The Party Never Ends: How to Use Customized Shot Glasses to Put Your Bar in Customer’s Homes
Have you considered investing in customized shot glasses to increase the branding of your bar?
Making the investment into your own barware can improve your branding & build customer retention. There’s a lot of potential if you’re able to buy your own unique shot glasses.
After all, can you think of a better way for people to take the bar home with them? Sell souvenir shot glasses for a lasting impact.
You can’t just tack your name on glass and hope it works. Read on and we’ll show you how to best utilize custom shot glasses in order to keep your business at the forefront of people’s minds.
Why Shot Glasses?
Shot glasses are the perfect branded merchandise campaign for a bar. They fulfill all of the main points which are key to ensuring success:
- High perceived value
- High usability
- Those who hang out in bars tend to drink at home
That means, with a unique shot glass, your purchase is quite likely to be used at home. It’s not just your regulars who are going to see them, either.
Keep in mind that even the coolest shot glass can improve branding, keeping people coming back to your bar. Fast and great customer service, an excellent selection, and a welcoming atmosphere will always be more important.
Think Through Your Branding
When you first start to pick out your shot glasses, you might be tempted to just stick the name of your bar on them and call it good. After all, things would seem to be simpler that way.
That’s not the best way to go about things. Instead, you’ll want to make sure that you have the full logo of your bar or company on them and consider adding a fun design to one side.
There’s a lot to be said for simple glasses, of course, but one of the big things is that you want them to be either used or prominently displayed in someone’s home.
Making Sure They’re Displayed
Many of the services that produce shot glasses produce some pretty impressive novelty glasses. These include light-up options, different shapes, and different colors. Look hard enough and you can even find some really unique options like stainless steel.
While many people are tempted to simply go with the easiest, and cheapest, option but let’s face it: collectors like to prominently display their favorites. Even with your branding on them, what do you think the chances of a simple round or square glass being displayed are?
Likewise, those who drink at home are more likely to use a unique glass.
All of this leads to a pretty simple conclusion: you should go with something unique if you really want to make an impact.
How often have you seen a shot glass shaped like a mason jar? You’d definitely be sure to ask someone where they got it if you have even a passing interest in them.
The big takeaway is that you need not only your branding on the glass but also for it to be unique enough to stand out even in a large collection.
Tie Your Customized Shot Glasses to Memories
Instead of simply having them displayed behind the bar with a price tag attached, try tying your shot glasses to specific memories.
Things like trivia contests, pool tournaments, or even darts tournaments are common promotions in bars around the world. Why not use your shot glasses as victory trophies and get a killer two-in-one promotional going?
This is another way to ensure that your glass is going to be prominently displayed within the homes of the recipients. Especially if it’s the only way for someone to get one. Now it’s not just a shot glass, it’s a memory and a trophy.
Making them the prize for a bar game of any sort is going to ensure the person remembers not only that they have the shot glass, but also that the night that they won. This establishes a personal relationship between your business and the customer.
Other memorable occasions might include someone coming into your bar for the first time, special nights where you offer the glasses, and perhaps customers intervals. For instance, every hundredth customer might receive one.
Use Them at Your Bar
One strategy which many people overlook is actually using custom shot glasses at their bar itself.
Again, this works great if you’re using unique glasses. You can either serve your customers with normal shots, or you can be the bar that has the awesome glasses that change color when a chilled shot is in them.
Should You Be Selling Them?
Of course, you’ll always want some sort of guaranteed return on investment for your merchandise. If you take our advice and go down the cool shot glass route then you’re going to be dropping a decent amount of cash initially.
While you should always be looking for a return on investment, you shouldn’t try to drive the price margin too high with your shot glasses. When you sell them it doesn’t create as much of a personal tie.
It certainly won’t hurt, however, particularly if you’re tying together a comprehensive strategy. It certainly shouldn’t be the entire story, especially if you’re not an establishment like a pool hall where gift shops can be expected.
The best way to do it may be to make it an “open secret.” Rather than simply offering them for sale, make it so that customers have to inquire about them. This can be spread by word of mouth and adds an extra element of something special to your establishment.
Targeting Your Branded Shot Glasses
When you’re targeting your shot glasses you should be working towards two things.
The first is making sure that your customers come back. The second is that you also want people who go into the home of someone who has a glass or two to ask where they got it.
Basically, if you’re smart about your strategy and design selection you’ll be able to get both repeat customers and new customers. It’s all about raising brand awareness.
While there’s no reason to not use branded shot glasses, you should also keep in mind your demographic. If you’re running a hip, modern bar then you probably won’t want to go with something that looks “tough” unless you’re really good at playing on irony.
On the other hand, if your general demographic is more masculine, then you don’t want to go with frosted pink glasses.
All of this ties in with knowing your target audience. Think of your regulars, who they are, how they act, where they work. These are the people you want to have your shot glasses, especially since once they’re in someone’s home the glass is going to be seen by others within the same demographic.
When you’re first deciding to make the investment you should keep a few things in mind. As we noted above, it doesn’t do you a ton of good if you just leap into things blindly.
If you don’t already have one, make sure that you create a logo that stands out. Once you have that done, it’s time to get to work on a strategy since blindly picking a design isn’t going to do you a whole lot of good.
Your targeted demographic should be the first thing that you take into account when picking out your design.
The following are things you should know:
- The average age of your customers
- The gender differential in your bar
- Where they tend to work
- Their drinking habits
Using these can help determine which unique customized shot glass you’ll be using. If your bar is mostly inhabited by 20-something college kids you may want to try something a bit more novelty. If it’s inhabited by guys in their 40’s getting off of construction jobs then a tough stainless steel shot glass might be the way to go.
Your Distribution Strategy
We noted a lot of distribution strategies throughout this article, but let’s go over them in short again:
- Prizes from bar games
- Selling them
- Using them at the bar
- Giving them away at events
Of course, since you’re going to have to buy a fairly large minimum number from any reputable supplier you’re going to want to look into your budget.
Novelty glasses can be quite expensive, even ordered in bulk. Cheaper customized shot glasses may not have the effect you’re looking for, but they can be a good way to start.
Advanced Customized Shot Glass Strategies
There are some definite ways you can make your shot glasses stand out even more with some little twists on the basic distribution strategies we’ve gone over.
One of the easiest is to include a code on the glass or even have someone bring their glass in, and get their first drink for free. This won’t cost much in the long run, but it will let you easily track whether or not your merchandise is actually bringing in customers.
Another way of tracking the glasses is to offer the same but with a photo posted on your customer’s social media. They show the bartender the photo of them with the glass and get a free drink. You get free promotion through private social media accounts.
It’s pretty much a win-win.
You can also try serving your bar’s specialty drink only in certain customized shot glasses. This works best if you can tie the shot glass to the drink itself. A chilled shot in a color-changing shot glass, or a coffee liqueur-based drink in a shot glass that looks like a small coffee cup for instance.
One strategy that works effectively is to create a scarcity effect on the glasses by only offering them for sale for limited periods. Advertise this through your normal channels and people will flock to them.
The ways to use your branded shot glasses are pretty much endless. You can take any of the principles of merchandise marketing and apply them.
Don’t Take a Shot in the Dark
When you’re looking into using customized shot glasses for your establishment, don’t just go cheap and hope it works out. Instead, make sure that you have a strategy in place.
You can get your unique glasses into people’s homes, keeping them aware that you exist and making them want to come back. Even better, with the right choice, you can also bring in new customers.
Are you ready to get started? Give it some thought and check out our offerings today.