Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in December 2019 and has since been updated to incorporate the latest data on trending giveaways.
Staying on top of trending giveaways can be just as important for your company as keeping current in modern business trends. Both allow you to:
- Find avenues for growth: A new product or a giveaway can connect you to new customers.
- Keep from getting antiquated: Even if your products, services or giveaways are evergreen, a new look or style can keep it feeling fresh.
- Show your expertise: Knowing what’s up-and-coming in business and promo items helps customers trust your judgment when it comes to your industry.
In this edition of our Blue Papers®, we’ll talk about what’s expected to be the most popular promotional items in the new year—and what’s driving their success.
People thirst for reusable straws
Over the last few years, the use of reusable straws has surged thanks to companies like Starbucks® and cities like Seattle moving away from using the plastic version. Because of their growing popularity, the FinalStraw raised more than $1.8 million in an incredibly popular Kickstarter® campaign.
Similar products, like the Telescopic Straw in Swivel Case, can show that your company values the environment. And research has shown that 88% of consumers will be more loyal to a company that shows concern for environmental issues.
Reusable straws are a trending giveaway for a variety of reasons:
- They are easy to carry, making it simple to stow them in a bag or purse.
- Because these straws are in the news, people are excited to talk about them—and get one.
Mona Klein, a legislative liaison and teacher recruiter for Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers Association, said Stainless Steel Straw Sets caused a flood of interest when she offered them at a Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America state leadership meeting.
It was the perfect choice for the group. “It’s a national career technical student organization,” Klein said. “Part of the family and consumer science curriculum is about recycling and renewable materials.”
The straw was just as successful as she hoped. She didn’t have to work hard to get people to her table.
“I said, ‘I’m recruiting future teachers and also passing out these reusable straws. If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, any grade, put your name right here and I’ll add you to my future teacher list.'”
The straws were such a strong draw she plans to use them for future events.
Tech is a top trending giveaway
Internet-connected devices are so common that 90% of U.S. households now own at least one smartphone, computer, tablet or streaming media device. And almost 1 in 5 households have 10 of them.
As the world continues to become more connected, technology giveaways will add a boost of power to your brand.
Webcam use continues to soar
With 42% of employees working from home full-time, webcams are an easy way to pull a staff member in for a meeting. Because of this trend, webcam use has spiked for business and personal use.
But with the rise of webcam use comes the challenge of internet safety. Facebook® founder Mark Zuckerberg and former FBI director James Comey are among those noting the importance of covering webcams.
Turn this safety concern into an opportunity by giving away webcam covers. Offer customers and employees a Webcam Privacy Cover for laptops or Webcam Spy Blocker Tattoos for phones to help keep privileged information safe. These popular giveaways help promote your brand while demonstrating that you care about the recipient’s online safety.
Wireless charging gives freedom
In 2018, the global wireless charging market totaled $6.51 billion. That number is expected to reach $40.25 billion by 2027. This means that wireless chargers are sure to make an appearance in businesses and homes.
What’s more, many common products are now available with wireless chargers, allowing you to amp up a gift for an outstanding employee or customer. The Desk Lamp with Fan and Wireless Charger, Keen Wireless Charging Desk Clock or Forward Fabric Speaker with Wireless Charger will be welcome additions to any office space.
“We were trying to think of something different to give them,” said Administrator Jami Osterlund. “Wireless chargers are a hot new item, and everyone can use them. When you’re heading out the door, you can just pick up your phone and go. You don’t have to unplug it.”
The event was designed to bring primary care physicians into the surgery center so they could see the facilities and meet the staff. This meant they were more informed when discussing potential procedures with patients. The charger helps remind primary care physicians of the surgery center every time they used it.
The good news: Physicians reported an increase in referrals.
Metal drinkware popularity as strong as steel
Some of the most popular promotional items truly are evergreen—they are long-lasting and never go out of style. Year in and year out, drinkware remains incredibly popular across every age bracket, with 84% of Baby Boomers (PDF) owning at least one piece of promotional drinkware and 71% of Gen Xers saying they’re more likely to do business with the company that gives them drinkware. Among the most popular styles are those made of stainless steel.
Because there are so many styles of drinkware available, you can truly personalize your giveaways. Select one that complements your brand, features a new trend or is currently catching the eye of the demographic you want to reach. For example, a flashy Neon Yowie Vacuum Travel Tumbler might draw a younger crowd at an event, while the Replenish Vacuum Bottle might be perfect for thanking your longtime customers for a referral.
Co-brand with trendsetters
Famous brands are popular for their innovations in apparel, bags and drinkware. People seek out these brands for the quality, style and function of their products. Now, your brand can reap the benefits of sharing space with these already-popular products.
- Reinforce your brand: By adding your name to an already popular branded product, you’re likely to increase impressions.
- A signal of value: Associating your brand with another high-quality brand shows you care about the products and services you share.
Likewise, when 4imprint® released its Exclusive Crossland® line a few years ago, customers found a lot to love about the comfortable, fashionable jackets.
Since then, Crossland has expanded the line to include trendy items found on retail shelves. The Crossland Soft Shell Vest for men and women, Crossland 20-Can Outdoor Cooler and Crossland Vacuum Camp Mug all reflect the look and style people are talking about.
With each new item, organizations are combining the power of an Exclusive item with a current trend to grab extra attention.
People grab popular bags
From totes to backpacks to duffels, bags are always a popular giveaway item. Customers appreciate them, and companies love them, too, because they generate 3,300 impressions (PDF).
Sportpacks and totes have a long, successful history. But more recently, daypacks like the Provo Laptop Backpack, have been growing in popularity. An upgrade from the sportpack, these bags are more “grown-up” and office-ready, but are affordable on a smaller marketing budget, creating a win-win for customers and companies.
Soft items have the touch
Soft-touch items are in vogue now because they offer a smooth, comfortable feel. Give a customer an Incline Soft Touch Stylus Metal Pen, and they’ll keep it close at hand to sign documents and take notes.
And a Hampton Soft Touch Bottle will become their preferred drinkware when customers realize the texture does double duty, making the bottle more comfortable to hold and less prone to slipping out of their hand.
Trending giveaways are always in style
Keeping on top of trends in every aspect of business, from product innovations to market shifts to promotional items, ensures your company takes advantage of customers’ ever-changing tastes. As you make your business plan in the new year, these trending giveaways will help you capture attention for a long time to come.