It’s hard to keep up with the latest trends. Especially when it comes to promotional products. One minute a product is in high demand, and the next, it’s out of style.
So what products should we have on our radar for 2021? After a bit of research, I found that the most popular promotional products fall into the following nine trending categories, representing what we can expect this year. The most sought-after items are a combination of stylish, useful and forward-thinking.
So, what are the top promotional product trends in 2021?
As virtual events are expected to continue well into the future, event organizers are trying to come up with creative ways to still personalize their conferences. Virtual event giveaways have helped bridge that gap.
By building up excitement, creating brand ambassadors, and even driving online engagement, giveaways have been a valuable tool for making virtual events a success.
Virtual event giveaways also play an even bigger role in humanizing a brand, while helping customers connect personally with them. When used to say thank you for being part of your event and brand’s community, you're creating a connection that customers crave. Keep in mind, 83% of consumers admit to paying as much attention to how brands treat them, as on the product they sell.
Trending Virtual Event Giveaways:
2. Work from Home Products
The pandemic has led many large corporations to see value in allowing their employees to work from home. Companies like Google and Facebook have extended their work from home policies well into 2021, while Twitter and Square say their employees can work remotely forever.
Businesses everywhere are expected to follow suit. Which means more and more employees will be in need of work from home products to help them stay productive even from their home offices. Consider items that make work easier, keep employees connected, and offer much needed moments of de-stress - because working from home can be crazy.
Trending Work from Home Products:
It turns out, sustainability sells. According to ASI’s 2020 Ad Impressions study, 46% of consumers have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promotional product they received was environmentally friendly.
Consumers are searching for more than just quality products and services these days. They are looking for brands that align with their personal values. So giving an eco-friendly promotional item as a gift will not only help showcase your company’s ethics, but make your brand more credible and thus likable.
Trending Eco-Friendly Items:
4. Return to the Office Items
When employees do go back into the office, they are going to want to be protected. You can limit risk and boost employee morale by giving your teams everything they need to stay healthy and safe. Essential sanitation supplies that not only keep employee work areas clean, but help them stay productive are sure to be a popular promotional product trend this year.
Smart marketers will think outside the box. Of course the PPE essentials like masks, gloves and sanitizers are critical. But think about products that people can’t just get anywhere. For instance, someone might have a stock load of hand sanitizing wipes. But a UV sanitizing wireless charger? That’s a game changer.
Return to the Office items that are versatile and offer a dual purpose will be in high demand this year.
Trending Return to the Office Items:
Connectivity is always trending. And as home and work life clash together, wireless products will be in higher demand than ever before. The remote office has fueled the need for flexibility in work spaces, and a decrease in cord clutter.
Plus, as our world becomes firmly planted in the digital space, the need for wireless products will continue to grow. Everything - from our meetings to our holiday celebrations - seems to be online these days. No one wants to be tied down to an outlet while they’re in the middle of a video call.
Help keep remote employees happy and customers impressed with the latest trending wireless products.
Trending Wireless Products:
6. Retail Products
Consumers want products that they recognize, whether in stores, from social media, or on the web. Those products have a solid reputation and a price to match. Giving away recognizable promotional items makes them seem more desirable and aligns your brand with a quality product.
Retail-inspired products have similar designs to name-brand items, but are more budget friendly. Plus, you’ll be able to customize the products to fit your brand.
Trending Retail-Inspired Promotional Products:
7. Generational Marketing Items
Interestingly enough, the latest 2020 ASI Ad Impressions survey found that Generation X (born between 1965-1980), own the most promotional products out of all the different generations. Millennials are a close second. And when it comes to the workforce, millennials and Gen Z are quickly becoming the dominant generations.
When investing in promotional products, you’ll want to think about products that appeal to these different generations. Understanding their interest and values is a great place to start.
- Generation X is a generation that grew up with minimal adult supervision, and thus are champions of independence and work-life balance. They value home and family life, security and individualism. They are also generally technologically adept, and highly educated.
- Millennials value social issues, visual aesthetics, and innovation. They’re resistant to traditional marketing and prefer to be online. Social media is huge with Millennials, because they look to their friends and networks to gather information before making a decision.
- Gen Zers are starting to enter the workforce and will soon be the largest working generation. Similar to Millennials, Gen Z value companies that take on social issues, and they want to support businesses whose mission aligns with their own values. They’re even more technologically-inclined than Millennials and seek the most cutting-edge devices.
Trending Products for Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z:
- Gen X - Marble Cutting Board with Cheese Knife Set
- Millennials - Recycled EcoSmart Backpack
- Gen Z - LostNFound Device Locator
8. Full Custom Products
Customization is powerful. Not only do consumers want and demand it, they’re willing to pay more for it. Many companies are even finding that when they invest in personalized experiences, they see a higher ROI. In fact, according to Adweek, personalization can increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30%.
Choosing promotional products that can be fully customized is a great way to market to this growing trend. And as consumers continue to embrace individuality, don’t be afraid to go bold with some of your products and designs. People want to stand out, and you can use your full custom promotional products to help them do so.
Trending Full Custom Products:
9. New and Latest Items
The constant need for the latest, newest and hottest items will never disappear. Consumers are always drawn to what they don’t already have. So products that they’ve never heard of before will always be a hit. Chances are, if you look closely enough, you’ll notice most of the new and latest promotional items on the market are born from some of the trends we mentioned above.
So when looking for promotional product trends, sometimes the easiest place to start is with the new and latest items.
New and Latest Trending Products:
Keeping up with the newest trends lets everyone know your company is forward-thinking and innovative. Don’t worry, you don’t need a product from each category to get ahead. Find products that support your company culture or mission, connect with your target audience based on their identity and needs, and are within your budget.