Hot or Not? Trending Promotional Products in 2018
As a society, we often find ourselves chasing after the latest trends. Whether concerned with fashion, technology or the latest celebrity endorsement, trends speak to our collective interests (and/or obsessions). So it stands to reason that, in tracking trends, we have a general overview of what people like or dislike in a particular industry.
In the promotional products industry, trends can make or break your business. Nobody wants to order hundreds of giveaway items only to find out the item they chose is no longer in style. Don’t make the fidget spinner mistake – in the words of Regina George, “it’s not going to happen!”
With promotional products, your goal is to make an impression, but making the wrong impression isn’t going to do you any favors. So with that in mind, Blue Soda Promo has composed a list of trending promotional products to ensure you’re on the right side of the trends when it comes to your brand promotion.
Promotional products make the world go ‘round. Whether or not that’s true doesn’t matter; it’s what we believe. But in terms of what we know, there are quite a few promotional product staples that slightly change with the trends, but are always a safe choice. When it comes to promotional products, you can’t go wrong with apparel, bags, drinkware or technology. That being said, there are still trending promotional products in each of these categories to pay attention to when it comes to your brand promotion.
As far as apparel is concerned, promotional product recipients like to receive fitted items, athleisure and name brand products. Lucky for our health (though perhaps unlucky for our Hot Cheeto addiction), health and fitness apparel products are definitely in style. Half-zips, fitted tees and tanks and even name-brand athleisure apparel, such as Under Armour and Nike, are all trending promotional products in the industry and on the retail side of things as well.
I’m often a victim of bagception (v. the act of putting one bag inside another bag and so on until you are no longer sure where the bags end), as are many others. While that’s a clear indication that I have too many bags (and a desperate desire to be as cool as Leonardo DiCaprio), I would never be so naive as to turn down a new bag. When it comes to bags in the promotional product industry, you can’t lose, as they are universally loved, needed and wanted. As a general rule of thumb in this industry, the more attractive the bag, the more likely you are to make a strong impression. In addition, totes are always trending promotional products (the higher the quality, the better), while cinched backpacks, duffels and messenger bags are currently gaining in popularity as well.
“I need a drink,” is a quote I’m often referenced saying. There’s a strong chance I’m not the only one, either. Whether you have a favorite poison (or enjoy the exotic flavor of water), we all drink, and we all use drinkware, making it a promotional product industry staple. That being said, drinkware is subject to trend changes as well. Some of the most successful branded drinkware products are stainless steel or aluminum bottles as well as acrylic tumblers. And, as most do when looking at drinkware, paying attention to the features is important. BPA-free bottles are popular since we’ve decided we care about what we put into our bodies, and vacuum insulated products are always a hit since we’re so high-maintenance we think it’s realistic to keep a drink hot or cold all day long, depending on our mood.
Ah yes – the ever-evolving world of technology: the truth is, there is always a new tech item to keep an eye on, and the promotional product industry is no different. While it’s probably not realistic to hand out cellphones at your next giveaway (if it is, share the wealth, please!), there are branded tech products that are both affordable and trendy. For instance, cordless technology is hot right now, including charging pads, headphones and speakers. So while this may be bad news if you used headphones as an opportunity to stand uncomfortably close to your crush, this is great news for those that value personal space.
Nope, I’m not talking about lava (though that would be pretty cool); instead, I’m talking about the trending promotional product materials that are shaping the way we view promotional products. So far this year, both cork and wood have been hot materials that recipients can’t get enough of. Due to the innovative, unique and artistic usage of both materials in some of the best products the industry has to offer, promoting your brand has never looked better.
Products either entirely made of cork or with cork accents, such as drinkware, are growing in popularity due to the innovative uses, such as built-in coasters, and overall aesthetic appeal, such as trendy toppers. Cork has also been implemented in some of the newer totes and notebooks to create a unique, eye-catching, trendy promotional product that will do wonders for your branding needs.
Wood products are often attention-grabbing, unique and appealing to promotional product recipients. And the best part is that wood works in just about any product. Some of the current trends include wood speakers, wood grain notebooks, bamboo mugs and wood-accented drinkware, just to name a few. Basically, if you can put wood in it, it’s going to sell (please reserve all jokes until the end of the article).
Color choices are important when it comes to trending promotional products. For many, branded products simply take on the brand color(s) and that’s that. However, industry trends suggest that both vibrant colors and muted pastels are in style. So while this doesn’t mean you should go and change your color scheme, it does mean that you may want to be a little more creative when it comes to your branded products. Rather than slapping the same old logo on your product for the hundredth time, maybe you want to play around with the color of the product you’re putting the logo on. Or, maybe you want to come up with some alternative copy or images that speak to your brand and/or values, but that doesn’t necessarily play it safe when it comes to color choice.
When you think of trending promotional products, you don’t typically think of the packaging that they come in. However, product packaging is yet another place in which you can advertise your brand, making a strong first (and lasting) impression. Custom options are available on most promotional products, and utilizing the custom option gives you yet another branding opportunity for a relatively low price. When selecting your custom packaging, keep in mind the trending colors previously mentioned, as packaging is all about that aesthetic appeal. The goal should be for the recipients to feel important and proud of the item, so your packaging should speak to that.
We’ve all heard, more than once, “don’t be a follower, be a leader.” Ironically enough, in order to lead, we need to know what it takes to get people to follow. By tracking the latest trends in relation to promotional products and using that information to your advantage, your promotional campaign will have a plethora of people ready to follow your brand to the end.