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Promotional Marketing: How Times Have Changed!

When you’ve been in the game as long as our promotional marketing division has, it’s impressive to see how the solutions have evolved over the years. Back in the late 90’s early 2000’s some popular Corporate Promotional Products were: Water bottles, stress balls, mouse mats and plastic bags… Somewhat uninspiring in todays market, but hey, they did the job.  

Today however, the Promotional & Experiential Marketing sector has come such long way with an unlimited array of niche and specialist solutions available. These include countless ways to customise them in ways that are unique to your brand & integrated to your overall marketing program.

Check out these 10 popular promotional products and how they have evolved.

1. Branded Conference/Retail Bags   

Whether it be for Retail or Conference/Event purposes, the humble plastic bag with a 1 colour Logo Print was once the norm. With all the relevant environmental concerns these days, it’s rare for us to receive a request for such a product. It’s now all about environmentally friendly, reusable branded bags made from Calico, Cotton or Non-Woven PP. Reusable branded bags are not only better for our environment, but they can be easily printed in full colour or 1 spot colour.

2. Lanyards

The good old standard ribbed lanyard was once a key item in the world of branded merchandise. Did you know that these days, the lanyard has gone hi-tech? USB charging lanyards are not only a fantastic advertising medium, but they can re-charge your phone and other devices, ensuring this useful item will be kept close and used long after your event is over.

3. Branded Drink Bottles

An oldie, but a goodie! The water bottle will always have a home at the corporate, school and sports club level. Now however, standard plastic water bottles have almost been taken over by eco-friendly, stylish metal bottles, glass or recyclable plastic with full colour wrap print options.  The personalised print and branding options are the gifts that keep giving.

4. Stress Balls

The first ‘Stress Ball’ came to prominence in 1988 and by the late 90’s they were a standard give-away promotional merchandise item for many brands. From a simple 1 colour print on a round ball, today, we’re producing full colour printed, custom shaped stress squeezers.  

5. Mouse Mat

Many of us still have one of those thick neoprene mouse mats lying around the home or office. Pre-2000’s, they were an absolute must-have item for corporate branded merchandise. Instead today, we’re producing mouse mats that are not only much more fashionable with a slimline, premium feel, but they can also recharge your phone and other devices too! Done the right way, they are an excellent solution to keep you brand and messaging top of mind, every day.

6. Earphones

In the good old days, we listened to music through our iPod through wired, cumbersome earphones. Today with super convenient wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the days of getting tangled up with cords at the gym or on the commute home, are a thing of the past. In an age of on-demand content being delivered to your mobile, Bluetooth earbuds are one of the most popular and affordable promotional gifts.

7. Pedometer

Do you remember when it was cool to have a pedometer strapped to your belt!? Yes, that was really a thing! Today it’s all about the streamlined fitness tracker that everybody loves to be seen wearing! Whether your promoting a gym, sports club or simply aligning your brand with health and wellness; these on-trend fitness trackers can measure steps, heart-rate, blood pressure, display phone notifications and more.

8. Headwear

While the standard, curved-peak branded cap is still a staple item, you will be surprised to know that there are now so many cool alternatives. Check out these beanies with built in rechargeable Bluetooth headphones. Add a 3D embroidery of your logo to these for a truly unique bit of branded merchandise.

9. Promotional T-Shirt

There will always be a place for the simple promotional T-Shirt with a 1 colour screen print logo. It’s the quick & easy way to promote your brand. Did you know that there is now a world of other high-quality branding options, including full colour digital printing, sublimation and much more. Oh and of course fabric has come a long way too. From standard cotton fabrics to moisture-wicking fabrics, bamboo and organic fibres that come in a huge range of modern stylish designs. The possibilities are endless! In many ways the garment type makes a statement of its own.

10. Travel Mug

A travel mug used to be the sort of thing you’d only find in your dad’s van. Today, especially here in Melbourne, the travel mug has reincarnated into one of the hottest branded promotional items around. Choices are abundant, including – Stainless steel, Glass, BPA free materials and unique and stylish designs. As we seem to be spending more time in our cars or on public transport,  brands want to make sure they are getting your attention and are making the right impression.

Your Experiential & Promotional Marketing program is a critical part of your brands overall marketing strategy. The winners in this game, are the brands that have the right balance between digital and promotional marketing. You may be surprised, that even a simple pen can create the perfect first impression of your business. Make sure that you are exploring all options when trying to reach your audience, I can assure you the competition certainly is. What message is your corporate branding and merchandise sending?

If your corporate merchandise is “missing in action” or looking like a 1980s water bottle, contact us today for a FREE 15-minute strategy session.

Together, we can create a promotional marketing program that will modernise and elevate you brand to the position it deserves; while supporting your digital initiatives.

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