Can’t seem to get your business name out there? When starting a local skate shop it can be difficult to get your name out there with behemoth retailers like Zumiez and Vans taking up all the attention. Here are some ways you can increase brand awareness.
Marketing Your Local Skate Shop
While many of us in our mid 30s or even 40s may remember growing up playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater when we were kids and taking to the streets on a daily basis to try out some new tricks, skateboarding today seems much less popular. And, while popularity has diminished over the last decade, there are still over 6.4 million participants of skateboarding in the U.S. today! And those numbers have remained fairly steady over the last 5 years.
So, for those of you trying to run a local skate shop and struggling to find business, just remember that there are still skaters out there, you just need to help them find you. For most skateboarders, especially beginners, they grow up learning about the main, major skate shop brands like Zumiez and Vans and rarely bother even trying to find anything else.
For the skateboarders who have been around and know the local shops, it’s a whole different story. They prefer the local skate shops over the major retailers because they are more authentic – they feel real and down-to-earth. Local skate shops usually have cooler decks and they’re way more fun to hang out at. The employees know more about skateboarding and are typically friendlier.
So how do you help those skaters, who don’t know about you yet, find you? Well, that’s where marketing comes in. And, don’t worry, you don’t need to spend a butt-load of money on advertising.
Start With the Basics
Getting your name out there without spending thousands on advertising means you need to start with the basics and go from there. This is where physical promotional material comes into play – and yes, it’s still very affective. Skaters love t-shirts, especially the ones that feature their favorite skateboarding brands or even their favorite skate shops. Giving your existing loyal customers a free t-shirt featuring your skate shop brand will not only help them stay loyal customers but also make them evangelists for your shop. Any time they’re wearing your shirt, especially while hanging out with their skater friends, will help spread the word.
You don’t have to stop there either. There are plenty of other types of promotional gifts you can get for little to nothing when buying in bulk and can be very useful in spreading the word about your shop. Making custom stickers with your skate shop logo and information is a popular way to drum up extra business and improve brand awareness without spending a lot. You can get hundreds of custom stickers made for next to nothing and these can be given out to your customers with every order. You could also encourage some of your customers to give some out to their friends at the local skate parks. Most kids love feeling like they’re a part of something and making them feel special by including them in your promotion efforts will make them want to sing your praises even more.
Another great idea for a promotional gift is customized, re-useable water bottles. Every skater needs to stay hydrated while out in the sun at the skate park, so give them some cool water bottles that they can bring with them to the skate park. It’s a great way to get your shop name out there and increase awareness.