How to design Bespoke Merchandise without bursting your marketing budget?


With increasing competition in trade, different brands are all producing trade visibility items and POSM (point-of-sales merchandises) in the hope of capturing consumers’ attention in the various limited trade channels. 

Bespoke design is anything that is specifically customized, custom made and made-to-order for a particular brand or product. 

Trade marketers love to create Bespoke designs and custom merchandise that are able to engage consumers and also allowing their brand to stand out in the market. 

However, the creation of bespoke design can be very, very costly. 

Examples of some custom trade merchandise such as beer towers and ice-buckets that DTC has created for our clients. The mould charges can be as high as 30,000 USD. 

Not every trade marketer can afford this much money. As much as we desire to have custom made merchandises crafted for our brands, there is always the constraints of having to work within a budget.

In this blog post, we will share some tricks that will allow you to create your bespoke design POSM and custom merchandise without breaking the bank.

1. Find a supplier with a broader range of designs (besides designs in China)

Have you noticed that when you go to a trade channel, like bars, restaurants or coffeeshops, you find many similar brands using the same buckets, trays, glasses or beer towers shapes?

When you approach 3- 4 different suppliers to show you all the available designs they have for the amenities you need, the suppliers happen to provide you with identical designs?

Well, this is because all the suppliers are sourcing from one same country: China. 

There are actually other interesting amenities designs options outside of China that can help your brand stand out. It is always beneficial to engage a supplier who sources from other parts of the world, besides China. 

At DTC, our Procurement Team scours the globe in search of quality suppliers who will add diversity and value to our supply chain. 


We source from nations such as Vietnam, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, and Europe etc.

DTC Creative Design Team uses a generic shape available in the market, adds design elements and special finishing to create unique visibility items to ensure your brand is the outshining one. 

3. Choose items that require low / no mould cost for your bespoke custom design

We understand that marketers would still prefer to have some bespoke design trade visibility items to capture consumers' eyes.

Yes, you can select certain amenities like light box, product glorifier, display chalkboard, acrylic tent card holder, wall display, coaster, opener etc, and customize them to your bespoke shape and effect. These items generally have low or no mould charge, thus making them more affordable for development cost. 

Glenmorangie Wooden Serving Tray 

Monteith's Tentcard Holder

Coca-Cola Push Cart 

FIREBALL Outdoor Sign 

4. Work with an experienced amenities supplier who can provide good advice 

Whether to cast a mould (which equates to high upfront cost involved) to do bespoke design may not always be a simple straightforward answer.

It depends on the yearly volume you need, and the mould charge involved. It is best to get an experienced amenities supplier to give you some good advice before you embark on the development work to save time and money.


Sharing of Customer’s Success Story: 

Coca-Cola Singapore initially used acrylic material to customize the straw holders that were used in trade channels.


However, after DTC analyzed their annual volume, we proposed to cast a plastic mould for the straw holder instead.


There was a high initial mould charge to cast the plastic mould.

Why would DTC suggest this?


Based on the amount of straw holders that Coca-Cola required to purchase every year, DTC noticed that the cost savings from using the more durable plastic mould straw holder would more than cover the initial mould charge.

Result: DTC is able to help our client to achieve greater cost savings. Given that plastic straw holder is also more lasting than acrylic version, sustainability is enhanced as a reduced number of new straw holders is needed subsequently. 


Looking to have custom bespoke designs for your trade merchandises and marketing POSM, but unsure if your idea is feasible? 

Contact DTC for advice and ideas today!

You may be interested in reading: 

Sourcing your trade marketing merchandise overseas can reduce your cost by 50%. However this can be a big risk. How do you manage it to make it worthwhile?

British American Tobacco Product Launch Merchandise

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