Promotional products are always in demand by companies for events and campaign purposes and if they provide real value to customers then they tend to offer a range of measurable brand recognition benefits. So what are the big trends worth watching in the coming year?
Health and safety promotions
H&S is at the forefront of every company’s risk management strategy and hot topics such as employee wellbeing and corporate reputation mean that this is a big focus for 2019. Promotional products which offer H&S benefits can be of great value to your business customers. For example, for key suppliers, you might want to offer a branded fleece or a H&S risk assessment folder with a pen. Branded H&S guides for your industry’s managers can also be very valuable and position you as a thought leader, as well as a brand that invests in its customers.
Everyone wants to see quality represented in modern business and the drive to reduce, reuse and recycle means that single-use plastic items are now far less popular than they once were. It is better to invest in fewer high-quality promotional products that your target audience will really want. Minimalism is another key trend that means that your promo recipients don’t want clutter. Happily, today’s suppliers offer the chance for tighter segmentation and smaller order volumes, meaning that you can afford to target your promos carefully. Go one step further and distribute your quality promotional items with a personalised note to really show your care and attention; these examples of personalisation will stick in your customers’ minds and help to distinguish your brand.
From charging our smartphones on the go to working flexibly whilst travelling, electronics now play a core role in our work and personal lives. Portable battery chargers, memory sticks, phone cases and other branded hardware items are very popular and pass the value and utility test with ease. They can also be pre-loaded with your branded information – such as a sales presentation – to share your own messaging and to increase the chance of engagement.
Millennials and Gen-Z
Workplaces are now seeing millennials aplenty and even the first Gen-Z employers taking up their first roles. This means that promotional products need to appeal to their sensibilities and interests. For example, this generation are particularly interested in issues such as sustainability and environmentalism. So branded reusable coffee cups which look good – appealing to aesthetic tastes as well as eco-conscious ones – could be a great investment as part of any marketing efforts to this audience.
Wearable technology is a huge growing market in its own right and promotional products give you the chance to intrigue your audience without needing to blow the budget. For example, earbuds or LED event badges are both high-tech and low-cost in nature, and people enjoy using them! For higher end budgets and smaller audiences, fitness trackers are also very much on-trend.
Aesthetic considerations are growing in importance across all promotional product categories. Today’s design trends now cross over into all categories, meaning that the trends you see in interior design and fashion also start to appear in image-conscious promos and companies with a strong design ethos. Look out for real attention to colour, design and illustration, allowing you to create absolutely desirable promotional products that your audience will really want. For high-end brands, this is especially important as your choice of promotional product must be something that your audience will clamour to get hold of, doing your marketing for you via social media as a result.
Practical daily products
Although there is a growing desire to experience high-tech products, don’t underestimate the power of a well-made basic such as a mug or pen. Branded promotional pens are still one of the most popular product categories for promos and for good reason; all business people need to carry a pen, even if they are digitally-savvy. Make sure it’s yours and get your brand and contact details on there. You can make little twists to modernise your basics; how about a chalkboard mug, for example, that your recipients can write a message on? Or get creative and write your own scripted message with chalk paint.
Remember too that promotional products don’t need to be physical in nature. You could have a game or digital competition created that wins your lucky recipients an experience of some kind. Experiential marketing is big news in its own right and a digital promotion will also have the benefit of being social in nature, viral and ready to share across your website and social media feeds.
Keep ahead of the promotional product trends and your investment in this valuable form of marketing will continue to reap dividends; building brand awareness, fostering engagement and helping to drive your customers towards those all-important conversions.