Trending In Promotional Products: Retail Details

What is one of the biggest trends in promotional products? Items with a retail look and feel. Recently there has been a push for more items that look like something you’d find on the shelves at department stores, or as those of us in the industry call them, retail items.  It’s clear that for 2015 (and the foreseeable future), everybody wants that retail appeal – from the products themselves to the packaging.

Let’s take a look at a few areas where the retail trend has firmly taken root.


Promotional bag designs have been getting some punchy accents as of late. Everything from totes to backpacks are featuring stripes, chevron, and lots of bold, eye-catching designs. While the front and back of a bag typically get all the glory (that’s the best placement for a logo and message), it’s all about making a statement on the side with cool pattern accents.

Bag suppliers are becoming increasingly style-conscious in their product offering. Many suppliers now offer bags in high-end materials and couture-esque patterns and prints. Others offer custom bag programs. One program, for example, allows buyers to customize everything from material to zipper color, and to upload patterns to be digitally printed on the bag’s exterior.


Promotional apparel has been moving closer and closer to what you might find in stores, and that’s a good thing. Performance and hybrid fabrics are being used more than ever, in response to the rise of the athleisure trend. Features such as stretch fibers, moisture wicking, and venting are now very common on everything from polos to hoodies. The cut and style of apparel is also more representative of what is found in stores, too. Today’s most wanted items are more form-fitting, lighter weight, and easy to care for. In response to consumer demand, many jackets now have ports and special pockets for audio and media devices.

Desktop Items

The modern office is all about design, from open floorplans to cutting edge furniture and technology, so it only makes sense that desktop items would follow suit. We’re seeing lots of fun geometric shapes, neon colors, and sleek, streamlined design. This includes everything from pens and notebooks to mousepads and desk sets. A great example is the line of bright and modern office supplies designed after the super-hot brand, Poppin (from promo supplier Up Your Standard).


Mason jars, fruit infuser bottles, and insulated bottles similar to the S’well brand are very on trend in promotional drinkware, reflecting the popularity of these styles in the retail world. One interesting trend is the growler. The growth of craft breweries and home brewing has helped the growler emerge as a popular vessel for beverages. Bright colors and matte finishes are also hot. A matte finish gives products an intense shot of color, and it makes the logo stand out crisp and clear. Pair the matte finish with neon colors, and you have a recipe for an undeniably modern promotional campaign.


As always, tech seems to be the category in highest demand. Custom mobile technology – such as custom ear buds, power banks, and car chargers – continue to be popular in the retail and promotional industries, especially for the under 30 crowd. Bluetooth speakers are becoming more prevalent in the tech industry, especially since they come in eye-catching shapes and colors and let you take your music anywhere. Tablet accessories such as cases, stands, and wireless keyboards are always good options, as well.

These are just a few examples of the ideas and innovation occurring in the promotional industry when it comes to products. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you bring your marketing campaigns to the next level.