YouTube makeup mogul and beauty guru Michelle Phan recently announced that she is releasing a jewelry line inspired by Joan of Arc, with future inspiration coming from YouTube subscriber suggestions. After finding fame through her beauty tutorials, Phan has expanded her brand to include a Lancome partnership, her YouTube network FAWN and now a jewelry line. Since everything she touches seems to turn to gold, it is no wonder that the next step would be creating a physical product that is as unique as her ever-expanding brand.
Phan is a clear example of merchandising done right; she created a product that is consistent with her unparalleled persona as a YouTube artist. However, we know that when it comes to selling merchandise with your name on it, the issue can get a little dicey. When you see your subscriber count begin to rise and positive feedback start to roll in via glowing comments, you may be thinking that the next step is to, well…put your face on a T-shirt, right?
We at NMR think that creating quality merchandise is just as important as creating quality content for your YouTube channel. As a YouTube creator, you would not put out a video that was not completely unique and representative of your brand, so why should the merchandise that bears your name receive any less attention to detail? Although selling T-shirts is a total hit for some artists, it may not work for everyone. Which is why we wanted to spotlight some YouTube royalty who have seamlessly translated their online success to a physical product that is all their own.
Here are a few of our top picks for YouTube artists who have done merch right!
The #1 subscribed YouTube musician Dave Days recently released his second EP “We’re just Kids” on iTunes. He was able share his musical ability by creating a signature product that reflected his personality as an artist. Although Davedays has some awesome shirts for sale, we think that releasing an EP to promote his original music was a great way to put a one-of-a-kind, well-crafted piece of merchandise in the hands of his fans.
YouTube gamer and tech wonder woman iJustine, has devoted one of her five channels to reviewing the latest tech gadgets for her subscribers. iJustine chose to create merchandise that would speak to her subscribers–who look to her for tech advice–by collaborating with a company called iKit to create an iPhone 4 charger case and iPhone cover.
After interviewing comedy duo Jet and Star of the Wing Girls, we discovered that they are taking the biting wit and dating expertise that have made them some of YouTube’s top comedians and putting it into print. The Wing Girls are taking their most popular video about getting out of the dreaded “friend zone” and writing a book about it. They are putting out a product that is uniquely their own and provides readers with the same helpful tips and sense of humor that fans have found in their videos.
These are just a few examples of YouTube talent who have channeled their unique online personas into merchandise that is both meaningful and representative of their brand.