What's New in Promo Items: Trends

by , on Latest Promotional Items Trends: Hot Products of 2018 - Blueberry Ink

Just like any other industry, the world of promotional items is not immune to any changes in trends that happen with time. And that's a great thing, because it keeps you on your toes, and your marketing fresh and up to date with what your company's audience wants nowadays. If you don't know where to start, you've come to the right place! Here are the trendiest new promotional items of 2018:

High Tech - Always A Safe Bet Among Promotional Items

It's always a good idea to start with something that can't miss. And in a technologically driven world, tech promotional items are pretty much a sure thing. These items have been at the top of the trends for the past years, and the demand for them assures that they will continue to be "must-haves" in the years to come. That's because there's a techie side in all of us.

But when it comes to tech promotional items, there is only one rule: Stay away from outdated technology! Find those fresh items that are both high tech and useful. Take a look at a few examples:

Cool New Tech Promotional Items

Wireless Charger

Supported and praised by the biggest producers on the market, wireless chargers are slowly but steadily becoming a common item in every household or every office. That's because they eliminate the cluster created by charging cables, they have an interesting design and they're easy to carry along everywhere you go. Stay ahead of the trend and include these chargers in your promotional campaign. For example, an ultra slim Crystal Qi Wireless Charger has a crystal clean look and is a perfect match for all Qi compatible devices, regardless if they're IOS or Android.

VR Set

The perfect gift to make gaming come alive. It's always good to show consideration for your employees or clients' leisure time, and Virtual Reality is becoming increasingly popular. Pick a classy VR set, so your employees will enjoy the 360 experience in style. It might even come in handy during their breaks at the office.

Remote Mini Drone

Drones are no longer a tool dedicated to professional filmmakers. With evolving technologies, drones have become smaller in size and much more affordable. And this year they've seen a boom in popularity like no other item, making it the star of promotional items. Everyone will fall in love with the unique shots of amazing landscape everytime they go on a trip. Try out the remote mini drone, extremely easy to navigate and equipped with an advanced stability system.

Luxury Items - A Trendy Option For Your Promotional Items

Cheap promotional items should be the last thing on your mind if you're planning your marketing strategy. Cheap, generic items like a plastic keychain or a stress ball will just end up in the trash. It's important to resonate with your audience by giving them something they would buy for themselves. This means that the products you offer them should be useful, more fashion-oriented, creative, innovative and made out of high-quality materials. In other words, the more unique and luxurious, the better.


Regardless of their jobs and positions within the company, everyone needs a work bag. The best way to win over your employees and clients is to pick up a bag that looks like it belongs on a fashion runway. For instance, the Kenneth Cole leather briefcase, ideal for strong men. With a classic design, made out of smooth Colombian leather and signature Kenneth Cole® hardware and lining, this is certainly one gift that will not go unnoticed.

Luxury Briefcase as Promotional Item
On the other hand, women will enjoy carrying around their designer Guess Dome Travel Tote on a daily basis. A computer, a tablet or an eReader will fit perfectly in the luxurious purse. This type of product is the living proof that promotional items have far surpassed the low quality, useless items that once defined the market.

Luxury Guess bag as Promotional Item

Wine set

Enjoying a glass of red wine at the end of a stressful day is one of the most relaxing pastimes. Encouraging people to unwind will be highly appreciated. An executive wine case might send just the right message. This luxurious leather wine tool case, with smooth padding, gives you everything you need for your wine tasting, in one small package.

Executive wine set with leather case


Whether at work or on the go, more and more people use headphones on a regular basis. A high quality, noise cancellation Bluetooth headset, with built-in music control is a comfortable fit that you can easily wear all day. When it comes to earpieces, this is as premium as it gets. Noise reduction headset

Coolest New Materials That Make Your Promotional Items Stand Out

When it comes to trends, textures and materials have always had a huge impact. Just like the fashion or interior design industry, when it comes to promotional items, both the natural look, as well as the industrial look are all the rave. Here are a few of the most popular materials for this year's trendiest promotional items:


The perfect natural look. Classic and timeless, wood has a soothing effect that everyone should enjoy more. To go with the relaxing theme of the material, take a look at this 4 piece spa set containing a pumice stone, a wood nail brush, a sisal sponge and a loofah. It's the perfect gift to set the mood.

