Creative Ideas for Branded Promotional Merchandise at Your Marine Store

marine store promotionsStock up on new logo designs and promotional items that appeal to boaters to boost your revenue and promotions

Every season boaters cruise to their favorite destinations and enjoy picking up a souvenir from their getaway. In fact, there are even destinations on the water that are so well known for their annual t-shirt designs that picking up a shirt has become a reason to make the location a cruising stop every year.

Take a look at your current merchandise, either online or in your marine or ship’s store, and ask yourself – is there anything new and interesting for boaters this year? Repeat boater clientele want to see something new each season. There is nothing more annoying than visiting a gift shop or marine store and seeing the same old tired items year after year.

Branded merchandise has multiple benefits… it gives you a few extra dollars in revenue and it offers free advertising as boaters often proudly display your branded merchandise everywhere they go. Transient boaters picking up your branded merchandise can extend your promotional reach even further. What better way to promote your marina then let your customers express their endorsement by displaying your logo?

Get Creative with Your Logo and Designs

The right design should reflect your boating brand. While you may not want to change your logo for the sake of a design, you can certainly complement it or have fun with it by getting creative.

One of the easiest ways to spice up your merchandise is to create a new design with your company or marina logo. Showcasing your standard logo in a new design can be very appealing to your loyal repeat customers. A small investment in creating a new design each year can create some nice promotional buzz in your local boating market… and boost sales for promo items in your marina store.

Marketing Tip: New “crowd sourcing” design options like crowdSPRING or 99Designs can help you cost-effectively tap into design services and get something really unique. Freelance designers basically compete for your design project and you choose the winning design you want to use.

Pick Unique Branded Merchandise that Boaters Want

Whether you are using your standard logo or a special design, be sure to select merchandise that people – specifically boaters – will want to buy and use.

Some good basic promotional products that appeal to boaters are:

  • T-shirts and tanks (don’t forget sizes and styles for kids and women!)
  • Hats and sun visors
  • Boat flags
  • Can or bottle koozies
  • Coffee mugs or drink tumblers
  • Sunglass straps
  • Bottle openers
  • Beach towels

There are several promotional item companies that specialize in personalizing boating gear and items worth checking out (it’s also always nice to keep your boating business with other boating businesses!):

Run by a New England boat name enthusiast, specializes in custom embroidery and personalized gear just for boaters. Use a boat name, marina/dealer name, yacht club or more. Buy as little as 1 item or stock your store. >>Shop Boat Name Gear

Anchored StyleAnchored Style

Preppy, nautically inspired, American-made apparel & accessories for those who are passionate about the water. Find unusual nautical designs on apparel, barware, jewelry and more that boaters will love. >>Shop Anchored Style

Each of them offers a lot of interesting options for boating related businesses to use at their marina stores, online shops or at boat show events. Take a shot at some new items that can spice up your inventory and help support your marina promotions.

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Diane is a marketer, avid boater and author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. In addition to being founder of, Diane runs the small business site and the boating lifestyle sites and