Tuesday 18 September 2012

Top 5 Trends in Promotional Marketing

In the promotional gifts industry, there are two distinct strands of ordering – firstly, the staple products and methods, utilising classics such as printed pens and mugs and, secondly, the trends and ‘crazes’. The latter often originate from fashions outside the promotional industry, which then filter down and become applied to promotional gifts. Being current and on-trend can be of very clear benefit to promotional gifts, making them more noticeable and sought-after. Not only can the product itself fit into the category of ‘on-trend’, but so too can the marketing approach and the personalisation.

The current top five identifiable trends in the promotions industry are as follows:

1. Social Media
Social media can be leveraged in many ways - from adding social addresses to promotional gifts - to generating online image shares. The former is not such a new technique and is currently being applied by many businesses; however, increasing social shares requires a bit more thought.
One approach is to incentivise customers to ‘share’ images of your branded merchandise through the use of competitions. Visitors to your Facebook page, for example, could be sent a t-shirt printed with your logo; then asked to upload a picture of them wearing the tee. The funniest/most creative/stylish photo wins a prize – and you benefit from all the social interactions.

2. Aurasma
Aurasma is generally considered the cooler cousin of QR codes (small digital barcodes), which have been a popular addition to promotional products.
Not only cooler, Aurasma is far more technologically advanced. It works by allowing marketers to embed audio or video content to physical objects, which can then be viewed using the Aurasma browser (a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones or tablets). The user simply points their smartphone or tablet towards the object and the rich media content plays.
The implications for promotional products are significant since it is possible to bring marketing messages to life and engage on a much more human level.

3. Technology Products
Any promotional gifts which are technology based have a high perceived value, and as such as more likely to be used and kept. Indeed, a recent report by the BPMA confirmed that USB’s are considered the gift most appreciated by recipients.
Using the latest gadgets or technological advances to display your branding will increase the perception of your business as modern, up to date, and professional. From microfibre screen wipes and touchscreen gloves, to smartphone/tablet holders and cases, there is definitely a hi-tech option for all budgets.
4. Health and sports related promotions.
Perhaps a little predictable, but with such a huge emphasis on sport for 2012, a whole year of promotions have been inspired! Whilst the main sporting focus of 2012 is now ending, the hype is still very much alive, and other sporting events will of course play out during the year. This has inspired a huge increase in promotional gifts such as sports bottles, pedometers and a sudden but vast upturn in frisbees.

5. Colour
Every year, PANTONE Inc determines the trend colours for the season, the results of which quickly infiltrate into everyday life. Many promotional products can be printed with a pantone match, in addition to a stock range of colours, making it possible to tie in company colours with the latest hot trends. The up and coming colours for autumn are based on a contrast between neutrals such as rose smoke and titanium, and vivid hues such as tangerine orange and bright chartreuse. For any business looking to make 

Lorna Walkden is part of the marketing team at Ellenell, a promotional products company based in London.  

Contact your local Promotional Products Specialist for more trends.


  1. Promotional Mugs are an excellent way to expand your customer base and increase brand visibility. Promote your company by giving your clients and employees Promotional Mugs.

  2. Great post by the way. Although most promotional items today are generated and can be redeemed online, nothing beats traditional promotional merchandise like bags, shirts and caps. Although online shopping is now popular today, a lot of shoppers still prefer to receive tangible gifts from their merchants.

  3. What trends do you think will be new for 2013? Both in terms of marketing & product selection? What promotional products will be trending?

  4. Very nice post It’s nearly impossible to send a persistent marketing message without a core understanding of your company’s identity.. It is always ideal to have Good Brand Promotion Agency, they not only guide you but be with you all the ups and down times


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