There’s more to merch than meets the eye.
Branded merchandise has been used as a community-building tool for decades. We’re willing to bet you have a t-shirt in your closet that commemorates an event you attended, a cause you support, or a band you love.
Fast forward to 2022: the age of influencers, content creators, and personal brand empires.
YouTubers are the new age celebrities. (In case you’ve been living under a rock, a YouTuber is a content creator who publishes videos on YouTube.)
To stay in the limelight, YouTubers must continuously find new ways to delight their existing fan base while attracting fresh eyes to their content.
Custom apparel can achieve both of those goals. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you how.
YouTube has come a long way since its launch in 2005. Today, it is the world’s second most visited website and there are approximately 30,000 hours of video uploaded every hour.
And it’s not just for kids either. 74% of adults in the U.S. use YouTube.
Whether you like it or not, YouTube isn’t slowing down anytime soon—and neither are the monetization opportunities for content creators on the platform.
In a study conducted by Talkshoppe and Google (a.k.a. YouTube’s adoptive daddy), 70% of viewers bought from a brand after seeing it on YouTube.
So, why custom apparel?
We can’t think of any full-time YouTubers that only have one stream of revenue.
You know why? Because relying on a single revenue stream is risky, especially in the online business world.
Sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and Google Adsense are a few of the ways YouTubers make money. Although these strategies can be lucrative, they are unpredictable.
So many things could go wrong. For example:
- A brand could forget to pay for a sponsored campaign
- An affiliate program could close
- Google Adsense could change their policies (as they often do)
That’s why YouTubers focus on diversifying their incomes as they scale.
Instead of relying on YouTube for a paycheck, many creators choose to take their power back by selling their own products.
The cool thing about custom apparel is that it’s not just a product to sell. It’s a brand asset that YouTubers can use to grow their communities, strengthen their brands, and increase their revenue.
Check out how these successful YouTubers leverage custom apparel as a brand asset (and an additional revenue stream!)
Source: Team NINJA
Ninja is a professional gamer, Twitch streamer, and YouTuber. In fact, many esports fans consider Ninja to be the most famous gamer in the world.
Team NINJA is the brand the prolific gamer launched to sell his very own custom apparel. Although the clothing company is tied to Ninja’s personal brand, it is a standalone entity and has plenty of room to scale beyond Ninja’s platform.
Some of the designs in Ninja’s merch store follow the same minimalistic style as big-name streetwear brands. Others feature an all-over print or a more outspoken design.
It seems like Ninja is in it to win it—not just in Fortnite, but also in the apparel space.
Source: The Official Gibi Clothing Store
2. Gibi ASMR
Gibi ASMR is an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) content creator on YouTube.
We won’t dive too deep into what ASMR is, but basically it is a tingling, calming sensation that is caused by certain triggers. It can help with relaxation or sleep.
Some people refer to ASMR as “the weird side of YouTube.” But regardless of how you feel about ASMR itself, you cannot deny that it is a fascinating niche to analyze from a branding perspective.
ASMR channels form tight-knit communities of people who become raving fans of their favorite creators within the niche. Just look at the comment section of any ASMR video, and you will find countless inside jokes and friendly banter among viewers.
Gibi ASMR has over 4 million subscribers on YouTube. Based on the wildly positive feedback she receives on her videos, we’re willing to bet that many of those people would buy her merch.
In The Official Gibi Clothing Store, the ASMR mogul sells a variety of apparel, including hats, hoodies, and t-shirts. Some of her designs simply contain her logo, while others feature the quirky characters she portrays in her videos.
Source: Linus Tech Tips Store
3. Linus Tech Tips
Linus Tech Tips by Linus Sebastian is one of the most watched technology YouTube channels in the world.
Unless you’re a geek, tech might initially sound boring to you, but Linus Tech Tips is just as entertaining as it is educational. Cue the memes!
Sebastian has a loud and funny personality that captivates viewers and attracts a niche audience that naturally forms into a community.
The Linus Tech Tips Store extends the brand into the apparel market. If you don’t know anything about computer science, the merch designs may not mean much to you.
However, tech gurus appreciate the artwork more. The custom apparel available in The Linus Tech Tips Store offers techies the opportunity to celebrate their knowledge of GPUs, CPUs, hard drives, and more. They get to wear their passion with pride!
MrBeast made it to Forbes!
The 23-year-old Internet personality ranked #1 on the Forbes list of highest paid YouTube stars after earning $54 million in 2021.
MrBeast is already raking in an astronomical amount of cash from his YouTube content—so, why would he need to sell custom apparel?
As of February 2022, MrBeast does not offer any of his own merch, but he is one of the founders of #TEAMSEAS, an apparel company with a mission to clean up 30 million pounds of trash from beaches, rivers, and the ocean. All the proceeds from merch sales go toward the company’s mission.
We wanted to feature the #TEAMSEAS project because it’s a wonderful example of how custom apparel can be used for philanthropy, especially when leveraging a popular YouTuber’s platform to raise awareness.
Source: Kiki Chanel Official Merch
5. Kiki Chanel
Kiki Chanel is a lifestyle, beauty, and commentary YouTuber with over 300,000 subscribers.
Although she does not stick to one niche specifically, she has built a thriving community of supporters since she started creating videos in 2016. Kiki Chanel also regularly streams on Twitch and enjoys starting conversations with her fans as if they are her friends.
Kiki Chanel’s merch designs are mostly minimalistic, but they stay true to the ultra-feminine and chic vibe she brings to her YouTube channel.
Aileen Xu is the mastermind behind Lavendaire. Her content focuses on intentional living, mindfulness, personal growth, and self-discovery.
