Museum Gift Shop Promotions

At the beginning of 2013, I splurged a little and bought a year long pass to the Atlanta High Museum of Art. So far it’s been worth every penny! I’ve enjoyed their take on the emergence of modern art and on Valentine’s Day they opened their latest temporary exhibit: Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting.

While I might not be the biggest fan of Frida Kahlo’s work, it’s always nice to spend a weekend afternoon wandering around the different sections of the museum. Of course, one of the highlights of my museum wandering involves picking up a small something at the souvenir shop as I wonder what Pinnacle supplied products I would add if I was running the shop. Museum gift shops usually run the spectrum of kid-centric products to expensive exclusives from visiting artists, truly presenting the age old saying “something for everyone”

I think this is a great practice to bring over in how we look at promotional products. Like many museum patrons, they won’t look at your products for themselves, and instead think of whatever might amuse their children like theKidz Bandage Dispenser™ With Character Bandages. Highbrow it is not, but show it to any kid and there is a good chance they will happily snatch it up and use up all the bandages without actually needing them (true story).

You’ll have you middle of the road browsers, like the museum attendees who have saved up to catch a specific exhibit on it’s opening day, who aren’t kids but don’t have the money to splurge on your costlier items (think of the native hipster). They’ll look for items that funny but useful and always spend a few extra dollars if it’s a brand name they recognize like Fred Flare. So the Fred & Friends iStrike, Mixed Messages Mug, or iPlunge all carry the same winning combo of brand recognition and function that you middle of the line customers would love.

Then there are your high end customers, the ones who make contributions for exhibits to happen. I like to imagine this level, for I am naught but a poor hipster, in my head as people who prefer understand, classic quality.The Waterford® Glendalough Rollerball Pen would be an item that would look great laser engraved with the Museum’s logo and perhaps the patron’s name. It’s design would surely catch the well-trained eye of an upper-level patron.

It’s a great lesson to learn from the museum gift shops: have a little something for everyone and put it right by the exit so people will  just have to take a peek before going home.

Merchandising Assistant

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