What's New and Trending in Corporate Gifting
How has corporate gifting changed over the years in your experience?
Speed to market has been the biggest improvement the industry has seen over the years. In the past, Ad Specialty Institute (ASI) was at least 2-3 years behind retail trends before trending products become available in our industry. Our suppliers are now inventing products rather than waiting to copy items from retailers. Product color options, materials, and customization has also grown to ensure each product’s uniqueness.
What is new in corporate gifting?
I think we are seeing more gifts tailored to the end-user based on different parameters – it’s not a “one size fits all” product market any longer. Interaction is big as well and keeping that connection to the consumer long after the event is key. Sampling kits are also on the rise; it’s giving a product with instant gratification along with the keepsake item.
What is your favorite trend currently?
My favorite trend is activewear apparel. Even though it’s not applicable to every account, I really love the new options that are out there for workout and collegiate products. Activewear is one of the top selling specialty retail categories (from companies like Athleta, lululemon, Title9, etc.) and we are finally seeing products from our distributors that have the same quality as these retailers. The new products have performance fabric blends, fashion accent features and updated styles to the classic “core” items. This is no longer limited to the brand-name (and higher-priced) apparel options.
Where do you anticipate corporate gifting to trend?
The lines between promotional products and retail will continue to blur. There are so many gadgets and helpful products that are sold at stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond that can be applicable to the corporate market. It’s only a matter of time before we find them in our supplier catalogs. Technology continues to grow and will continue to merge with products.
Knowing branded merchandise as well as you do, what would you most like to receive as a gift?
Having been in this industry for so long, it takes a lot to really “wow” me with a product and for me to actually keep it at home. It can be the same product, but if it has a new twist on design or contemporary style, it will grab my attention.