We stay in touch with the latest trends by attending national and regional trade shows, meeting with industry representatives, and learning from collegiate clients and campus visits on what’s popular. Based on these sources, we have identified five key trends in promotional products for 2014:
1. Technology Products
It’s no surprise that the segment of tech items in the promotional products industry is booming! We have seen increased activity and interest on all things tech, meaning any promotional items related to smartphones, power cords, chargers, speakers, cases and more.
As they say, what’s old is now new again. Promotional products have gone vintage in so many different ways.
One of our suppliers, Gemline has assembled a collection of promotional items that fit the Neo Retro or Midcentury Modern trend you often see in fashion, Mad Men episodes, retro sunglasses, and the resurgence of 1960′s style furniture. The Sketch Messenger Bag is an eye-catching example of this trend, as is this turquoise lunch cooler pictured below.
The mason jar as drinkware is a fresh take on this tried and true canning jar. This mason jar-like BPA-free, beverage container comes in nine different colors. It’s made of acrylic, so it is more affordable and durable than a glass mason jar.
We also liked the variety of finishes available in mason jars, which leads to our next trend.
3. Matte Finish
Matte finishes are becoming more and more popular, as a striking backdrop for a logo imprint. Here are some samples Michael poses by at the PPAI Expo.
We also used a matte finish on the Contigo travel mug. These mugs have become our daily-go-to mug for everyone in our office!
4. Neoprene Material
We’re seeing neoprene, an extremely durable fabric that is used for wet suits, show up in many different promotional items: coolers, can koozies, laptop and tablet cases. Here’s an example of a beverage insulator we recently created for #EMchat.
5. Clear Bags
Michael and Paige noticed a lot of clear bags in a variety of formats at PPAI: drawstring bags, totes, and backpacks. This is a direct response to the heightened security requirements that have been adapted at schools and sporting events. Specifically the NFL updated their Stadium Bag Policy in 2013 as a way to improve stadium access. The PGA will be adopting a similar policy as well.
Have you seen these trends appear on campus or in your own personal life? Which one is your favorite? Let us know what you think!