If branding power were calories, the Mellow Mushroom pizza franchise would be the equivalent of carb loading. Born out of the free wheelin’ hippie culture of the 1970s, the restaurant group uses it fungal mascots in all sorts of groovy and fun ways – from custom calendars and magazines to an inspired Twitter follow/stalker campaign.
Apparel too has been a central tenet of the pizza franchise. For example, each Mellow Mushroom location has a unique design created by local artists that are also printed on apparel and available for purchase. (And the pizza is pretty good too, as the Counselor Best Places to Work Road Tour team can attest during its visit with The Book Company at one of its regular birthday outings.)
Last week, the pizza joint launched a new fashion line dubbed House of Shroom. The collection features a variety of trippy fantasy and wildlife designs featured on T-shirts, hoodies, socks and more.
The apparel line, which features a full-time brand manager, is designed as promotional items but uses subtle branding elements because, the company says, “Mellow prefers to represent itself through good products and artwork rather than blasting its name all over everything.”
“We're about how good design makes people feel,” says Brand Manager Elizabeth Brasch. “People get attracted to and uplifted by having good design in their lives, giving people the opportunity to represent us and a brand they love, and we appreciate that, but at the same time we want to add value to their lives by owning our products.”
Promotional product companies can certainly take branding inspiration from the collection. Here’s a look at a few standout pieces.