Featured image by Guido Coppa on Unsplash
Promotional products have been around for more than 200 years.
The first promotional items ever made commemorated the election of George Washington as president. Businesses and political parties in the late 18th century continued to make and pass out buttons. Since those early buttons, promotional merchandise has come a long way. Here’s a brief look at how these products have advanced and what the future looks like for promotional products.
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History of Promotional Products
Looking back at the promotional products in the early 2000s, it is interesting to note how much has changed. Some of the items that were popular as the early 2000s moved into the 2010s. For the most part, these were trucker hats emblazoned with a business logo and rubber bracelets that had the logos of businesses on them.
Next, do you remember when there was a run on office gadgets with logos on them, such as stress balls, desk games like basketball hoops, mousepads, and pencil cups with company logos on them? Coozies were also in vogue, for both cans and bottles.
Some businesses really got creative in the 2010s with their products. For example, companies used iridescent colors on water bottles, sunglasses, and thermos cups to make their business logos pop and attract attention. In 2015, one of the trendiest promotional products was the selfie stick emblazoned with a company logo. Six years later, selfie sticks have fallen out of favor as a promotional item. This allows us to see how quickly promotional items can change.
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The Last Two Years in Promotional Product Marketing
When 2020 first began, cooling towels and sport towels, along with products for the gym such as gym bags were big promotional items. There were also popular products for the outdoors, like tote bags and coolers with the company logo.
However, the pandemic brought all of those promotional products to a screeching halt. Gradually in 2020, new promotional products that might never have been conceived found their way to the marketplace. Businesses began to use facemasks as a way to keep their name and business logo in their customers’ minds. This was especially important because masks were hard to come by at first, and a new, fresh mask was always appreciated. Other products businesses used to help keep their customers safe included branded hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, and neck gaiters. In short, the Covid-19 pandemic has dominated everything over the last couple of years, including promotional items.
What Does the Future Hold for Promotional Products?
Future promotional products may go in several different directions. This could make it easier for you to find products that will best represent your business. For instance, one of the biggest trends for the future will be eco-friendly products. Many customers have told researchers that they are more likely to remember a business if they receive eco-friendly promotional products. Examples of these products include a lunch tote or a business tote made from recycled materials and water bottles made from recycled plastic.
Another trend for 2022 will remain work-from-home promotional products. Many people began working from home in 2020 and discovered they actually like working there. People who are working from home need items that understand their new work life. Companies may want to choose sanitizing products, such as a UV sanitizer for phones, solar batteries for cell phones, or even a coffee mug promoting the company.
Don’t forget that connectivity will continue to be at the forefront for promotional products. Companies who want to promote their products may want to consider moving toward wireless chargers, wireless speakers, or a wireless Bluetooth keyboard. As people continue to move from a traditional office setting to working from anywhere all the time, it’s a good bet that promotional products with connectivity will allow businesses great product placement.
Products That Will Never Go Out of Style
Researchers looking at promotional merchandise for 2021 realized that as the economy has started surging back, traditionally best-selling products surged forward. Personalized promotional pens and pencils, water bottles, and travel mugs will never go out of style. Promotional pens have been a popular promotional item for decades, and that trend is likely to continue.
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No matter which types of promotional merchandise you choose, you will want to choose an item that best represents your business. You want your logo to stand out, and your name should be prominent. While you can always stock standard favorite promotional items, you may want to think about adding some new items as well. That way, you can reward your best clients with some amazing promotional products.
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