Top 5 Promotional Products Trends of 2016

Top 5 Promotional Products Trends of 2016-01

Top 5 Promotional Products Trends of 2016

Happy 2017! With the new year comes new business goals.  When it comes to marketing your business, a good promotional product or branded item is only as good as how useful your customer finds it.  Here’s a look back at some of our most popular promotional product types from 2016.

1. T-Shirts

While t-shirts have always been a top promotional item for their value in helping a brand get more exposure, 2016 at Williams Advertising was the year of the super-soft tee that’s quickly becoming our signature style.  And not just any soft t-shirt with a logo slapped on the front large & in charge…it’s got to be a t-shirt with the customer in mind.  We predict this trend will continue in 2017.  Find something that relates to your business (or town!), make it fun, and make your customers want to wear it.  Sure, everyone loves to sleep in that free tee handed out at the game that has your logo smack dab in the middle.  But put your team’s branding front and center, with your logo snuck on the sleeve or on the back of that custom t-shirt, and you’re getting mileage out of that promotional item (during the day AND outside the wearer’s home!).  If you’re spending to screen print or embroider your t-shirts, make sure you’re doing it right while you’re at it.  Here are some of our favorite projects from 2016 that show organizations doing it right.

Junior Auxiliary Salutes Our Troops

This t-shirt was designed and screen printed for Hopkinsville Junior Auxiliary. It combines our signature soft tee with a fun take on their brand and a Hopkinsville annual event, this year’s newly designed Summer Salute.

 

Watkins Express Freight T-Shirt

Watkins Express Freight ordered not only soft tees for their employees, but also the softest sweatshirts Bella+Canvas has to offer.

 

Hoptown Swimming T-Shirts & Sweatshirts

While the item shown is a sweatshirt, this design we did for Hopkinsville High School was a multi-piece order that included this super soft moisture wicking sweatshirt as well as t-shirts.

 

Alhambra T-Shirts

File this one under #5 too, but it takes its place under super soft tees for the sueded feel this tee has. The Pennyroyal Arts Council let us have fun with the design on this one too.

 

Hoptown Hoppers T-Shirt

Hopkinsville’s favorite team, the Hoptown Hoppers, let us design this triblend tee so that fans could support their team in comfort.

2. Business Card Design

For goodness sakes, the days of phone/fax/address in black and white on a card are long gone (thank goodness!).  Today’s business card is all about the unique paper, the bold colors, and the custom design.  We’ve had a lot of fun at Williams Advertising this year because our customers have let us design some fun cards.  And when you’re talking business cards, you’re not talking a great difference in pricing on something that’s one-color versus full-color like you may have on your typical promotional product.  So don’t overlook this affordable, staple item in 2017.

Tyler Gilliland Construction

While we can’t take credit for the logo design, we can take credit for the pop of color use on the back side of Tyler Gilliland Construction company’s new cards in 2016!

 

Alhambra Theatre Business Cards

The back of Margaret’s cards redesigned in 2016 are a calling card for the Historic Alhambra Theatre.

 

Pennyroyal Arts Council Cards

A design so nice, we wanted to show it twice. Flip over the Alhambra card to find the fun layout we did for Margaret’s card, displaying Pennyroyal Arts Council information.

 

Kem Wealth Management Business Cards

Along with the rest of the suite of office supplies we did for Kem Wealth Management, we designed the business cards after we finalized the new branding for Kem Wealth Management’s 2016 rebrand.

 

3. Drinkware

Drinkware continues to be a staple in the promotional products industry.  Why? Because almost every single person needs a great new cup in their cabinet, tumbler to take in their car, or mug to hold their morning coffee (or tea, if you’re a certain Williams Advertising blogger).  Again like the custom t-shirts…don’t go cheap cheap cheap or plain and generic.  You can get away with a plain logo on a great custom tumbler.  You can also find some really great options at affordable prices.  Almost every marketing budget can find a spot for a great drinkware item.  Some of our favorite customer picks this year for custom tumblers, custom cups and custom mugs include these beauties. 

Custom Frost Flex Cup

These custom frost flex cups are the perfect blend of budget-friendly and unique giveaway. It’s now the year of the Solar Eclipse!

