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We started seeing last year that people are wanting experiences more than physical gifts. The “experience generation” even became a common label.
And our prediction is that this is not just a fad that’ll fizzle out anytime soon. No, it will only continue, if not increase.
How the Promotional Products World Can Target the “Experience Generation”
I’ve noticed some opportunities and a variety of ways that experiential marketers have been approaching this, which can easily translate into our market.
But first, the last time you went on vacation, you likely picked up one or two souvenirs, right?
You see, branded items can be used to remember an experience. People love souvenirs and are willing to purchase unique ones. And if it’s free, it’s likely to end up on a shelf or in a scrapbook to remember the trip – I still have some branded fans from a museum in the Keys from years ago.
Hence, why can’t brands tap into this opportunity? If it’s something that someone likes, then they are more likely to keep it. And that’s about understanding your target audience and what attracts them – which is part of a Promotional Product Distributor’s job, right?
In regard to the business to consumer side, with concerts or other events, you can hand out unique branded merchandise, or allow for customization and personalization – which many are willing to pay for. It’s about the experience – the experience of getting the object, the experience of what they’re there for, and having a tangible item to keep those memories alive. People want to show off that they attended or had that experience – and branded merchandise is perfect for this!
On the business to business side, more companies are starting to give vacations or experiences as rewards. This allows for personalization for the recognized employee, because often companies will allow options between:
- Exotic locations (would you rather go to Jamaica or Japan?)
- Excursions on an already chosen destination (you’re going to Jamaica, but would you like to hike up a water fall, swim with dolphins, or have a spa day while you’re there?)
- A few local packages (as a reward, and since we know you enjoy fishing so much, we’ll send you on a fishing trip to Florida)
Businesses are connecting that the experience-seekers are looking for personalized experiences that are meaningful to them – especially if it’s something that they can brag about to their friends and family.
Targeting the Experience-Seeking Employees with Unique, Branded Pieces
But how can Promotional Product Distributors tap into the business market, since businesses are already paying for these unique mini-vacations or experiences?
Remember that mention that everyone loves souvenirs? Why can’t the company give the employee a unique, personalized gift to commemorate the experience they just went on (and as a reminder of what they accomplished/the reason they earned that trip)?
The employees then have something to display and will have a memory attached to it that they’ll be happy to recount. We’re all storytellers and love having an excuse to tell a story, especially ones we’re proud of. Which means others are more likely to want to repeat that action and will strive to do better so they can have the trip and bragging rights. And every time those other employees see that commemorative, it will remind them of what they want – to be recognized and win that trip/experience.
So, what does this mean for distributors? It means that when you go into a prospect or client meeting and they mention that they want to set up or currently have an experience/vacation prize, then mention the opportunity of creating a piece that will remind their “award winners” of their trip (and what they did to get there). Allowing their program to come full-circle and be more effective.
As a custom recognition designer and manufacturer, we can help create those custom pieces to speak to your clients and their experience-trips. Reach out to learn more about this opportunity and how we can help you.
Kristina Hublar is your friendly neighborhood Marketing Specialist at Bruce Fox, Inc., which means she is the person behind the keyboard for the social media, emails, website, and other marketing efforts. In her spare time, you’ll find her plotting her next road trip, bobbing along to music while crafting, spending time with loved ones, or with her nose in a book.