12 Hot & Trending Promotional Items for 2017

Like thousands of promotional products distributors across the U.S., our team at Perfect Imprints recently returned from the largest promotional products trade show in the world – the PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. There were over 1300 promo product manufacturers stretching over 1,000,000 square feet of trade show floor – that’s over 6.5 miles in length. The show is massive and the new products and excitement in the industry is impressive.

Our team scoured the trade show floor and talked to hundreds of manufacturers to find out what is hot and trendy for 2017. Below are the hottest trends for 2017, so be sure to buy early to beat your competitors to it!

See 12 Tending Promotional Items for 2017 below: 

Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottles - Hydro FlasksTumblers have already had their turn being the biggest selling new promotional items throughout the last few decades. Dozens of brands of stainless steel tumblers emerged after the extreme popularity of Yeti Ramblers. This stainless steel craze has led the way to hydro flasks, which are large capacity vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottles. While you can get them in sizes as small as 12 ounces, the larger options are the most popular. They typically include sizes up to a 64 ounce growler capacity, making these great storage vessels to keep your drink ice cold while out for a long day.

Of course, colors are important but don’t fear because the large stainless steel water bottles span the color palette to meet the likes of both men and women. Another stainless steel product gaining popularity is the low ball tumbler. Everyone doesn’t want a giant capacity cup, so the low ball tumblers do the trick.

Promotional Security Products

Personal Security Promotional ItemsIt seems with each year passing, the world is getting more dangerous. Riots, shootings, robberies, home invasions, and other violent crimes are everywhere. We have to be able to protect ourselves. That’s why carrying personal security items are always a great idea. Of course, laws in each state dictate what is legal and what is not. In states where carrying a gun is illegal, maybe the item of choice is custom pepper spray or a promotional stun gun. If you aren’t comfortable carrying either of those items, be sure to check out the Guardian Angel, which is legal in all states.

No matter which option you choose, personal security should be a top priority. These security items are great gifts for your employees and clients.

Packaging is the Secret

Completely Custom Packaging for Your Retail or Promotional ItemsAnyone selling products in retail locations knows without a doubt that packaging is almost as important as the product itself. Just as for retail, the packaging is important for promotional items if you want to make the best possible impression.

Think about the build-up when your clients receive a promotional product from you. You can simply give them the item without a nice package, or you can create an experience. The packaging creates anticipation of what is inside the box (or bag). This build-up of suspense helps make the experience more memorable, thus creating a long lasting memory of your company.

Package matters and it matters big. The trend for 2017 is to make sure your premium giveaways are packaged in a way that not only strengthens your brand but also creates a unique and meaningful experience for your recipients.

However, custom packaging has become popular not only for premium products but also for lower-priced items such as promotional pens. The pricing for custom packages for your giveaways has become cost-effective and well worth the branding experience.

Premium Products Are All The Rage

Premium Promotional Products - Custom HeadphonesIn order to stand out in your advertising campaigns, premium promotional items are what’s in. The current trend is to be more strategic with your branded products and give away high-quality promos. By isolating potential clients that you want to do business with, a custom kit with a premium branded item inside custom packaging will gain the attention of those targeted clients.

Custom kitting combines several tactics including identifying your ideal clients, finding the right high-quality products, creating an experience with the product along with a clever campaign and great design. This custom kit inside the branded packaging is delivered to wow the prospect. This creative way of introducing your company can be hugely successful to gain new appointments, phone calls, website visits, new orders, or other specific goals you may have.

Premium promotional products are also a great way to thank your top clients for doing business with you. The more you build up the relationship with your clients, the more loyal they will be to your company.

Leather Goods

Custom Leather Journals and Promotional ItemsWhile leather promotional items are technically “premium products,” we believe they deserve their own category. With more and more companies and organizations looking for promotional items that will be kept, used, and will stand out, leather is the answer.

Leather promos include journals, key chains, coasters, padfolios, lanyards, and many other useful products. Leather is durable and lasts for many decades. The more weathered it gets, the better it looks. Your logo is debossed into the leather goods, meaning it is stamped into the products permanently. It won’t rub off over time like printing will.

Leather is one of those items that both men and women love. For a more feminine touch, opt for some of the colored leather options.

Feed The Mobile Addiction With Waterproof Bags

Promotional Waterproof BagsStudies have shown Americans spend about five hours each day using their phone. That means phone calls, texting, checking social media, surfing the internet, gaming, and time on other apps. No matter where you go, the majority of people have their phones.  That includes the beach, the water park, and even the swimming pool.

Another popular water activity includes boating for those living near the ocean, Gulf of Mexico, bays, bayous, or major lakes. Inevitably, you will get caught in a rainstorm or possibly lose the contents of your bag overboard into the water. That’s why watertight bags have become very popular. Your valuables are securely stored inside the waterproof bag and protected from the water. Your clients will love you, especially after that first time their belongings go overboard and the bag you gave them saved their phone from water damage!

