The promotional product industry is constantly changing. The products that are considered hot this year may not be popular next year as consumer behaviour and preferences constantly shift and new products are released every year.
Although digital is fast emerging as one of the marketing media of choice for many business owners, promotional products still take a large chunk of the market. In the country alone, the promotional product industry rakes in more than $1 billion annually. According to a survey, more than 80% of consumers like receiving promotional products, and more than half kept the items they had received from a company. More than 70% of the respondents also said that receiving such items resulted in an increased recall, and more than half of them said that they would do business with the company after receiving the items. These numbers show that this type of marketing strategy is still effective despite an increasingly digital world.
There is no doubt that promotional products segment will only remain strong in the coming year. But what are the top promotional product trends this coming year that you can use to improve your own marketing strategy?
* When it comes to longevity, promotional products commonly used in the kitchen will still be the winner in the coming year. Items, such as reusable grocery tote bags, potholders, oven mitts, mugs, timers, kitchen brushes, and other kitchenware, are considered useful necessities and are on the bottom of the list of items that people throw away even if they got it for free. Second on the list of must-have items are promotional items that are used in the workplace. These desk items include coasters, pens, pencils, mouse mats, notebooks, notepads, memo pads, and sticky notes. More than half of the respondents, on the other hand, would rather receive items that can be used in the bedroom closet or storage space.
* Products with stand-out colors and patterns will be more attractive to customers and clients. Vibrant and festive colours will dominate this year, so it’s best to choose promotional luggage tags, tote bags, satchels, pens, or outdoor gear in bright corals, lavender, electric blue, and cherry red. Solid neutrals such as black, white, whisky brown, beige, marble gray, heathered gray, and silver will never go out of style. When it comes to textures, leather-like, matte, wood-grain, and smooth metallic will dominate.
* It’s time to shift more focus to millennials and even the Gen Zers. Unique, useful, and innovative promotional products favored by millennials and Gen Zers are gaining in popularity over more conventional items favored by boomers and Gen Xers. Today, more and more millennials occupy the workforce all over the world, while the demographic cohort called Gen Z are just beginning to enter the workforce. Millennials, in particular, have become the key financial decision makers of their household and their purchasing power has been growing over the years. When looking for promotional items geared toward these young consumers, keep in mind that they value innovation, experiences, and sustainability.
* Quality will always trump quantity when it comes to promotional products. The quality of your promotional items is a reflection of your own products or services, so prioritise quantity over quality at your own risk. When you give away cheap products that easily break apart, the recipients will immediately associate it with your brand. In addition, durable, high-quality items last longer. Durability ensures that the items will be used longer and seen by more people compared to lower-quality products.
* Sports and fitness promotional items will become more popular. The number of gyms and fitness facilities in any city is a testament to the popularity of the fitness industry. You or someone you know take part in ultra marathons, triathlons, or cycle sports. Ensure that your brand will stand out by giving away promotional products that appeal to the growing population of sports and fitness enthusiasts. Items such as sports bottles, stress balls, armband phone cases, towels, caps, and golf accessories are ideal giveaways for this segment of the population. Duffel bags, yoga mats with carrying cases, and cinch bags are also hot items in the sports and fitness sector right now.
* Eco-friendly and sustainable promotional products will become increasingly popular especially among younger consumers. Despite its skeptics and deniers, climate change is something the younger generation is concerned about. In recent years, consumers have been moving on to “green” or eco-friendly products that are not only biodegradable but are also manufactured sustainably. Incorporate natural and eco-friendly products to improve your marketing strategy and make your brand stand out. Some of the hottest and memorable eco-friendly promotional items include recycled notebooks and journals, recyclable water bottles, and organic canvas tote bags.
Beyond the Trend: Choosing the Right Promotional Products for Your Brand
Before ordering hundreds or even thousands of promotional products, make sure that you don’t waste precious monetary resources on products that recipients would likely throw away or are unrelated to your business. Have a clear purpose for the marketing campaign, whether it is to introduce a new business, product or service to the market or obtain more customers or clients?
If you’re unsure about which promotional items to purchase, go for tried-and-tested products first. Writing instruments, t-shirts, stickers, bags, and drinkware are some of the most popular promotional products right now. These are followed by flash drives, headwear, office supplies, and calendars. Choose items that are of high quality and are useful to the recipients.