The world of branded merchandise, or “swag” as the kids are calling it these days, is constantly evolving to suit end-users’ requests and demands. Suppliers and their R&D teams are trying more than ever to get in front of retail trends to produce top-level products for companies, employees and other audiences. It’s a very exciting time for suppliers, distributors and clients as this is music for the ears for all three parties.
“Value” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth or usefulness of something.” Value is what I hope you capture from this blog post, whether you’re a bystander perusing the web, a marketing guru or part of the world’s greatest creative team.
4 Trends to Follow This Spring
Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing a swag bag for your next giveaway:
Sustainability – the greener the better!
First and foremost, the most eye-opening change so far in 2019 is the hyper-focus on products centred on sustainability. From reusable straws to seed paper, to items made from 100 per cent recycled water bottles, suppliers are focused on providing clients with solutions to satisfy their “green” preferences. With companies such as Patagonia and Ikea at the forefront of corporations with initiatives around sustainability, the demand is growing for suppliers and distributors alike to present and showcase products meeting that same criteria.
Apparel – socks are in!
It sounds simple, and you may call me crazy, but socks have been the hottest thing since sliced bread for about the last 18 months. Giveaway? Promotion? Marathon? Event? You name it— socks continue to be a top offering. It’s gender-neutral and, when you come down to it, quite functional as we wear socks most days. If you’re like me, the more colourful and crazy, the better.
Technology that makes life easy
Did you just pause to check your phone? Did your best friend or colleague just tag you in the latest E!News post about Game of Thrones? This leads me to my next point – technology!
Boy, technology has come a long way these last few years. Whether it’s wireless earbuds, wireless chargers or smart kits for your home, it seems like there’s an offering for any kind of technology device designed to make life “easier.” Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure your purchase is CE, FCC, ROHS and/or UL certified. Whether your budget is $1 or $100, you can’t go wrong with a phone accessory or custom wireless earphones for your next tradeshow giveaway or board member gift. With so many options out there, it is worth having a conversation with your distributor about the latest products and designs available.
Personalization – unique experiences are key!
Back in 2016, a supplier gave me a Cross pen with my name engraved right on the barrel. It did two things: (1) it made me feel insanely special right on the spot, and (2) it ensured that I’d never forget where it came from. Being able to personalize tumblers, backpacks or speakers sends such an important message about caring for employees, especially when company culture is a top priority for the most successful organizations.
Sami Freiha is the Sales & Service Samurai at Sigma Promotions, which specializes in providing world-class service and solutions to their clients through the strategic and creative use of branded merchandise.
Get a glimpse at how swag is used to drive business at the CSAE Conference & Showcase this year at Vancouver!