It’s A Real Thing Or So It Seems

Custom Designed Virtual Reality Headsets For Mobile PhonesI have never played Pokémon GO, but I know many people who have. I also saw many experiences recapped on social media feeds. Pokémon GO took virtual reality and combined it with real life to create augmented reality. This was wildly successful, even though it was highly annoying for those who didn’t partake.

Nonetheless, virtual reality is growing with companies who see the value in creating memorable experiences for their customers. Business is now a game of one-upping its competitors so they can enjoy getting to the top of their market. Custom branded virtual reality viewers have made the hot list for 2017.

Look for many more virtual reality experiences, especially by the larger companies. As this technology becomes more commonplace, you’ll see the progressive smaller companies jumping on board.

Keep It Cool

Promotional Cooling TowelsCooling Towels are not new, but they their popularity is heating up. You’ve seen these towels in retail stores. Brands such as Chill-Its, Frogg Toggs, Miracool, and others have been big sellers in the retail sector. Shortly after the retail explosion, they were introduced in the promotional products market, and now their popularity has skyrocketed.

These towels are simple to use. Wet them and drape around your neck or over your head. As the water evaporates, the towels get cold to the touch keeping you cool. Because they can absorb up to 8 times their weight in water, the cooling effects are long-lasting. These are great for long distance runners, walkers, and for use at outdoor festivals during the hot summer months. Because these towels are reusable, your marketing dollars are really stretched. You can now find cooling towels in many different sizes and colors.

Cheers to the Beers

Promotional items for microwbreweriesMicrobreweries continue to grow in popularity. Beer connoisseurs aren’t settling for the boring flavors of the traditional American beers. Full flavor is in and that’s why craft beer is bigger than ever. With the explosion of the microbrewery industry, so has the growth of products for breweries.

There aren’t many towns now without local microbreweries. Whether your favorite brew is a lager, stout, IPA, or any other type of beer style, the growth in this industry is massive.

It is now common to take your growlers to the grocery store now to refill it with your favorite craft beer. Custom growlers have become popular in both glass and the premium vacuum stainless steel options. Long live the flavors of craft beer! By utilizing the popularity of this industry, your promotional giveaways can center around beer so you ensure your items will be used over and over again.

Is The Fanny Pack Back?

Custom Waist Fanny PacksThis rumor surfaced in 2015 and has resurfaced every few months since then. It’s not exactly back. However, a reincarnation of the fanny pack has gained popularity. Whereas the fanny packs of the 1980’s were bulky and made from the most un-stylish materials, the reincarnation versions are commonly referred to as belt bags, bum bags, waists packs, or running belts.

They now come in many fashionable prints so they work as an accessory. For runners or walkers, they are slim and sleek but allow for storage of your phone, keys, or wallet. Whether you call them a fanny pack or one of the many other modern names, these are hot sellers.

Multi-Purpose at Your Service

Multi-Purpose Promotional ItemsMulti-Use promotional products have been around for many years, but they haven’t always been good. Aside from the Swiss Army knives and Leatherman tools, some of the older products were bad. Really bad. Like the flip flops with the bottle opener on the bottom of the sole…yes, what happens if you step in something stinky and then want to pop the top off a cold one?

Well, the new age of multi-use products is rocking. Products such as the power bank with built-in speaker make sense. Look for higher quality and more useful products that go together such as the coaster with a built-in bottle opener (much better than the flip flop with bottle opener). Getting more use out of products is the name of the game. After all, the more your recipients use your giveaways, the more branding exposure you receive.

Footwear is Fashionable

Custom Canvas Shoes - Promotional ShoesShoes are a necessity, and anytime you can give away promotional items that are necessities, you’ve found gold. Custom canvas shoes have hit the promotional products market for 2017. If you love Vans or Keds, you’ll love these customized shoes even more because they will be branded with your company logo or completely custom design on the top panels of the shoes.

Before now, the only bulk custom shoes available were flip flops, so this opens new doors for your company events and promotions. Think about the buzz that will surround your company with these custom branded shoes. With the right creative and trendy design, these shoes will parade all over town to promote your business for months or years after your customers or employees receive them.

Now that you know what’s hot for 2017, it’s time for you to get the jump on your competitors. Don’t wait until they are the cool ones giving away the hip, new products. Beat them to the punch and bask in the glory!

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Patrick Black
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Patrick Black, MAS, is the founder of Perfectimprints.com and has been in the promotional products industry helping businesses and organizations since 1999. When not geeking out over the newest and greatest promotional items, you can find him paddleboarding at the beach or hanging out by the pool with his wife, three kids, and his basset hound in Fort Walton Beach, FL.