2018 Promotional Product Trends

  • Mar 1, 2018

It's a new year with lots of new products!  When considering your branded item purchases this year, take into account what is trending.  We have the run-down of the top trends for 2018 and the new, hot products.


Wireless Products

We are heading towards a wireless world as the recent cell phone model releases have pushed millions of consumers to toss their cables in the drawer. 

Phone Accessories: Your customer would be thrilled to receive a branded pair of wireless ear buds, headphones or a wireless charger as a gift to enhance your brand experience. 

Speakers:  Bluetooth speakers are also popular items.  They come in a range of sizes and with features to suit anyone.  There are waterproof speakers for hanging out by the pool, small speakers on a carabiner for outdoor enthusiasts, high quality speakers for indoor entertainment and tiny speakers for the frequent traveler.

Convenience Items:  The Onyt is a new item that is similar to an Amazon Dash button.  You can program this button to do three different tasks such as request an Uber, send an email or turn off your light.  For the “techie”, it can be set-up with IFTTT for even more task options. 


A Focus on Millennials

Millennials now make up 34% of the workforce in the US and have surpassed Generation X to be the largest segment in the workforce.  If you have a millennial as a buyer or influencer, you may want to stay away from the traditional promotional products and look for items that speak to millennials – items that are unique and useful.

Unique:  The material, styling, and product features are all options to seek out when buying a unique item for a millennial target.  The material and styling can make a huge difference in taking an item from blah to bam!  Look for trendy materials such as marble, wood, cork and rubberized coatings.  Also choose items that have thoughtful features such as a power bank that has the charging cables attached which is sure to be a keeper. 

Useful: As with any promo selection, think about what the target’s day might be like and what type of item would be wanted or needed.  Does your target travel frequently for work?  Maybe give them a branded packable bag or cord organizer.  Is your target in sales?  A nice, but trendy pen or small notebook could be a good fit.  The item doesn’t need to be expensive, just thoughtful and useful.


Custom Packaging

Custom packaging continues to gain momentum, and advances in printing have made it more economical than ever to add custom packaging to your marketing campaigns.  Lower minimums and more printing options are allowing companies to customize virtually anything. 

Creative Packaging:  What seems more fun and eye-catching?  A power bank in a standard blank white box or a power bank packaged in a retail-styled box?  What about a power bank packaged as a Power Bar or juice box?  Adding creative packaging to your branded item gives you more space to tell your story, present your brand image and achieve a greater ROI. 

Gift Packaging:  Gift packaging is not new but is popular.  When selecting a gift for a client, you probably spent quite a while deciding on the right item, color and style.  What about the presentation?  Many companies don’t spend much time on gift packaging because it’s all about the item, right?  Wrong.  Presentation matters. Something as simple as adding a ribbon with your logo on it is a subtle and thoughtful way to carry through your brand image and increase the perceived value of your gift. 


Wellness Products

Fitness trackers have made us all aware of how much we move (or don’t move).  With that trend has come an increasing popularity of wellness products.  Companies and consumers are interested in staying in motion, eating healthy and staying well both mentally and physically.  Items that fit well in this category are lunch boxes or totes, water bottles, salad containers, aromatherapy products and oils, lip balms, hand sanitizers, and spa kits.



All things may be digital, but paper is hot right now.  Even Justin Timberlake had a branded Moleskine journal in his pop-up shop promoting his current tour.  Stitched journals are very popular and the new cover materials are great – metallic silver vegan leather, kraft paper and coated covers are just a few of our favorites.  Contrast stitching, fun textures, and tons of customization options ensure that there is a journal to fit almost any target or event.  


Backpacks and Bags

Cut and sew products are seeing a resurgence as companies are offering lower minimums (sometimes as low as 1 item!) and more customization options.  The ability to choose your item colors and imprint method are attractive options for companies looking for a custom product without the custom price. 

Backpacks: Backpacks are popular right now, and you see them everywhere - in the office, on the airplane, in the mall.  In the business world, everyone from entry level employees to executives are carrying them in lieu of a briefcase or messenger bag.  Dye sublimated straps, pockets and flaps add fun branding options with a totally custom look.

Fanny Packs:  The fanny pack is back, and we have several sizes and styles to choose from.  Custom colors and dye sublimated fabrics take the standard fanny pack to the next level.


Colors, Textures and Materials

Bright colors, unexpected textures and trendy materials are popular this year.  Bright colors are everywhere from water bottles to umbrellas.  Coated plastics are showing up on everything from pens to journals to electronics.  Trendy materials such as marble, wood and cork and finding their way onto unassuming items like tumblers and sunglasses.  Companies are able to stand out and project their brand image more accurately with the right colors, materials and textures, so don’t let these options pass you by.


The Point

When planning your promotional product purchases this year, look for items that take advantage of these trends.   Choose items that have unique features, colors or materials, are packaged well for your event and are useful.   As long as you stay true to your brand image, incorporating one or more of these trends into your campaigns will ensure your branded items are fresh and well-received.

Want to see some of our favorite products that show off these trends?  Check out our 2018 Trends Showroom.

As always, we are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us anytime with questions or requests for product ideas and suggestions. 

  • Category: Education, Ideas
  • Tags: Promotional Products, Promotional Marketing, Marketing Branded Items, Promotional Branding