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Custom Award Pins



Custom Award Pins: A Rock Solid Case Study

For a new rock climbing gym building their client base, creating an engaging challenge with recognizable rewards was a key step in building their climber loyalty and engagement. At Southwest Solutions, we helped Rock Solid brainstorm giveaways that were worthwhile awards for their challenge and landed on custom award pins. These pin badges represented the climbing circuit completed (by color) and their facility, by keeping the design the very recognizable graphic piece of their logo.

Creating a climbing community takes investment and one of the most successful investments we have made in that avenue has been the Circuit Session event.

A huge part of that success is due to the custom award pin badges we gave away as rewards for completion of a circuit. These pins represented a few dollars invested but the community response to them was worth far more to our business.

-Cory Hanson, General Manager
Custom Badges Pins Landscape

Target Audience

Rock Solid Climbing set out to attract all current gym members and prospective members who are looking to make climbing a more consistent part of their routine.

Our promotional strategy to create excitement for the event utilized word-of-mouth, social media, and email marketing. With excitement drummed up through this outreach messaging, the concept of a climbing circuit was injected into their community.

They then distributed a few pins to select individuals that hold respect within the climbing community. After all that, you better believe people started to take notice. The custom award pins became a hot topic within Rock Solid.

Custom Award Pins

Custom Award Pin Goals

This custom award pin program set out to create a community-building, give-back event that promoted one of the pillars of their brand: their circuit style of route setting. The event had to focus on this aspect of their facility, motivate participants to partake in the event, and reward all ability and experience levels in the climbing community.

To accomplish this, we needed to provide participants something tangible and recognizable from the event to stoke future participation, membership attendance, and loyalty.

We toyed with various ways to define ‘mastery’ and settled on the challenge of climbing all of the routes in a color-defined circuit within an hour. If accomplished, the climber is awarded a custom Rock Solid Circuit Award pin.

Badges Rock Solid Pins

Program Theme

The pins would ultimately be a way to show pride about one’s ability and allegiance to the facility, and because they match the way the climbing routes are leveled in the gym, anyone who sees them can tell at a quick glance what level of a climber that person is. Ex: if you see a climber with a red pin badge, you know that person is an incredible climber.

At the events (there were three, each time focusing on a different set of colors AKA levels), climbers looking to earn their custom award pins gathered at a particular time, were given maps of the routes in the facility, and were released to the circuits!

Custom Awards Pins Badges

Custom Award Pin Results

The custom award pins achieved their planned goal and more to create a community-building event. Don’t just take it from us- take it from the guy who ordered our custom promotional items!

“Participants were engaged by the event’s structure but they were also enamored with the reward and it’s hard to blame them with how amazing they turned out! Some members and guests returned up to 3 times in a single week in pursuit of their next badge. Our social media was flooded with imagery of the badges. We had people travel from up to 3 hours away to participate and earn badges!

These components build our credentials in the climbing community. This event showed our community that we are thinking outside of the box to inspire members towards new goals in the facility. It showed our community that we care about more than just replicating the patterns of our predecessors. Moving forward we expect people to pay more attention to events that we put on. We expect higher participation rates but more importantly, we expect our community to feel a little more at home when they are in our facility.” -Cory Hanson, General Manager

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2021 PPAI Golden Pyramid Finalist: Promotional Strategy

This promotional strategy was not without its own set of press coverage for Southwest Solutions. These custom award pins were recognized as a finalist in the 2021 Promotional Products Association International Golden Pyramid Program. If you’re looking to work with an award-winning promotional product supplier, get in touch today!


Vera Minot Headshot

Vera Minot

Vera is a creative-minded, heart-first promotional products (and print/apparel/direct mail/signage/etc.) professional who approaches all aspects of life with intention and enthusiasm. Vera is passionate about vocabulary, self-care, and authenticity (even in business!), and in her free time you’ll probably find her rock climbing or mountain biking, growing things, cooking, reading, and generally finding ways to get up to no good with her wife, Christa.
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