It’s the start of not only a new year, but also a fresh new decade. Which makes today the perfect time to take stock of your current branded merchandise strategy and plan for the year ahead. If you’re struggling to decide exactly what type of product to design, we’re already picking up on a few general marketing trends in the new year that can help guide your decisions. 

Whether you’re looking to expand your retail strategy, boost brand awareness or find creative ways to engage with employees and customers, these trends and branded products are perfect for nearly any campaign heading into the new year, and the new decade. Resolve to leverage one – or all – of these five popular trends.

1) Eco-Badges

As more brands and consumers take action to protect the planet, eco-friendly badges will continue to be a significant trend in the decade ahead. It should come as no surprise that consumers are increasingly seeking sustainable products, be it a purchasing decision or their reaction to a particular giveaway item. One study found that half of the sales growth for consumer goods came from sustainably-marketed products. Another survey shows that two-thirds of people consider sustainability when choosing a product, and report a willingness to pay more for environmentally-friendly products. 

Tiny, cost-effective promotional products like eco-badges will be a great way to promote your brand, whilst doing good for the planet. And, in the spirit of the new year, we’ll let you in on a little secret…here are a few of our most popular eco-friendly pins and badges!

  • Budget-friendly recycled pin badges: Try a 100 percent recycled pin badge that’s made right here in the UK. Prices range from about £0.13 and up, depending on your design and quantity. So, you could order a large inventory to keep on hand for multiple uses throughout the year.
  • Colourful recycled pop pins: Pop pins are actually available as a pin-less, two-part badge that easily clips onto t-shirts, backpacks and other clothing. Because there’s no sharp fittings, these fun and colourful items are a great choice for campaigns geared toward schools, clubs or other family-friendly events in the new year. They’re made out of recycled materials in the UK.
  • Recycled keyrings (yes, that’s a thing!): Another great option is a 100 percent recycled trolley coin keyring – it’s the perfect blend of function and eco-friendly. We offer a trolley coin keyring that is made in the UK from 100 percent recycled plastic with a high-quality steel/nickel plated lobster-style clip for durability and ease of use.

2) Reusable Coffee Cups

Another thing you can expect in the new decade is a continued move among coffee shops and cafes to limit or ban their use of single-use disposable coffee cups – or any disposable cups for that matter. A Bristol-based brunch spot, for example, ditched disposable cups all together. Instead, it asks customers to bring their own or borrow one. Other cafes have since followed the move, and more are sure to do so in 2020. 

Which means … more and more people will covet slick, reusable coffee cups. Offering a handy, durable branded reusable coffee mug will be a great way to serve a good purpose while promoting your brand in the new year. One suggestion is our popular insulated bamboo coffee mug, featuring double walls and a secure, closable lid for all of your on-the-go coffee drinkers. 

marketing trends

3) Totes with a Twist

As with 2019, totes will continue to be a big trend in 2020 as people look to reduce their use of single-use plastic bags. However, not just any tote will do! Stand apart from lesser totes by incorporating eco-friendly materials in your promotional totes, like organic cotton. 

Organic cotton is a great eco-friendly alternative, as it limits the amount of toxins involved in both the production process and for the bag user. A great choice is Rocket Bags’ wonderful Emily Bag, a modern take on a classic shopper bag with long handles. It’s produced with 100 percent organic cotton, lending it a smooth feel and large landscape for your branding or message.

marketing trends

(For more on the best eco-friendly materials, head on over to our sister site, Rocket Bags, for a primer on some of the top eco-friendly materials to look for in 2020.) 

4) Collectable Enamel Badges

A proven favourite, enamel badges show no sign of slowing down, in any decade. However, one strong trend we expect to see in 2020 is that more brands will turn to creating collectable enamel badge sets as part of their promotional strategies. Badge sets are a proven way to engage people who like your brand or care about your product; in turn, by wearing the badge they’ll magnify your message to others. 

One example is Brewdog; we created these adorable collectible pin badge sets that feature some of the breweries’ best-selling beers. Not only did we create stunning badge sets, but also an entire line of related merchandise that the company sells online and at special events. 

marketing trends

5) Custom Products That Pop

The last trend on the horizon is all about your vision and creativity. More and more brands are turning to promotional merchandise to reach new audiences and promote their brand, in general. With such increased competition in the marketplace, it can be challenging to design products that stand out. 

That’s why top-notch design is key; look for unique, tactile materials or special embellishments like jewels or metals to stand apart from the rest in 2020. We can help you put together the perfect custom products, and we’ll work with you every step of the way to transform your idea into a manufactured product that is unlike no other.  

For inspiration, just look at this great boot-shaped keychain we did for Doc Martens. What bespoke merchandise could you create to showcase your special brand or products?

marketing trends

As we usher in a new year and a new decade, leverage some or all of these promotional merchandise trends to boost your retail strategy, extend brand awareness and engage with your employees and customers in a special, memorable way. Please get in touch with us today to turn your vision into merchandise worthy of the new decade!