Using the internet to get customers - Page 6 - SailNet Community
 75Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #51 of 87 Old 02-13-2019
██▓▓▒▒░░▒▒▓▓██
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,577
Thanks: 11
Thanked 248 Times in 243 Posts
Rep Power: 15
   
Re: Using the internet to get customers

Not just snapshots, but swag. I don't know what would be culturally appropriate for what parts of the EU, but in the US this could mean giving each guest a baseball cap with the skippingstones logo on it. Or a t-shirt, hoodie, whatever you can have personalized at a reasonable cost. That goes home with your happy customer, who potentially will be asked questions about it from their other friends, so you are turning them into advertising billboards (discretely) for you.
SanderO likes this.
hellosailor is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #52 of 87 Old 02-13-2019
Senior Member
 
SanderO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northport, NY
Posts: 2,825
Thanks: 2
Thanked 72 Times in 72 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Using the internet to get customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Not just snapshots, but swag. I don't know what would be culturally appropriate for what parts of the EU, but in the US this could mean giving each guest a baseball cap with the skippingstones logo on it. Or a t-shirt, hoodie, whatever you can have personalized at a reasonable cost. That goes home with your happy customer, who potentially will be asked questions about it from their other friends, so you are turning them into advertising billboards (discretely) for you.
I like this idea of giving guests a memento of their experience. There are so many possibilities... Logo coffee or travel mugs, key chain and things that people would use every day and have a reminder.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
SanderO is online now  
post #53 of 87 Old 02-13-2019
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 19,052
Thanks: 82
Thanked 534 Times in 511 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Re: Using the internet to get customers

Swag, or what I think is now referred to as Merch, is a good idea. However, I caution that it should be the highest quality stuff of its kind, or don’t bother. There is nothing worse than a giveaway that falls apart, is too small or cheap. I think that backfires on one’s brand.

T-shirts are a good idea, but you need to stock many, many sizes. Quality is important, but the dry-fit style might be most appreciated. The graphics should be obvious, but not so overdone it can’t be worn just about anywhere a T-shirt is acceptable.

As to hats...... one size fits all, does not fit all. They make adjustable hats in different sizes. You really need a normal and large version, but certainly fewer than shirts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.

Last edited by Minnewaska; 02-13-2019 at 06:14 AM.
Minnewaska is offline  
 
post #54 of 87 Old 02-13-2019
Senior Member
 
SanderO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northport, NY
Posts: 2,825
Thanks: 2
Thanked 72 Times in 72 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Using the internet to get customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Swag, or what I think is now referred to as Merch, is a good idea. However, I caution that it should be the highest quality stuff of its kind, or don’t bother. There is nothing worse than a giveaway that falls apart, is too small or cheap. I think that backfires on one’s brand.

T-shirts are a good idea, but you need to stock many, many sizes. Quality is important, but the dry-fit style might be most appreciated. The graphics should be obvious, but not so overdone it can’t be worn just about anywhere a T-shirt is acceptable.

As to hats...... one size fits all, does not fit all. They make adjustable hats in different sizes. You really need a normal and large version, but certainly fewer than shirts.
I don't know the economics of these sort of gifts... but Andrew could "stock" several things that the guests can choose from. T shirts are not a bad idea, but size and quality is an issue and they are not worn except for very casual occasions where they ARE visible and good PR.

I am thinking there is little repeat business. This may be because they charter in one area which is diverse and they know well. Perhaps repeat business would happen if Stepping Stone had 3 or 4 regions they do their charters. In the end I think most people search for vacation experience on the net.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
SanderO is online now  
post #55 of 87 Old 02-13-2019
1968 Columbia 50
 
SV Siren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Allegan, Michigan
Posts: 316
Thanks: 0
Thanked 21 Times in 21 Posts
Rep Power: 7
 
Re: Using the internet to get customers

I must be old school as I still call branding merchandise as swag.

My reply is based on my personal experience marketing my business, take it or leave it. Swag can be great or just a disaster. I had my own swag, and it worked for me, eventually. But I did not get it right the first 10 times I tried it.