Wood Spa Set


Creating a distinct and textured look, heather is heavily used to elevate a products' design. If you're wondering what that is, heather is created by interweaving yarns of different shades, heavily used with hats and backpacks. This sporty-casual look is something you can't miss out on this year. A heather backpack, for example, is one of the top promotional items.

Heather backpack


The industrial style comes alive this year by using copper to replace the boring stainless steel. Used in utensils and drinkware, copper brings a chic warm metallic look. This julep set is the best proof of a chick ceramic and copper mint cocktail set.

Julep set copper and ceramic

Hottest Promotional Items for Millennials

All of these changes in trends are not accidental. Since more and more millennials are now climbing up the corporate ladder, they start stepping into decision making roles, which means that the buying power is shifting. They are the ones who are now setting the trends, and when it comes to promotional items, that is fantastic news! According to studies, 88% of millennialshave a more favorable impression of the brand after receiving a promotional product. Moreover, 8 in 10 usually keep a promotional item for over a year. But not only do millennials love promotional items, but they are also opposed to traditional forms of advertising, which gives marketing by promotional items a huge advantage. But the key is getting the right items because about half of millennials said they keep promotional products because the items fit their style and personality. Here are a few options that would fit like a glove any millennial:

Fuel for phones: power banks, phone cases

The phone is the most important accessory nowadays, as 79% of millennials sleep with their phones by their head, and even check it during the night, a Qualtrics study shows. So using phone accessories or power banks for phones as promotional giveaways will always be a big success. An interesting idea for a promotional item would be a solar power bank that recharges itself in the sun, making sure millennials' phones never run out of battery, even when they use it for hours outdoors.

Solar power bank

Bluetooth speakers

Music is an essential part of a millennial's life, both at home and at the office. This waterproof Bluetooth JBL Portable Speaker with powerful stereo sound also doubles as a power bank and is extremely useful in any situation: from a regular day at the office, to the after hours pool party.

Waterproof Bluetooth speaker and power bank perfect for millennials

Tote/ rucksack:

The classic bag is no longer of interest to millennials, who are more attracted to tote bags or backpacks. To make sure you reach this audience with a perfect promotional item, try a mix between a tote bag and a rucksack, like this convertible canvas rucksack tote, that can easily be worn as both, depending on the mood.

Canvas Bag

And if you're worried about the budgets, there are quite a few quality items from which to choose. Take a look at our Budget friendly suggestions.

Colors Give More Personality To Cool New Promotional Items

Somber colors are no longer of interest. New trends focus on colors that are fun, playful, and even a bit quirky, that give a boost of personality even to the most ordinary of items. If the old days usually focused on red, navy or neutral colors, this year it's more about the saturated colors. A good example would be this iridescent vacuum tumbler, for both hot and cold drinks. Or perhaps you could try this psychedelic organizer pouch, that comes in a mixture of vivid blues, yellows, and greens imprinted both on the inside and outside of the pouch. Colorful Promotional Items

Reinvent Old Concepts - Classic Products with a Twist:

Certain products that have proven to work in the past, now tend to be outdated. Although professionals like to stick with what they know and what's worked in the past, you have to still be able to adapt to change. Items like the classic pen or pencil usually attract quite a few brand impressions when used as part of your marketing strategy, but can also be considered boring if they don't come with a fresh twist.

Get a stylus instead of the classic pen

The pen is one of the most successful promotional items, but by now, every company uses them. To give your clients and employee something fresh, try using a stylus instead. It's still close enough to what you're used to, while still having the feel of a brand new idea. If you're still not convinced, try a brass pen stylus combo, to get the best of both worlds.

Pen and stylus promo items

Mechanical pencil instead of a regular pencil

If you're planning on using pencils, the least you can do is get a mechanical one. No one has time to sharpen their pencils for a quick scribble on their to-do list or a simple reminder that needs to be written down. To update this old product even further, try getting something multipurpose, like a pen/highlighter/pencil/eraser set, that has all of the tools you might need in one simple product.

