A far cry from the days where tattoos were reserved for sailors heading out to battle – tattoos and piercings are now so mainstream that these mostly small businesses comprise a $3 billion-per-year industry. And it’s still growing! So you’re probably thinking… but how do promo products fit into this not-so-niche industry?
I originally got the idea to write this a few months back after talking with my own tattoo artist. I had arrived for my appointment and she presented me with a little goodie bag she had put together. It had some candy, her business card with a QR code linking to her Instagram, and a small sample-size tube of CeraVe lotion. She explained that CeraVe was the only tattoo-related thing she could find in bulk to give out.
And while I was sitting there, trying not to question my life decisions while getting tattooed in a tender spot, I began to brainstorm ways to introduce more distributors to these small business owners. After all, the tattoo industry is very near and dear to my heart – just like the promotional products industry! Why not help bridge the two and fill the gap with an informational guide to help you break into the market?
As humans, we have always sought ways to show our individuality, decorating our bodies with trendy clothing, hairstyles, jewelry, makeup, tattoos, and piercings. Much like today, tattooing and piercing have always been more than just for the aesthetic. Many, such as traditional tattoos from Oceania, hold cultural and spiritual significance, whether it’s celebrating a coming of age or hitting a spiritual milestone – like actor Jason Momoa’s head tattoo shown below. In African culture many piercings also hold the same significance; for example, it’s said that a navel piercing was reserved only for the pharaoh, while a nose ring is seen the same as a western wedding ring to the Berber and Bedouin peoples in North Africa and the Middle East. Traditionally, a man will gift a gold ring to a woman when they are to marry, and she will wear it throughout their marriage. These types of cultural tattoos and piercings are still worn proudly today.
As we look at the modern industry, technological advances have given us new equipment and techniques, all the ink colors of the rainbow, advanced aftercare, and more, adding to the evergrowing popularity of body modification. Plus, other contributing factors such as the prevalence of tattoos and piercings among celebrities and in media, and even tv shows centered around tattoing like Miami Ink and Ink Master, all further expanding the growth. So, how do the numbers break down?
Let’s take a look at this handy infographic!
As you can see, these numbers are pretty significant and just like every other small business out there, there’s SO much opportunity (and need – especially for artists like mine) for promotional products.
So if you’re looking for ideas to break into a new marketplace, add some customers to your base, and help your local artists and entrepreneurs learn the power of promo, then you’re going to want to check out this Industry Deep Dive Guide for more information.