 

Full Color Custom Cup

We don’t know whether we love the fact that we wrapped this cup with a full color imprint more, or that Casey Jones Distillery got to mimic a barrel with this stadium cup.

 

Drink Local Custom Tumbler

A distillery has to have great cups, right? Kentucky blue, a nod to the #DrinkLocal movement, and a handy travel cup are just three reasons why this was a hot cup for Casey Jones Distillery in 2016.

 

Afco Racing Tumblers

These Yeti Rambler-like custom tumblers not only are a great gift, but they gave Afco Racing plenty of space to include multiple logos without multiple setups.

 

UHA Custom Stadium Cups

These UHA cups were used during Blazers Night Out in 2016 as a popcorn holder – putting drinkware to use in a different way and sending fans home with a little extra school spirit.

4. Make Some Money With Your Marketing Already

So this isn’t a specific item, per say, but it’s a definite trend we saw pick up in 2016.  In part because our business grew in 2016 and we branched out with different clients, and in part because our clients are just finding new revenue streams.  Making more money with your marketing spend was the name of the game in ’16 and we see that growing in 2017.  Back to the t-shirts and drinkware items, we had several customers use popular and well-designed (ahem, if we do say so ourselves) items to monetize their brand.  Putting a catchy phrase on a screen printed t-shirt or bundling a cool tumbler with a free drink helped a couple of area small businesses and non-profits grow their brand and their bottom line.  A couple of our favorites. 

Pennyroyal Arts Council Tumbler

The Pennyroyal Arts Council tumbler features the 2016-2017 Live at the Alhambra season. Featuring all of the acts performing at the theater, it’s the perfect way to commemorate your love for the arts all while supporting the theater you love. And a free drink with purchase sweetens the deal!

 

JSMC Western KY Women's Show Tee

If we gave an award for quickest-selling item, this ladies’ tee would take top honors in 2016. Selling out before the Women’s Show even began, this is an item we continue to see being sported by empowered women all around Hopkinsville! We’re so glad JSMC let us have fun with the design on this one, and that it resonated so well with their audience.

 

Candid Grace Comfort Colors Tees

Anyone that’s had a Comfort Colors tee knows they’re one of a kind. Candid Grace Photography deserves all the credit for this amazing design and the vision for this long-sleeve Comfort Colors beauty.

 

Drink Local Casey Jones Distillery Sweatshirts

After we designed the Drink Local cups, came the Drink Local tees for Casey Jones Distillery. After the tees naturally came the Drink Local sweatshirts for cozying up in the winter time with your favorite mix of ‘shine.

 

Bourbon & Basketball Tees

Charlie’s Wine & Spirits celebrated their first year of business by ordering from us these awesome Bourbon & Basketball tees. Kentucky fans from all over can enjoy these tees!

 

5. Unique Promotional Products Are Always Better

When you hear Sarah rambling on about the latest and greatest this-or-that, it’s not because she’s “that salesperson”, it’s because she really wants your promotional products to work.  Seriously.  One of the best ways to ensure that your promotional products purchase is effective is to put.down.the.pen. (unless it’s a really great pen, of course).  In 2016 we’ve had clients give away something useful that ties back to their business (Advanced Cosmetic Surgery gives their patients branded hot/cold packs after surgery), something someone’s never seen before (hello, PopSockets), something the receiver knows the value of (custom engraved Yeti Ramblers came from Pennyrile Rural Electric this year for safety recognition), and items someone comes to expect (with a twist!) on a regular basis like Ace Moving & Storage did with their custom delivery vans (you may remember the 2015 custom semi trucks we did for them).  Take note from these customers on their unique promotional products. 

Custom Hot/Cold Pack

Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Center sends patients home with a branded hot/cold pack after surgery.

 

Custom Yeti Rambler

Custom Yeti Ramblers were given to Pennyrile Electric employees for their hard work to remain safe on the job.

 

Ace Moving & Storage Delivery Van

Every year, Ace Moving & Storage gives a unique wooden replica. Last year we were able to help them with their semi trucks, and this year we did these custom delivery vans!

We’ve seen a lot change in the last year, and we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for promotional products and seeing our customers grow their business.  What’s the best promotional item you’ve given or that you have received?