Instead of boring pens, mugs and T-shirts with a logo, Russian companies begin to produce merchandise, which could be sold in street fashion stores. Laconic sweatshirts, transparent boots and raincoats with warnings printed on the back of the Ministry of Emergencies are produced not by young Russian designers, but by banks and IT companies. Some of them have already begun selling their merch. Life around found out why they needed it.
A couple of months ago, Alfa Bank released a new collection of corporate merchants. In addition to the usual T-shirts and sweatshirts, it included red socks and transparent rubber boots with red laces, as well as things for children and adolescents. “We needed new reasons to tell about ourselves,” explains the bank’s marketing director Alexei Giyazov. “The banks have actually lost physical media - now everyone pays by phone, and we wanted to give the opportunity to touch Alpha with our hands.” According to him, branding umbrellas are already commonplace, and transparent shoes set the company apart from others. At the same time, things must also be functional.
It is noteworthy that the bank does not distribute its merch for free, but sells it on the website and in the store at the head office. The cheapest are corporate red socks - they ask for 390 rubles for them. This is the most popular product. Giyazov says he buys a few pairs as a present to his partners when he goes to a meeting. Transparent rubber boots will cost 2,990 rubles. Powerbank is the most expensive - 3,990 rubles. “It's nice when people are willing to pay for branded clothing,” the marketing director admits.
The bank does not distribute its merch for free, but sells it on the website and in the store at the head office
For several years, Rocketbank has been developing merchandise with an unusual design. He recently released things inspired by the 90s: floppy disk badges, laptop stickers in the form of cassette recorders and printed socks, like on the famous Marianne package, where the name of the bank is printed instead of a woman's name. “We ourselves were born in the 90s and decided to prank a little,” project manager of the bank Kirill Stepanov explains the topic.
In the summer, the team was inspired by aviation. So there was a collection of Rocket Airways. So far, only a part of it is available: a belt with a fastener like a seat belt, a shoulder bag and a sports top - they printed data from the boarding pass. Other aviation items will be available soon. For those who remain in Moscow, there are raincoats with text from the SMS of the Ministry of Emergencies about bad weather. "We do things that we would like to wear ourselves, but people are already picking up," says bank designer Vova Vies. In addition to basic sweatshirts, the bank produces seasonal clothes (sweaters, raincoats, hats), and also makes collaborations with bloggers. The most popular goods, as in Alpha, are socks.
Items are presented for participation in promotions and sold at the Rocket Shop, where you can spend accrued bonuses. According to Stepanov, a gamification was arranged at the Rocket Shop - you can’t just come and say: "I have money, I will buy your whole shop." The store is a loyalty program: it encourages you to use the card and save cashback. The banking application also periodically prompts: "Oh! You have already accumulated so many rocket trumpets, take a hoodie." According to team leader Rocket Shop Masha Bubnova, there are 30-80 orders a day there. But some things disperse especially quickly: 300 piggy-shaped Rocket Home Pig piggy banks were pre-ordered in 40 minutes, and 100 limited-edition cards with a new design ended in 47 seconds.Raincoat from Alfa Bank, 1 990 rubles
Rocketbank creates new models on its own and cooperates with several Russian manufactures that sew sweatshirts and other things especially for him. “Most brands buy T-shirts or sweatshirts without a picture and send it to the printing house for the logo. We don’t do that,” says Vova Vies. First, he and his colleagues develop a layout, then he finds a factory that can make the right model, several samples are sewn there, and then, if the quality is satisfactory, they release the entire circulation, which can be from several hundred to 1,500 pieces.
The biggest difficulty is finding artists. It was unclear what was brought to us, and we returned the party
The most difficult and more expensive in production turned out to be the very electronic piggy banks. To create them, Masha Bubnova even had to go to factories in China to select the right materials. "The pig was supposed to be a certain shade of pink, the charging cord should be the same color, and besides, twisted - it's a pig’s tail!" she says. Sometimes “Rocket” orders limited items from brands: Good Local made a batch of backpacks, Falafel Books - sketchbooks, New Wallet - passport covers. Now the bank is going to release a limited edition of skateboards with the French company Jart.
Alfa Bank places orders both at Russian factories and in China (shoes and power banks were brought from there). “The biggest challenge is finding the artists,” says Alexey Giyazov. In Russia, not everyone is ready to make the required volumes: the production of a thousand sweatshirts will be either too expensive or too long. In China, you can quickly make a large circulation, but it’s hard to manage quality. "It was unclear what was brought to us, and we returned the party," recalls the marketing director.A set of 4 pairs of socks from "Rocketbank", 1,500 rocket ruble
Not on rags
Alexey Giyazov admits that sometimes, due to production difficulties, I want to give up on everything, but in Alfa Bank, a separate team is engaged in the development of corporate things, working as a startup. It has a project leader and people who connect to it from time to time. A business approach is practiced there: each item must have a margin. The profit from the sale is then reinvested in new collections. Proceeds from the sale of the first batch of 1,500 items amounted to about 2 million rubles. By the end of the year, the bank intends to sell 10 thousand units of corporate merch. Mostly it is taken by employees - Giyazov says that he wears a corporate T-shirt and hoodies with a lion.
They give you a t-shirt at some conference, and then you put it on rags or give it to your dad so that he can wear it
In large companies, the production of corporate goods reaches industrial proportions. Mail.ru Group produces more than 600 models a year - from T-shirts to designers and Christmas toys. This is 480 thousand branded items. New parties arrive at headquarters every week. “The volumes would be enough to load a small plant,” says Natalya Troitskaya, event director of the company. Contractors are selected by tender. Mail.ru Group produces universal clothes and souvenirs, sets for children of employees and things for corporate teams in ten sports (equipment, inventory, bottles, towels). "We have long abandoned the banal logo sticker on everything - souvenirs reflect our internal concepts and attitudes," says Troitskaya.
Rocketbank also does not want to make banal corporate t-shirts. “They give it to you at some conference, and then you let it in rags or give it to dad to wear it in the country,” says Kirill Stepanov. According to him, the bank wants to do complex things with an inconspicuous logo somewhere on the tag so that people wear them without becoming a walking advertisement.
Photo: cover, 2 - Rocketbank, 1 - Alfa Future People