The Pros and Cons of Marketing with Custom Patches

The Pros and Cons of Marketing with Custom Patches

Published Jun 2, 2023 by Rick Cundiff

If you want to market your brand today, the options are almost limitless. From billboards to traditional print and broadcast outlets to social media, opportunities  are everywhere.

Obviously, as a supplier of custom patches of all kinds, we happen to think patches need to be an integral part of your marketing mix. You know, that’s kind of our reason for being in business in the first place.

Even we admit, however, that there are pros and cons to using custom embroidered, woven or PVC patches to promote your business. Let’s look at those pros and cons and consider them one by one.

Advantages of Custom Patches

Let’s start with the pluses of using custom patches. They include:

Brand Visibility

Patches go everywhere! Put them on hats, bags, accessories, clothing, and they go wherever the wearer does. Their presence boosts the visibility of your brand and increases recognition among potential customers.


A key part of patches’ ability to boost visibility is their versatile nature. It’s so easy to attach them to just about anything. You can even turn them into stickers! With the right design, you can target specific customers where they live – and shop.

Unique, Memorable Marketing

Custom patches offer the opportunity to broaden your exposure to potential customers who might not be familiar with your brand. Use your logo, colors and existing message to create an image that showcases what makes the business unique.


Unlike broadcast media, custom patches are an inexpensive investment. And unlike digital ads, patches offer customers a tangible, long lasting reminder of your brand.

Lower “Noise” Marketing

In a world where all of us encounter an endless barrage of online ads, we’ve become experts at tuning them out. They become simply background “noise” as we go about our daily activities. It takes a lot to break through with a new digital message.

Custom patches on the other hand, are more low-key. They’re not something we see constantly. As a result, we tend to pay a bit more attention to them when we do see them.

Promoting Conversation

Because we do tend to notice patches worn by others, they offer an opportunity for interaction among people. A well-designed, intriguing logo or brief message can spark a conversation. That can lead to great word-of-mouth recommendations. Every such conversation is a potential sale.

Disadvantages of Custom Patches

Despite their advantages, custom patches are not the right solution for every situation. They do have some limitations that can mean they’re not the best approach for your business.

Limited Reach

Patches can be a great way to reach specific customers, especially if they wear or use branded items. Patches alone, however, are not as effective as social media at reaching a wider audience.

The answer is to use both. Promote your patches on social media. Offer them as giveaway items. Link them to a raffle or other contest, and promote them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or other social media.

Conversely, you can incorporate your social media addresses into your custom patch designs. Make it possible for anyone seeing your patches to access more information about your organization online. This synergistic approach can overcome any limitations of reach that custom patches alone might have.

Design Limitations

The size of most custom patches limits the design to an extent. If you have an intricate logo, especially one with lots of text, a patch needs to be large enough for it to be legible. In some cases, that would make the patch too large to be practical.

Size limitations tend to be more acute with embroidered patches rather than woven or PVC types. The physical limits of the embroidered thread can result in muddy logos and illegible text. Woven patches allow closer text and cleaner images, while PVC patches can offer great legibility even at smaller text sizes. Ultimately, however, the balancing act between size and legibility can become an issue, even on those patch types.

Production Lead Time

Production time isn’t an issue if you’re ordering patches well in advance of an event, or if you want them for ongoing marketing programs. If you need to promote an event on short notice, however, patches can’t compete with the instantaneous accessibility of broadcast, print or social media. It’s best to consider custom patches as a medium- to long-term marketing asset.

Lack of Targeting

Custom patches are like billboards. In fact, you could even consider them mini-billboards for your brand. While that’s certainly an effective marketing technique for many businesses, it might not be the best style for yours. Like a billboard, a patch targets anyone who sees it, not a specific potential customer. If you need to reach a specific niche market, patches might not be the most efficient way to do so.

An Integrated Marketing Program Is a Must 

Keep in mind that patches should be just one part of your business marketing strategy. The most effective way to promote your business today requires an integrated approach that encompasses both traditional and modern marketing tools. Every business is unique, and your marketing program should be too.

For some businesses, the right mix will include broadcast and print media. For others, those routes are not cost-effective. Either way, a social media presence is a must if you want to reach today’s consumers. Custom patches can easily fit into virtually any promotional mix.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to use custom patches as part of your marketing efforts comes down to balancing the pros and cons and determining which route works best for your specific business. At, we’ve helped many businesses and other organizations benefit from the positive contributions custom patches have made to their bottom lines.

If you’d like to see how your business, school, nonprofit or other organization can benefit from marketing with custom patches, feel free to call or email us. We’re always happy to help.