In a business world increasingly dominated by eCommerce, brick-and-mortar stores find that they have to compete more than ever just to stay afloat. In addition to adopting some online practices, they are also turning to marketing and sales methods that make them stand out and reinforce the things that they can offer than online services just can’t.
They also need to tune in to ways they can advertise to their niche markets. Customized merchandise is one essential way that brick-and-mortar stores can market themselves. It’s an especially useful tactic for small businesses that want to get their name out there. There are plenty of companies that will provide customized merchandise specific to each store. Business’ can sell this merchandise to increase revenue while also marketing.
Businesses may choose to offer wearable merchandise. This includes t-shirts, necklaces, wristbands, sweatbands, hats–the list goes on and on. These are especially useful products if the business has its own culture (as a bookstore, cafe, or boutique might) or if the business is notably involved in community events (body shops, mechanics, accountancy firms can all do this!). If the business has worked its way into local popular culture, people will be proud to be associated the business’ brand or mission and to flaunt that association.
A local business might order custom stickers online, which they then sell for a dollar or two at their establishment. This is a little like word-of-mouth marketing, in that other potential customers will start to see a business’ name or logo on cars or people’s bags. If a business or restaurant becomes a bit of a legend, locals will love to brag that they’ve been there with a sticker on a bumper, a guitar case, or on the outside of a planner.
People also like stuff they can use. Products like pencils, notepads, or soda cozies are popular products among small businesses and their marketing strategies. For instance, folks are always losing their writing utensils, so an extra pen lying around can come in super-helpful, especially when the user stops to take a brief break and absently reads the business name on the pen. It’s all about sneaking the business’ name into everyone’s heads!
Products like customized crew bag tags that help luggage stand out are especially great, since they have a unique function–they’re not an item everyone already has too much of, so a customer who has one will really use it–and keep seeing the business’ name over and over.
While selling business-specific products is a good way to generate profits (or simply offset cost) it’s also useful to occasionally offer free merchandise. People do love free stuff! This can include giving out the promotional merchandise a business usually might sell, or it could consist of cheaper products, like balloons, keychains, or wristbands. These products can be offered in-store or at local festivals, farmers’ markets, job fairs, etc. Even if the product gets tossed pretty quickly, the business has still put its name out there.