Unique Influencer Merch Ideas to Launch Your Online Store

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Influencer marketing has exploded in recent years as brands realize the tremendous potential in leveraging social media creators to reach wider audiences. But simply putting out a basic t-shirt doesn’t cut it anymore in this saturated landscape. To generate buzz and sales with merch, stores need to think creatively.

As a social media marketing expert with over a decade of experience advising top brands, I’ve seen firsthand the power of launching unique merch collaborations. The right product idea paired with an influencer who resonates with your target demographic can work magic.

In 2022, the influencer merch market surpassed $6.5 billion in value. And it shows no signs of slowing down, projected to grow over 20% annually through 2027 according to Insider Intelligence.

So today, I want to explore some fresh merchandising ideas tailored to the digital age and share insider tips to help your online store tap into this vibrant space. Let’s dive in!

Clever Merch Categories Beyond Apparel

Merch doesn’t begin and end with t-shirts. Some product formats that offer great customization potential include:

Accessories like phone cases, socks, hats and bags. Phone cases alone make up a $287 billion market ripe for influencer collabs. Pop star Billie Eilish sold limited edition AirPod cases for $25 in just 30 minutes.

Homewares like mugs, water bottles and blankets have widespread appeal. A blanket seems like an unlikely merch choice but YouTuber Emma Chamberlain sold out her Cloud Cotton styles at $60 each quickly.

Collectibles like enamel pins and keychains double as accessories fans proudfully display. Singer Harry Styles featured 1.5 inch enamel pins for $12.50 on his recent tour and sold tens of thousands within weeks.

With some creative thinking, you can produce all types of everyday items featuring influencer personalities and inside jokes fans crave. Avoid flooding the market with low-quality tees and instead create merch fans genuinely adore.

15 Wildly Unique Influencer Merch Ideas

While apparel remains go-to, try venturing into unconventional products as well. Here are 15 outside-the-box examples to spark inspiration:

1. Socks

socks continue gaining traction as a fun accessory category. Add bold prints and phrases in influencers‘ voices that followers will immediately recognize.

2. Mugs

mugs make for customizable morning essentials fans can use daily. Package sets for gifting or try experiential versions like color-changing heat sensitive styles.

3. Hats

hats fit fluidly into many influencers’ aesthetics. Trucker hats are bestsellers but also test shapes like dad hats, snapbacks and beanies.

4. Art prints

for artistic influencers, turn popular drawings or webcomic strips into collectible prints fans display proudly.

5. Tote bags

totes offer ample surface area for eye-catching graphics. Fashion a durable everyday bag followers actually utilize.

6. Macbook decals

vinyl decals allowing fans to stick popular catchphrases or images directly onto their devices prove very shareable.


influencers can capture followers’ hearts by adorning their ponytails! Add satin scrunchies with lyrics from a hit song.

8. Socks

cozy socks turn feet into walking billboards. Add bold phrases followers reference or popular emojis.

9. Throw blankets

everyone wants to curl up in a giant knit associated with their favorite internet stars. Classifier launches sold-out blankets featuring lyrics from Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.”

10. Coffee mugs

start the day with top influencers by sipping from a personalized giant mug. The oversized style adds fun.

11. Bucket hats

renewed interest in 90’s fashion makes bucket hats ripe for launch. Limited drops drive demand from hypebeasts.

12. Phone ring holders

these handy gadgets offer 360 degrees to apply influencer imagery fans glimpse every time they pick up their phone.

13. Skateboard decks

influencers with younger followings should consider custom skateboard decks applying graphics underside so fans can shred in style.

14. Scented candles

soothe and delight fans with candles capturing influencers’ essence from packaging to creative names like “This Smells Like Kylie’s Instagram.”

15. Chocolate bars

edible merch? Believe it! Help followers snack in style by featuring wrapper designs with influencer quotes or imagery.

More Tips for Smash Hit Merch

Beyond selecting hot product ideas, a few key marketing strategies can amplify your success:

share exclusive pre-order links with influencers to blast out incentivizing first access with limited inventory windows.

Host giveaways

reward loyal supporters with surprise free merch and capture user-generated content of fans proudly sporting gear.

Drop limited editions

scarcity tactics pressure followers to buy-in quickly. Announce strict caps per product, numbered versions, or one-time releases.

Help influencers tease looks

provide free samples for influencers to model on Instagram and TikTok to generate buzz as the first people to score coveted merch.

Multi-channel promotion

have influencer partners push launches across their social media feeds, email lists, YouTube community tabs.

Foster FOMO

share behind-the-scenes sneak peeks leading up to releases to start speculation and anticipation around coveted drops.

In closing, online stores wanting to tap into devoted fandoms around top influencers have immense possibility at their fingertips. By taking advantage of these unique product recommendations and amplifying launch strategies, your customized merch can sell like hotcakes.

The key is partnering with creators who truly know their audience and what makes them tick. Because leveraging an existing tribe of supporters ready to purchase is the most vital element for success with influencer merch.

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