Here's a few reasons why: I tried giving it away, this failed for several reasons;
1. it was not something that people would really keep, brochures got tossed, shirts were never really worn often, they were just plain T's, and a whole host of gifty knick knacks..did not work. I tried things that just were not tied to my branding, or had a lot of keeping appeal to my customers, they all failed, and guests would tell me they did not keep them.

What did work: I ran a high end Bed and Breakfast, catering to the foodie crowd, which is huge by the way!!!! I eventually settled on coffee mugs. I did not give them away, but sold them at an 80% profit. These were not your ordinary mugs, everyone has a cupboard full of **** mugs. My mugs were custom made for my business and were the best darn ceramic mugs out there. I can guarantee that my mugs were too cool to go in the toss pile. They had my Inn's artwork on it, along with our business name, they were gorgeous, and still to this day I use it daily, everyone loved the mugs. I SOLD sh*t-tons of them, every day, sometimes selling many to a single customer that they would give away to friends, who later made reservations.

For you Capta, if you decide to go the swag route, find something that people will want to keep, and use/wear/display often. Something that is a conversation piece, that has your info on it, and just says "this is cool" and something I want to look into. You just have to find that niche or item that works for you. Don't give swag away, things given away often appear to have no value attached to them 'cause they got it for free.
SanderO and RegisteredUser like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
S/V Siren 1968 Columbia 50
SV Siren is online now  
post #56 of 87 Old 02-13-2019 Thread Starter
Master Mariner
 
capta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
Posts: 6,845
Thanks: 134
Thanked 363 Times in 351 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Using the internet to get customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Siren View Post
For you Capta, if you decide to go the swag route, find something that people will want to keep, and use/wear/display often. Something that is a conversation piece, that has your info on it, and just says "this is cool" and something I want to look into. You just have to find that niche or item that works for you. Don't give swag away, things given away often appear to have no value attached to them 'cause they got it for free.
We had a professional photographer take a couple of dozen shots of the boat sailing (as on here) and if our guests have a chip, we give them the pics hoping they will show them around to their friends. I just couldn't see charging for them as they are better out there than on my computer. We also give some customers who we think will appreciate them the limited edition painted one EC$ coins, which are becoming quite rare now.
Cups sound like a good idea and we may look into them. I'd appreciate seeing what you had, why it was special and who could make us some, perhaps ours with a pic of the boat on them?
But honestly, when one has a business that seeks only 20 sales per year, it is hard to justify the advertising schemes and expenditures that businesses selling hundreds to millions of their products use. I doubt your B&B would have done well on 40 guests a year.
We don't have a lot of competition, as most boats will cram on as many guests as they can, while we only take two, giving a more personal and private touch with better service, in our opinion. Should two couples wish to sail together, we can offer another boat at the same price, so nothing is lost. We are not prepared to deal with children (a long story from many, many years in the business), so family vacations aren't our thing. A romantic sailing vacation for two. That's us in a nutshell.
So, we are attempting to walk the razor's edge and have the business survive. If it doesn't, well, we will miss it as we consider it more fun than a barrel of monkeys to give folks a great sailing vacation, but we won't be in dire financial straights and since we aren't in debt we will be fine.
Thanks again for your suggestions.
Minnesail likes this.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

facebook.com/svskippingstone
capta is online now  
post #57 of 87 Old 02-13-2019
Senior Member
 
SanderO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northport, NY
Posts: 2,825
Thanks: 2
Thanked 72 Times in 72 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Using the internet to get customers

Speaking for me only! We attend ballet and they have a small stall where they sell ballet memorabilia. I bought some mugs for home and for the boat which has delightful little line drawings of 6 or 7 ballerinas (from that date)... I love these mugs and drink my morning coffee every day from one and I do think of ballet when I see it and people who I serve coffee in them comment as well. Practical and conversation starter.. I can visualize a mug with blue sea on the bottom with Stepping Stones sailing and the name on the opposite side or something. A baseball cap is also practical... for sailing whatever...I don't think this has to be spendy. You can order stuff from your artwork online.
MarkofSeaLife likes this.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
SanderO is online now  
post #58 of 87 Old 02-13-2019
Senior Member
 
