Don't Get Confused, This Is The Difference Between Souvenirs And Merchandise

There are a few characteristics that make souvenirs and merchandise unique. To get a better grasp, take a closer look at the explanation below!

Even though "souvenir" and "merchandise" sound alike, they actually mean different things. But because they're used in similar situations, it's easy to get them mixed up.


When you dig deeper, you'll see some key differences, especially in terms of what they offer to the person receiving them. There are a few characteristics that make souvenirs and merchandise unique. To get a better grasp, take a closer look at the explanation below! 


Distinguishing Between Souvenirs and Merchandise


1. Definition

Let's break it down: A souvenir is something you intentionally pick up during a leisure or travel experience. It's what you grab at an event or while exploring a new place, like snagging a memento that screams "Jogja" when you visit there.


Think about buying souvenirs from the concert organizer at a gig by a big-name artist to add to your collection. That's the key difference between souvenirs and merchandise. Once you wrap your head around what merchandise is, the contrast becomes clear as day.

example of company goodiesHere's an example of company goodies handed out at a company event for attendees. They usually sport the company logo. | Credit: Studiokado

Merchandise refers to freebies doled out by a specific business or brand. It's a promotional move by event hosts or businesses. For example, if you attend a seminar by a big-name speaker and snag a copy of their latest book afterward, that's considered merchandise.

You get the book for free, no money spent.


2. Purpose

At first glance, souvenirs and merchandise might seem pretty similar in terms of what they do. Organizers often see them both as marketing tools. But the real difference between souvenirs and merchandise becomes clear when you look at it from the recipient's point of view.


You'll find that souvenirs have a more personal touch compared to merchandise. Souvenirs are things people actively choose and buy based on what they like, while merchandise is usually given out by the organizer. That's why people often feel a stronger connection to souvenirs.


That's why it's no wonder that many people try to collect as many souvenirs as they can that remind them of their favorite places or experiences. For example, if you love Bali, you'll want to get your hands on all kinds of Bali-themed souvenirs like clothes, keychains, and more.


Basically, souvenirs are all about remembering good times with others. You can buy them from different places, which also helps support local businesses. On the flip side, merchandise is more about promoting things like agencies, sports teams, and so on.


Also, check out: What is Merchandise? How It's Used and What Kinds There Are


3. Products and Their Look

Souvenirs are known for being practical and functional goodies. They come in all sorts of designs, often reflecting specific places or events through images, patterns, and logos.


Plus, souvenirs often highlight cultural and heritage vibes. Think batik from Pekalongan or tapis from Lampung. They're also big on traditional elements, like locally made crafts using native materials.


Now, merchandise is more about promotion and marketing, usually sporting a company or institution's logo. The idea is to boost brand recognition and make the product stand out.


You'll often find merchandise in everyday items like stationery, clothes, bags, planners, and tumblers. Functionality is key here, all geared towards promoting the brand. And there's usually a catchy slogan thrown in that ties back to the brand's identity.


4. Product Pricing

Let's talk about money. Souvenirs and merchandise differ in how they're priced. Souvenir prices can range from dirt cheap to pretty pricey. Limited edition souvenirs usually fetch a higher price tag than the regular stuff.


Souvenirs come in all shapes and sizes, reflecting the unique vibe and culture of each place. Because of this variety, it's hard to put a price on them. Some collectors are even willing to drop big bucks on rare finds.


Now, merchandise is usually produced in limited batches and sold at standard or sometimes discounted prices. That's the main difference between souvenirs and merchandise, and it's something worth knowing about.


Souvenirs and merchandise might seem similar, but they actually have a bunch of differences and similarities. With the info I just gave you, you should be able to tell them apart without any trouble. So, no need to stress about mixing them up anymore!


If you need souvenirs for a company bash or merchandise for business needs, just turn to Studiokado. They've got loads of experience as a vendor, supplying merchandise, custom gift boxes, and hampers for all sorts of events.


Take a peek at their gift box collection and the awesome range of office merchandise on the website.


Also Check Out: What's the Deal with Souvenirs? Definitions, Types, and Benefits 

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