Although Lavendaire began as a blog and YouTube channel in 2014, it gradually expanded into a lifestyle movement—and multiple revenue streams for Xu.
One of the verticals in the Lavendaire business model is an online store that features planners, journals, workbooks, stickers, and… you guessed it! Custom apparel.
The loungewear designs in the store follow the muted color palette of the brand and contain Lavendaire’s iconic slogan, “Artist of Life.”
Loungewear is currently the only apparel you can order from the Lavendaire store, but there is plenty of opportunity for the brand to introduce new products in the future.
Source: Fiendish Behavior
7. Safiya Nygaard
Safiya Nygaard rose to fame after she began working at Buzzfeed as a video producer in 2015.
Two years later, she parted ways with the network, but now she has a successful YouTube channel of her own that boasts over 9 million subscribers.
Nygaard is known for creating click-worthy lifestyle videos about random topics. In other words, she is in the “no niche” niche.
Even so, her viewership is consistent because she curates interesting storylines for her videos and she has a magnetic personality that makes her fun to watch.
Fiendish Behavior is the name of Nygaard’s apparel line. The artwork is edgy and borderline gothic, but also reminiscent of streetwear. Many of her designs play into the line art trend that is prominent in modern t-shirt culture.
Source: Tsuki Market
With 111 million YouTube subscribers, PewDiePie is a household name. You might have seen his entertaining videos, but did you know that he also has his own apparel company?
PewDiePie created Tsuki Market with Marzia Kjellberg, who is an illustrious Internet personality, fashion designer, and businesswoman. (She also happens to be PewDiePie’s wife.)
The dynamic duo create all the apparel designs for Tsuki Market themselves. The store features t-shirts, hoodies, accessories, and even a candy shop with authentic Japanese offerings.
Tsuki Market sticks to a neutral palette with little pops of color and embroidered details. The “less is more” approach works well for the designs here.
Source: Grace Helbig Store
9. Grace Helbig
Grace Helbig is a comedian and YouTuber who claims to be “consistently inconsistent” at pretty much everything she does—but by our measure, she does a great job of showing up for her audience on a regular basis!
Helbig hosts a podcast called #NotTooDeep, a lighthearted and funny interview show that attracts a loyal fanbase to her platform. By speaking with other prominent Internet personalities on her podcast, Helbig grows her online presence even more.
After looking at Helbig’s merch store, we can infer that restocking inventory may be one of the things she is consistently inconsistent with. As of Feb. 2022, all of her products are sold out—but that didn’t stop us from looking through her dope apparel designs!
Helbig’s merch offers a variety of styles, including tie-dye patterns, embroidered logos, and a shirt that dupes the JAWS movie poster and shows an illustration of Helbig’s face.
An interesting selection of products indeed.
Source: Julia Mazzucato Official Store
10. Julia Mazzucato
Last (but definitely not least) we want to talk about Julia Mazzucato, a beauty and lifestyle YouTuber from Southern California.
Unlike many of the YouTubers on this list, Mazzucato does not have millions of subscribers, and she has not been active on her channel in over a year.
However, we want to feature her apparel store because we think she has produced some awesome work.
Instead of depicting rainbows and butterflies, Mazzucato’s merch line hones in on human anatomy, often showing organs or delicate-looking hands. She pairs the slightly morbid illustrations with flowers and other symbols of femininity.
The aesthetic of Mazzucato’s merchandise is immaculate, and other content creators with a similar style could definitely take inspiration from her designs.
Want to create your own YouTube merch, but don’t know where to start?
Here are our recommendations for garments to use for custom apparel:
Summer will be here in a flash, so start preparing now. Our tank tops are perfect for lounging around the backyard or enjoying some fun in the sun.
Hoodies are the go-to clothing item for a reason—they are comfy and suitable for many different climates. Seriously, there is a hoodie for every occasion.
Since the beginning of 2020, face masks have become a part of our reality. All politics aside, we might as well have fun with custom designed masks!
Short Sleeve T-Shirt
The short-sleeve t-shirt is a custom apparel staple. You can dress it up or down. And at Scrappy Apparel, we source the highest quality products, so you can be sure your t-shirt will withstand daily wear and tear.
Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Our long sleeve t-shirts are also incredibly versatile, and the comfort level is unmatched. Don’t believe us? You can try one of our product samples to see the quality for yourself before placing your custom apparel order.
Why Scrappy Apparel is the best custom apparel company to help you launch your YouTube merch line
We don’t mean to brag, but we know our stuff. Here’s why you should choose us:
1. Our process is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
We are proud of our Brand Building Process (BBP) because it offers a streamlined, transparent, and error-free experience for our customers. Read more about our BBP.
2. We’ll get your order right the first time.
We have the lowest misprint percentage in our industry, so you can rest assured that your order will arrive looking exactly how you imagined it would.
3. Our fulfillment times are lightning fast.
When you work with us, you won’t hear any excuses about backorders or shipping delays. We’re always on time (or early). Never late. And by the way, ground shipping is free!
4. We offer private labeling.
We love our private labeling service because it gives our customers true ownership of their brands. By printing your brand name inside the neck label of your garment, you’ll show your community that you are super legit.
5. Product quality is one of our top priorities.
We carefully source our products to find the highest quality, most cost-effective items.
6. We actually care about you.
Our apparel experts are kind, resourceful, and responsive. We are passionate about bringing your ideas to life and providing stellar customer service every step of the way.
Want to scale your YouTube empire with branded merchandise of your own?
We’re ready when you are. Get Started.