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Merchandising efforts promote city pride

For many companies, one of the first methods used to promote the business is through merchandising. A nice end cap at a department store or an airport kiosk, or a more notable placement during a primetime Hollywood television show are all great ways to attract consumers and draw them in to make a purchase of the product. However, it is not just popular labels, such as your favorite diet soft drink or running shoe, that is concerned with merchandising. Some cities are also seeing what funds they can generate by selling and promoting their regional swag.

Over a year ago, one Midwest city reached deep into its coffers in order to promote its city pride and hopefully raise funds to support its community-policing program. However, according to one city representative, like many other startup businesses, its success has been slow going.

The city's initial inventory investment of just under $16,000 for city swag included the typical t-shirts and hoodies, along with lapel pins, coffee mugs and tote bags. Also included is a city flag that was originally designed as a result of a city-wide contest promoted by the Chamber of Commerce almost 60 years ago. Prices for the products range from $3 to $45. So far, profits for the city's merchandising program is still less than $4,000.

While the representative interviewed about the city's merchandising efforts admits it isn't "working as good as I anticipated it would have," he remains hopeful that with some changes in placement and promotion they will see an increase of numbers.

Merchandising is a great way for new startup businesses as well as more established companies to make money promoting their products, or as in this case their city pride. efully raise funds to support its community-policing program. However, according to one city representative, like many other startup businesses, its success has been slow going.

Source: CantonRep.com, "Canton merchandising program off to slow start," Matthew Rink, Sept. 15, 2013

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