Business owners and self-employed professionals have good news to look forward to in 2014. First of all, the United States economy is widely expected to continue its gradual improvement, which means that increased business activity can be expected. Second, marketing reports from recent years indicate that clients and customers have been responding favorably to promotional products and corporate gifts, and this is a trend that is expected to continue in 2014.
Promotional products should be strongly considered by those who are drawing up their marketing plans and adjusting their budgets for 2014. It is important to get the marketing plan right before implementation; and, as with other New Year’s resolutions, it is also very important to stick to it.
Here are certain trends in promotional items and corporate gifts that marketers predict will be well-received in 2014:
Green Is Still In
Ecologically-friendly products have been all the rage over the last few years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2014. In this regard, grocery tote bags are very popular since they eliminate the old “paper or plastic” moment at the cash register. Tote bags have the added advantage of having two large surfaces to display logos or corporate messages.
Functional USB Drives
USB flash drives have been associated with promotional items for a few years, but some marketers have warned that these digital storage devices can be easily misplaced or forgotten. The key to avoiding lost or overlooked USB drives is to make them functional. To this end, retractable USB adaptors, USB stylus and pen combos, car chargers, and bottle openers extend the functionality of these devices and offer a larger surface to print corporate imagery on. Plus, they are larger, interesting and less likely to be left behind.
Consistency Is Key
Some companies plan to start off the New Year with a new corporate image and branding. This is generally not a bad idea, but it is crucial to formulate the new idea and apply a firm philosophy of consistency throughout the year. This means keeping the same logo and colors in all promotional products and corporate gifts for the next 12 months; this will in turn help customers and clients to easily identify with the business.
Mix Social Media With Promotional Products
The use of online social networks for marketing purposes is only going to get stronger in 2014, and this is something that small business owners and self-employed professionals must keep in mind. Incorporating social media to promotional product strategies is a marketing approach that started only a couple of years ago. The most basic strategy consists of promoting a social media property on the promotional item; for example, a coffee mug can feature the iconic blue bird Twitter logo along with the @companyname. Another strategy is to repurpose traditional corporate gifts and remind customers and clients that they can use social media content on their items; for example, a square picture frame can be used to display pictures printed from Instagram.