Global Trends of Branded Merchandise
Some of the biggest trends in marketing we’ve seen this year are not completely new to us. They’ve been kicking around on the agenda for some time but what is becoming clear is the momentum they’re gaining. Here are just a few of the key trends we’re seeing in the business of branded merchandise.
Reduction in Single-Use Plastics
Aside from Brexit, the other hottest topic of conversation for 2019 is the reduction in single-use plastics. It started out with taxes on supermarket carrier bags and already we’re seeing some of the largest FMCG companies encouraging us to buy cleaning products in pouches to refill our plastic bottles at home.
In the promotional products sector, we are seeing a significant increase in the request for reusable drinkware – a very cost-effective but obvious way to demonstrate a move to more conscious and responsible consumerism. The branded reusable travel mug / coffee cup has become a staple webstore product – perfect for welcoming new staff and a functional but valued client or B2B gift
Eco Office Products
As pressure grows for companies to be more transparent about their CSR, carbon footprint and green credentials, so does the need for tangible evidence of their activities.
An obvious place to start with office consumables is the reduction of waste paper. Developments in sustainable alternatives to paper notebooks include products like Bambook, effectively a reusable whiteboard notebook that allows the user to jot down notes using an erasable whiteboard pen. Notes can be captured electronically using an app and then wiped clean to make way for more notes.
For those who still can’t bear to part with their notepad or book there are a wide range of sustainable options including books made from recycled coffee, stone, apple peel and all manner of other materials. Teamed with bamboo pens and plant-a-seed pencils it’s easier than you might think to make small steps lead to big results.
Health & Wellbeing
Consumers continue to take their own health and wellbeing more seriously with mental health and sleep strategies taking centre stage.
Products, services and content which supports or empowers this way of thinking continue to be sought after. Think gratitude journals, nutrition diaries, entry level fitness trackers and pedometers and simple gadgets that help the user to train their brains to switch off and achieve a greater state of relaxation and ultimately, a better night’s sleep.
Appealing to Millennials
When it comes to target audiences it pays to be mindful of the millennials – those born in the early 80’s and 90’s. They’re the largest generation since the baby boomers and they’re changing the way companies and brands market their goods and services.
They’re educated, tech-savvy, connected in a way like never before and cynical of some of the more traditional ways of advertising. The millennials are also socially and environmentally aware, value conscious and ready to research and seek out multiple sources to find the best price for what they’re looking for.
Influencers are important to them and they are more likely to be persuaded to part with their hard-earned cash if they see their favourite blogger endorsing a product or can try it in a subscription-model monthly box or free sample.
So there you have it. A broad brushstroke of some of the major trends we are experiencing along with a handful of examples. Admittedly we're just scratching the surface here but these trends are far from fads and certainly worth some deeper consideration as you begin to compile your strategies for 2020 and beyond.