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Obsolescence is in the Eye of the Beholder.

Ever hear the phrase, “what goes around comes around”? Sure, the digital revolution has upended so many industries and so many ways of doing things. But sometimes, “obsolete” products make a comeback.

Well, consider this: vinyl records are making a comeback. You know, those flat, round things that make music, the ones so many of us left for dead about a decade ago? They just outsold compact discs for the first time in a decade, and their market continues to grow. Manufacturers are producing brand new turntables to play them on.

And guess what? There’s even evidence that their cousins, cassette tapes, are undergoing a resurgence as well.

Why? Well, it seems there’s always a certain desire for tangible things that we can touch and hold. And like the examples above, custom patches fulfill that need.

Portability Rocks!

Sure, digital marketing platforms are terrific. But they have their limitations. Custom patches on the back of a jacket can go anywhere, and be seen by a lot more people at one time than a smartphone screen. That raises your branding profile.

Best of all, custom patches, whether embroidered, woven, PVC or printed, don’t need recharging. They’re always visible, always with plenty of (marketing) power. Speaking of which…

Visibility Matters

Patches give your clothing, backpacks and accessories a visible, real presence that stands out. They go everywhere the wearer goes, showing the world your brand, logo or message every step of the way.  Sure, social media can give your logo a broad reach too, but it can be limiting. Not everyone who wants to buy your products or services is on a given platform.

Patches on the other hand, can give you brand exposure everywhere from the supermarket to the amusement park to other businesses. Every single person who sees your brand could be a potential customer.

Call in Reinforcements

Because patches are so visible, they help reinforce your visual image. A complementary logo in bold colors can become recognized globally with enough repetition and a first-rate product or service behind it.

Or Narrow Your Focus

Conversely, custom patches are an excellent way to market to specific niche audiences. They’re a powerful means to draw people together, to create, for lack of a better term, a unified tribe.

Consider bands and musicians, for example, By giving away or selling custom patches at shows and concerts, they create loyal fans. Parrotheads, Little Monsters, Deadheads and more can identify with the artist and claim insider membership to the exclusive “in-crowd” by way of custom patches on jackets, vests, shirts, hats and other items.

Other potential markets that you can reach with patches include outdoor and adventure fans, gamers, and sports fans, to name just a few.

Pass ‘Em Out

Patches are the perfect trade show giveaway. Attached to garments, hats, tote bags and other items, they’re a gold standard in visibility. You can also promote your brand in a way that people can appreciate, even if they don’t necessarily wear your patch. They can keep them on a desk or table as a coaster, display them on a wall, even collect them in a scrapbook. It’s all about getting your brand into as many hands as possible.

Don’t forget in-store giveaways, raffles and other special events. With limited edition patches, you can offer merchandise or services for free or at a discount. You can even create patch-centered customer loyalty program

Combine with Online

One great way to increase your visibility fast is to combine custom patches with your online presence. Give away the patches, or sell them for a token amount. Then encourage your online visitors to send in pictures of them wearing the patches, tag your business and use hashtags you specify. You can generate buzz on your social media, generate user-produced content and keep your brand out front with potential customers.

Ideally, your online presence and your custom patches will work in harmony as part of an overall marketing strategy. One effective way to accomplish that is to feature your custom patches, with your logo, on your social media accounts, of course.

But the flip side is equally valuable: If you have room, include your social media address(es) on your custom patches. That way, the social media reinforces the logo on your patches, and your patches help drive traffic to your social media. It’s truly a win-win situation.

In today’s competitive universe, any business needs to effectively use every marketing tool at their disposal. Patches, far from being irrelevant can be an outstanding way to reach exactly the prospective customers you want to reach, and in combination with other media, can raise your brand profile significantly.

We specialize in custom patches, of course, but we’re also an online-driven company. Our patch experts can advise you on how best to design your patches to get them noticed, both in person and online. With the right combination of design, colors, options and backing, custom patches can help your business reach new heights.

So what are you waiting for. Call or email us to find out how easy it can be to use custom patches to give your business grow.