MacBlaze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 254
Thanks: 4
Thanked 17 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 4
 
Re: Using the internet to get customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
We had a professional photographer take a couple of dozen shots of the boat sailing (as on here) and if our guests have a chip, we give them the pics hoping they will show them around to their friends. I just couldn't see charging for them as they are better out there than on my computer. We also give some customers who we think will appreciate them the limited edition painted one EC$ coins, which are becoming quite rare now.
Cups sound like a good idea and we may look into them. I'd appreciate seeing what you had, why it was special and who could make us some, perhaps ours with a pic of the boat on them?
I don't know if these are a good idea or not, but I got 4 of them when I first chartered 5 years ago and I see it every morning when I take my coffee to my desk
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_5166.JPG  
capta likes this.

Gaudeamus igitur iuvenes dum sumus...
before it's too late
MacBlaze is offline  
post #59 of 87 Old 02-13-2019
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 11
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Using the internet to get customers

One thing you should make sure that your site is properly optimised and user-friendly. You need to have user-friendly URLs and your websites listed on social media.
MarkofSeaLife likes this.
Zahabiya01 is offline  
post #60 of 87 Old 02-14-2019
██▓▓▒▒░░▒▒▓▓██
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,577
Thanks: 11
Thanked 248 Times in 243 Posts
Rep Power: 15
   
Re: Using the internet to get customers

In the States, "swag" is not "merch". Merch is the UK? or just young? way of saying "mechandise", the stuff that you sell, that is branded.

Swag really got into the vocabulary with things like the Emmy Awards, when folks would pick up a shopping bag that literally had things like an iPhone in it. The idea being, give it to the stars, it will generate good pr for your brand. Way pricier or more unique (special editions) than "the stuff we sell on our web site".

Kinda like the difference between a fine single malt, and bar well scotch.

One of the more interesting things I've seen lately are stainless steel doublewall wine glasses. They're not the only heavy camping gear, and if you drop them on a hard surface, the dimple in the stainless ain't gonna come out. But, they're quite durable and they don't sweat in the heat.

I think travel mugs are overdone at this point, although there are some nice ones that really are spillproof, double insulated, metal, that would probably replace the ones your guests had at home.

And there are also a number of interesting LED minilights, keychain lights that are USB rechargeable with incredible brightness, again, metal, brand names. People tend to keep those, unlike the usual "promo" plastic jobs.

And speaking of giving them picture files? Pony up. USB drives are DIRT CHEAP. Give them a small metal USB drive, the kind you can hang on a keychain. Include the keychain or loop, preload the sticks with their photos, AND you current "brochure". So if they want to show someone pictures of their vacation, there they are. On the flash drive you gave them--with your logo on it, one hopes.

But promo and premium companies can all give you ideas and prices.

Only catering to couples is going to pretty much cut your market to less than half of the overall market, where something like 50% have dogs and a similar number have kids. It could mean targeting "Send the kids to camp and take a week for yourself" or some other strategy targeted at people who are "just" couples.

Or partnering with that other boat and advertising together, if you both are looking for the same markets.

If you're just in one area, and return customers may want to see other places, that could mean splitting your season, offering trips "here" for two months, then "there" for two months, and changing that second area every year, to give repeaters something new each year. Plus, the "repositioning" cruise.(G)

Last edited by hellosailor; 02-14-2019 at 01:00 PM.
hellosailor is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sailboat Takes Out Power for Nearly 1200 AEP Customers - KIII TV3 NewsReader News Feeds 0 09-05-2011 11:30 PM
Customers! Sometimes, there's just no pleasing them. knothead General Discussion (sailing related) 22 07-01-2009 11:55 PM
sea-tech customers jsgsail Gear & Maintenance 0 09-10-2005 12:17 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome