Welcome to 2018! If you’re looking for advice on selecting the hottest trends in promotional items for your organization, you’ve come to the right place.
Each year, our merchandising department staffers put their heads together to review the many trends they’re seeing across retail and the promotional products industry. Their observations are then compiled in this report. We hope you enjoy it and put it to good use. If you need further help selecting items, we are just a phone call or few keystrokes away!
Tech trends: Power banks and more help keep communication lines open.
Communication is key to business success, and in most cases, your traveling teams and field staff rely upon their smartphones to stay in constant contact with the home office or their managers. Last year saw huge demand for power banks, both in the retail and promotional products world. These portable chargers give their device a boost so your staff can finish a task, even if they are miles from an electrical outlet. Promotional power banks continue to be a top seller because they are so useful. Bluetooth® speakers and ear buds remain strong tech sellers, too. Phone cases and charging cables are still in demand as well. Stay tuned for the latest tech development: wireless charging.
Apparel trends: Co-branding puts your logo in good company.
Co-branding is the act of putting a company’s logo on a brand-name shirt, jacket or other apparel for the one-two punch of both logos, creating a powerful promoter. While this idea isn’t new, the expansion of hot retail brands—Under Armour®, The North Face®, Nike®, Hanes® and others—into the promotional world is a genuine phenomenon. These high-end brands give your company’s logo instant credibility—and super-hero staying power—because your recipients will love wearing trendy, stylish apparel from brands they’re used to seeing in retail. Choosing a top brand also reinforces your organization’s attention to detail and commitment to quality.
Drinkware trends: Stainless steel vacuum bottles are hot…and cold.
Reinforced by the continued popularity of high-quality steel travel mugs and tumblers, marketing consumers want the same upscale, long-lasting drinkware with their logo on it. Customers will appreciate a gift that helps keep their coffee hot or water cold for hours. Thanks to double-wall construction and other insulating qualities, vacuum tumblers were among the top ten hottest items ordered in 2017, and there’s no sign this trend will be slowing down any time soon.
Stationery trends: Digital pens and notebooks transfer notes to your device.
Moleskine®, a leader in conventional high-end notebooks and journals, continues to produce attractive, functional products that help people get creative when they put pen to paper. The company’s latest offering—a perfect tech gift for executives, associates or special customers—is the Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook. Notes or drawings in the smart notebook can be photographed with a smartphone, using a special app that will digitally capture the information. Special Smart Stickers can tag the notes to make them searchable later. The Moleskine Smart Writing Set couples a special paper tablet with a Pen+ digital pen that digitizes each pen stroke (using the special app) and transfers it in real time to their screen. Your tech-loving customers will appreciate this impressive imprinted gift.
2018’s hot color: Ultra Violet
Pantone®, the company known for standardizing colors in the printing and graphics industries, has announced that Ultra Violet is the 2018 Color of the Year. Representatives of various nations’ color-standards groups help make the selection. Pantone’s website says that Ultra Violet “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” Enigmatic purples have long been a symbol of artistic brilliance, as reflected by musicians Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, Pantone notes.