Guest blog by Joal McAlister, CAS
McAlister Marketing, Inc. | https://www.mcalistermktg.com
As the weather cools off, thoughts turn to the holidays. This time of year is the busiest time of year for promotional products with many major events happening where gifts and branded items are needed – fall tradeshow season, fundraising galas, customer thank you gifts, and employee appreciation gifts. Many suppliers add special gift sets to their holiday offerings as well as holiday themed packaging options.
The industry has done a wonderful job of watching the retail market more closely and responding with popular trends. A few of our favorite holiday trends for 2019 are:
Eco-Friendly – With an enhanced awareness of eco-friendliness, many manufacturers are incorporating natural materials into their products. We’re seeing wood, marble, and cork integrated into the design of products such as mugs, journals, and pens. Recycled materials such as plastic bottles are being used in apparel, and recycled paper is being used for pens and notebooks. Products such as reusable food containers and straws in silicone or metal have taken the industry by storm. The Eco-friendly trend is expected to continue to grow.
Technology – technology and accessories are still trending hot. With “on the go” mobile lifestyles, these accessories are sure to be appreciated. Power banks, multi-charging cords, Bluetooth speakers, earbuds, Beats-inspired headsets, PopSockets, cord keepers and tech pouches all continue to be very popular. Many suppliers have full color capabilities for branding and the ability to make gifts more personal by adding individual names.
Brands – retail brands have never been more prominent in the promotional products industry. Branded and retail inspired gifts are where it’s at for corporate gifts this holiday season. Many of the popular retail brand products that can be logoed are: Carhartt, UnderArmour, THULE, Swiss, Contigo, YETI, Puma, Moleskine, Stanley, Tervis, Next Level, New Era, Cross, Spyder, CREE, Coleman and many more. Customers appreciate gifts that speak quality and often that means brand names they recognize.
Color trends – each season brings new color trends and some of our favorite trends have gotten bigger. Grey is the new black, various shades of grey can be found in everything from apparel to pens, to drinkware and bags. Heathered materials have become more prolific in apparel and also with hard goods such as bags, coolers, and journals. A fun new trend that keeps growing is Northwoods Fever with buffalo plaid everything – bags, hats, blankets, shirts, umbrellas, camp chairs, and coffee mugs.
Finally, giving a gift that is more traditional, such as food, can be exciting by adding custom packaging. Create packaging that can bring your vision to life. Packaging an item in colorful, trendy, custom printed packaging will leave an impression on your customer. Pairing food items with something that will last long after the food is gone, such as a tote or tumbler, will remind your customer about you the rest of the year.