If you live in an area frequently visited by tourists, you might be wondering how best to capitalize upon the opportunities they provide. With thousands upon thousands of people visiting your native city, taking in the landmarks, and visiting cultural hotspots, there’s no shame in offering them something to remember their trip (and your business) by. In fact, tourists can be a profitable market to promote your business to, as word of mouth tends to spread quickly through travel agencies, websites like Yelp, and even recommendations to friends and family members looking to travel.
Marketing promotional products as souvenirs can be an effective way to push large volumes of product off of shelves, as well as building a brand reputation across international borders. But what causes people to buy souvenirs, and what kinds of products should you keep your shelves stocked with? And considering the money needed to make custom-branded products, is it worth the investment? It just might be the key to making it as a small business.
Souvenirs: Why People Buy Them
In order to understand how to market your promotional products as souvenirs, you must first understand the psychology behind getting souvenirs. Tourists purchase souvenirs for a variety of reasons, some of which are outlined below:
- To remember their trip by. By and large, the most common reason people purchase souvenirs is an impulse to take a piece of the place they’re visiting back home with them, a physical manifestation of their memories that they can use to help recall their time abroad (and, in some cases, show off to their friends). To that end, souvenirs can take ANY FORM to most tourists, from something as small as a key ring to something as large as a sculpture.
- To contribute to the local economy. This is often a secondary reason for purchasing souvenirs, more of a rationalization if you will, but it does serve our purpose. The impulse to support local businesses means that tourists will likely seek out small businesses to patronize.
- To give as gifts. Enough said. It will be hard to tap into this particular reason for souvenir buying, as people who have patronized your business are likely to get something branded to remember your business by, not to give to someone else. Although, producing items with some utility, like branded bottle openers or wine bottle bags, might enable you to tap into this market.
The Power of Promotional Products: A Crash Course
Now, let’s discuss how the savvy business owner can take advantage of the souvenir trade to build their brand image and push product.
Marketing Yourself is Key
You want tourists coming into your business to feel at home and experience excellent customer service, to provide them with a visit they will want to remember as part of their trip. To that end, customer service best practices will serve you well, but don’t be afraid to trade on the things that make your business special as well.
Provide a Variety of Products
The advantage of producing branded products is that the more they’re used by the consumer, the more your brand’s name gets out there. You want your products to be well-made and long-lasting, providing you with years of advertisement off of the minimal cost needed to produce them. To that end, brand everything: key chains, miniature figurines, hats, clothes, and whatever you think may appeal to your specific demographic and be used frequently. Producing products that are well-made and are likely to be used frequently will allow you to get the best bang for your buck, and take advantage of one of the best brand-building strategies out there right now.
Providing Tourists With Memories of Your Brand
Promotional products are a cheap, effective way to promote your brand for decades, requiring a small investment for years and years of payoff. As your customers use your products and get asked about them, they will tell your company’s story over and over, spreading positive messaging for your brand to friends, family members, and even strangers. However you choose to take advantage of this phenomenal marketing opportunity, don’t wait to act; Get yourself out there with custom-made promotional products, and you might be surprised how often your brand becomes the subject of conversation.