We’ve read the research. We’ve canvassed top retailers. We’ve monitored your online shopping history (just kidding). By following and forecasting consumer trends, we can help steer our clients toward the promotional products and branded apparel that will actually connect with their target audience. Retail-aligned, covetable branded merchandise = willing ambassadors sporting your gear and promoting your organization!
1. Quality over quantity
At events and expos, companies often mass distributed low-cost/high-volume promo items to huge groups. When these gatherings had to be taken online or cancelled, a paradigm shift occurred; many businesses adapted to instead identify only key decision-makers and determine how best to connect with them from a distance. We all look forward to getting back to large-scale consumer events, but Q2 of 2021 will likely see a continuation of this shift toward bespoke, highly targeted promotional campaigns vs. ‘blanket’ campaigns. For your organization, this might mean putting the budget formerly used on bulk promo toward premium branded merchandise with specific calls to action for your potential high-ROI prospects and/or most important stakeholders.
2. Camera ready logos
Zoom fatigue aside, we anticipate continued requests for logo placements that maximize camera exposure. Think: collar icons and seam or placket logos. While we don’t see the traditional left chest logo going completely by the wayside, virtual events and hybrid work-from-home arrangements will continue to drive non-traditional decoration locations that make your brand the focus in any situation.
3. Have gear, will travel
When the travel & tourism sector recovers, expect one heck of a rebound! As we re-take to the skies and seas and are finally able to book some of that banked PTO, we predict a major uptick in consumer demand for travel-related goods of all kinds. The near complete cancellation of Alaska’s 2021 cruise season was a huge blow in Q1, but many of the remote lodges we work with report that bookings are at 80-90% capacity for the upcoming season. Savvy companies will add retail-inspired backpacks, duffels, dopp kits, and tech accessories to their logo gear programs, and in return can expect a crew that enthusiastically reps their organization both on and off the job (not to mention numerous brand impressions across the globe).
4. Tie Dye
Don’t believe me? This 60’s sensation was represented in nearly every wearables category in 2020, while many of us worked from home… and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon, even if we’re no longer logging-in from the couch! Toned-down options appropriate for corporate outfitting do exist, thank goodness. Pro tip: include loungewear and athleisure inspired styles like tie-dye in your logo gear program for generational appeal to followers of Instagram fashion trends. Bright, bold colors denote optimism, fun, and happiness – who can’t use a little bit of that in 2021?