Merchology : Brand Identity

The Challenge:

Merchology, a Minnesota-based custom logo apparel company, turned to Big to create a private-label clothing line to rival established brands like Under Armour® and Patagonia®. But unlike those direct-to-consumer labels, this one would never stand alone—it would always be a co-branded vehicle that showcased Merchology customers.

Zusa process


Big worked closely with Merchology to establish the brand’s parameters and positioning. Supported by extensive research and development, they agreed to position this new brand as “accessible luxury”—offering high-end comfort and style that wouldn’t break the bank. Quality combined with affordability is what would make customers choose Merchology over the competition.


Inspired by the German word for “togetherness” and the brand’s cobranding philosophy, “Zusa” was born. The “Z” in the name offered opportunities to let the typeface inspire shapes and colors. We incorporated graphic patterns that spoke to their offerings, like “tailored fit,” “eco friendly” and “weather resistant.” And when it came to bringing Zusa into the real world, we considered all types of applications where it would be seen and used—from jacket zippers to online advertising.


The winning look expressed the Zusa spirit with a fresh and friendly palette that embodied the company’s attributes and ethos. The new brand excited the Merchology employees and we equipped them with everything they needed to launch their new line with gusto.

Zusa Case Study Working
Zusa brand square

Within days of the launch, customers were already embracing the Zusa brand and buying up inventory. For three years in a row, Merchology was listed on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s list of 50 fastest-growing private companies. In 2019, they reported revenue of almost $44 million—a two year growth of about 87.5%—of which Zusa played a big part.