Q&A with Marketing Lab

Q&A with Marketing Lab

In a nutshell, what is Marketing Lab (MLAB) and how did it come to be?

We’re a strategic marketing practice committed to supporting everyday businesses make better choices about their marketing time and dollars. We started nine years ago when our founder, Michegro Chisholm, exited agency world and stumbled into the world of everyday business owners. They were expected to make huge foundational decisions about their business, without access to the tools, knowledge and expertise available to bigger organisations. MLAB was created to change that.

Can you tell us a bit about the types of clients you typically work with?

Typically SME’s but we call them everyday businesses. They can be start-ups and entrepreneurs up to businesses with hundreds of staff and multiple locations. They typically don’t have a marketing function or expertise in-house.

Print Room is all about the merch, can you tell us how Marketing Lab integrates branded merchandise into a marketing strategy for your clients?

Anyone who knows us knows we love merch and we love pushing the envelope on it too. For us, it’s about team, culture, branded pride. 

Finding the right piece (or pieces) and getting the logo, design and placement perfect can mean the difference between money down the drain and a piece of branded collateral that is not only worn regularly but one that acts as a conversation start. We love it when merch stops people in the street. When they take notice and ask “what’s [brand name]? 

What are some of the most popular types of merchandise that clients request, and why do you think these items are so effective?

Everyone loves a cap or a tote right? Multi-use and those two items in particular transcend age and stage. Our second vote would be notebooks and pens (or pencils)- we know that’s promo items more than merch but it’s still in the broader category. Get the quality right and the brand subtle - mwah! Your brand, in their world, daily.

Any cool success stories or examples where branded merch significantly boosted a client's brand awareness or sales?

Honestly, we would have to vote our own - MLAB merch. Over the years we’ve done hoodies, caps, puffers, jackets, and crews. We always brand tone on tone and often in non-conventional ways. A patch on the arm. A tiny embroidered logo offset. Always subtle. Always noticed. We always get people asking for pieces. That’s good awareness.

What factors do you consider when choosing the right merchandise for a particular client or campaign?

The ‘who’ - who is this for? Build for the audience you want to reach or you want to wear it and you’ll be away laughing. If that audience is unknown, then really think about what you want that piece of merch to say about your brand. It’s a walking billboard. 

In your experience, what are the key benefits of using merchandise in marketing compared to other promotional methods?

As we said - Team, culture, branded pride.

What’s hot right now in the world of branded merch? and how are you incorporating these trends into your clients' marketing plans?

We love illustration as a storytelling method.

How important is sustainability in branded merchandise, and how does it shape what you recommend to your clients?

Massive. Two ways it impacts. One is use. That’s why we always recommend creating pieces that people will use regularly. If you just slap a logo on any old piece of merch and expect people to use it, you’re just creating waste. Second, textile provenance. Choosing quality, responsibly made pieces not only supports healthier supply chains but also reduces waste. 


And lastly, If you could create any piece of branded merch, no matter how wild or whimsical, what would it be and why?

The other day we were considering personalised Lego character keyrings - each character with an MLAB logo on their back and was pieced together to look like the members of our team. And inside each Lego character is an AirTag… Michegro loses her keys a lot! That or shoes. MLAB cobranded Nike kicks would be gold.

Visit the M-Lab website to find out more about the team and the Marketing Lab difference.

Instagram - @marketinglabnz



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