Pen/Highlighter/Pencil/Eraser Set promo item

Stylish mini tote instead of the traditional basic trade show tote

The traditional convention tote is also beginning to be a little out of date. Newer, more fashion-forward designs are now growing in popularity. This stylish mini tote is the perfect example. It comes in an array of eye-catching colors and is perfect for a day out in the town, as well as a day at the beach. Customized Mini Tote Bags

Healthy Living Is Becoming a Priority - Use Promotional Items That Encourage It

But fashion is not quite the main concern of the younger population. More and more people are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, and that is already showing at the office. According to Forbes, more than two-thirds of US employers currently offer wellness programs to facilitate healthy behaviors. But it's not always enough to take care of yourself after office hours, as people spend most of their day at the office. It's already a known fact that short breaks are encouraged, to give your body a chance to stretch and recover from the tense position at the desk. Encourage healthy behaviors by giving your employees and clients the means for a quick workout on those much-needed breaks. Something like an activity tracker that shows the calories burnt, heart-rate measurements, activity time and daily goals will definitely be useful. You might also want to take a look at a small fitness kit that includes a microfiber towel, multi-exercise band, and a jump rope. All items are carefully fitted in a cinch bag so it can easily be carried anywhere.

Eco-Friendly Products That Show you have strong values

You should know by now that your brand is defined by values. The stronger those values, the more respect and recognition your brand gains. And health and environmental measures are two strong values on which no one is willing to compromise anymore. A global CSR study came up with extensive data that shows that 88% of consumers will be more loyal to a company if they exhibit eco-friendly practices. Which means that using sustainable promotional products is no longer a choice, but a need. Take a look at a few great options:

Recycled lunch cooler

Made from certified 100% recycled PET, this spacious lunch cooler will keep any home cooked lunch nice and fresh on the commute to the office, and might even come in handy on picnics.

Eco-friendly, Recycled cooler

Recycled notepad

Deforestation is an increasingly big problem. To hinder the destruction of forests, the recycling of paper should be encouraged as much as possible. Exchange the regular notebooks and notepads you usually use as promotional items with a notebook made out of recycled cardboard and paper.

Eco-friendly, Recycled notepad

Recycled pens and pencils

Your new writing instruments can also be eco-friendly. Choose a pencil and pen set made entirely out of recycled materials to go with your new notebook. It includes everything you need - even a wooden sharpener. Definitely a small investment that will have a great pay off.

Eco-friendly, Recycled pen and pencil set

Items That Support New Experiences

Another important value has to do with focusing on experiences, rather than material things. Despite the fact that when you think about gifts, you usually just think about material products, a study by the University of Toronto shows that experiences might be a better choice. Experiences are more emotionally evocative and more intense. This created a stronger bond with the person who receives them. To tap into those feelings and establish that bond, you can also choose certain material products that highlight and remind people of those cherished experiences.

Travel bags

Travelling is one of the best experiences out there. It opens your eyes to amazing scenery, interesting new ways of living, or even new cultures. And a travel bag is a great reminder to plan the next adventure. Something like a pack and hang duffel is easy to carry anywhere you want to travel and it also saves you all the time you spend unpacking. Pack and hand duffel bag

Photo frame for your memories

Nothing taps into all the amazing emotions of an adventure like your favorite photo, carefully framed and placed on your desk, where you can easily see it and reminisce. A bamboo photo frame reminds you of a hike through the forest, or a relaxed picnic with your loved ones, while an aluminum frame sends you back to those elegant and important moments in your life, such as a wedding. Photo frames for great memories No matter what frame you prefer, everyone will appreciate having their best memory on display.

Wrapping up

Just throwing away your budget on any promotional items, with no second thought, is not going to cut it. Think about how the market is changing and what does your audience really want from promotional items. From techies and environmentalists, to experience junkies or fashion enthusiasts, they all contribute to this years trend in promotional items. Ready to get the coolest new promotional items? Send us an email or get in touch with us at 800-837-0337.

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