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Top 2021 Promotional Product Trends That Will Influence Your Marketing

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?

1. Virtual Event Giveaways

As virtual events are expected to continue well into the future, event organisers are trying to come up with creative ways to still personalise 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 humanising 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.

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.

3. Eco-Friendly Items

It turns out, sustainability sells. According toASI’s 2020 Ad Impression study, 46% of consumers have a more favourable 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 likeable. 

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 sanitisers are critical. But think about products that people can’t just get anywhere. For instance, someone might have a stock load of hand sanitising wipes. But a UV sanitising 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.

5. Wireless Products

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 fuelled 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. 

6. Retail Products

Consumers want products that they recognise, whether in stores, from social media, or on the web. Those products have a solid reputation and a price to match. Giving away recognisable 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 customise the products to fit your brand. 

7. Generational Marketing Items

Generational marketing uses demographic information about your audience to speak in their terms and to their interests, so your brand transcends age.  

Interestingly enough, the latest2020 ASI Ad Impression 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.

8. Full Custom Products

Customisation 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 personalised experiences, they see a higher ROI. In fact ,according to Adweek, personalisation can increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30%. 

Choosing promotional products that can be fully customised 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. 

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. 

Key Takeaways:

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. Click here to browse our most up to date & comprehensive 2021 catalogue.

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