Promotional Product Trends to Watch For

5 products to help propel your business forward.

As we head into 2024 amidst technology, world events, and the confusion of a “post-COVID” season, my focus will be on some of the main drivers for marketing and brand development. 2024 is not only a political year in the United States, but it is also a year of dealing with inflation, difficulty attracting qualified help, and high interest rates. With all these headwinds, it seems the market is ripe for those who can offer a unique product efficiently. Luckily, this is where promotional products businesses thrive.

In 2024, personal products are the key to promotional items. Today’s consumer expects tailor-made experiences. They want to post selfies and record reels. They want their media experience to be a part of their product purchase. For this reason, product recommendations, advertising, packaging, and the product itself must tie into a buyer’s individual persona. If I had to pick the one big marketing trend in 2024 that you should focus on, I would say it is in having these personalized products.

DIY and custom work is shown to hold greater value. Both retro and nostalgic items also are huge in the promotions market. People want to make a personal statement. So, our focus is on making items more individual and personal. With that said, here is a countdown of promotional products to keep your eye on in 2024:

cutout25. Customized bourbon rocks

Bourbon has seen increasing popularity for over a decade now. Items that tie to this beverage like customized glassware, carafes, and even charcuterie boards all have their place and can make a company’s brand stand out. But we have found the specialty items that are more unique seem to be much more popular. We not only custom laser-etch a logo or saying on the top of the box, but we can also custom-etch logos on each individual cube.

4. Unique brand placement on apparel

Patch hats had become incredibly popular for brand promotion in 2022 and 2023. As we head into 2024, we are finding that people are once again looking for something a bit more unique. We are now seeing a market develop for custom shapes and special placement of patches, as well as people moving into more 3D embroidery. We find this trend with T-shirts and other apparel as well. Multiple locations for print, greater color, and unique designs are trending.

The most cost-effective way we are finding to achieve this is with high-quality direct-to-garment (DTG) printing. DTG allows us to use unlimited color at a very low price. For further personalization, we are finding that people want to pick out their own shirt color or style and then select from an assortment of preprinted designs to create their own shirt. These designs can be easily pressed on location at an event or trade show.

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3. The ‘squishy’

IMG 8381 scaled e1710956921138Unique squishies that tie into your product or brand are a big hit and will become more so in 2024. The key is to have a design that catches attention and has its own appeal apart from the branding that is on it. No matter if it is cows with sunglasses, pigs in overalls, chicken farmers, or penguins on ice skates, these squishies do not get tossed in a box. They become ornaments for the dash of cars, trophies on desks, and toys for the kids. This is a low-cost option that gets seen every day. Having a promotional item that also becomes a collectible is a definite win.

2. Wristbands

Wristbands are becoming a trend for both young and old. They are a very low-cost way of getting out your message and brand. They can be embossed, debossed, or printed, and come in a variety of colors, patterns, and even glow-in-the-dark styles. For 2024, we see these wristbands being used for a greater purpose.

With the ability to print QR codes on them, they can be used to send customers to a landing page, give special offers, or track customer engagement. Often with promotional items, the goal is just to get your name or brand out to the public. With custom wristbands, this promo item can also be used to track your customer engagement and offer unique specials.

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1. Stickers, stickers, stickers

Of all our favorite items for 2024, the most used and cost-effective must be stickers! Stickers are a hot item for laptops, mobile devices, notebooks, water bottles, appliances, and more. Go to any coffee shop and look at the laptops being used. Almost all of them are covered with stickers. We have found the key to this is the type and style. Be certain that your stickers are full vinyl. They need to be waterproof and durable. And as for styling, vintage or retro is definitely a big hit. Old-fashioned logos, unique characters, and trendy colors will get your brand as the centerpiece of the “sticker collage” that is found on laptops and water bottles everywhere.

Stickers also have some great advantages that other items do not have. They appeal to young and old and do not deteriorate with age. Try putting the year on the sticker with the branding and use them as a collectible. Seeing as these are custom printed, they can be used to promote everything from your individual logo, a QR code, or discount tickets.

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That’s the hot list. Take advantage of all your opportunities and think outside the box. As we build personalized items and create custom designs, we have the opportunity to tie our values with those of the people we serve. In doing so, we are building partnerships that will last long beyond the 2024 buying cycle.

Robert Giesbers

Robert Giesbers

Xtreme! Marketing

Robert Giesbers is sales manager at Xtreme! Marketing, working with the PGA tour, NFL, MILB, Brown Forman, Lowes Foods, Korn Ferry tour, Jack Daniels, Pabst Blue Ribbon, iHeart Radio, and other brands. He is an experienced marketing specialist and trainer with a history of working in graphic design, automotive, personal training, life coaching, and marketing.

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