Brand Matters: 2022 Promotional Product Trends

As we move into 2022, there is one trend that is undeniable. Print and promo are back and more effective than EVER before.  

According to a recent study of 300 corporate gift buyers by GiftNow, corporate gifting is expected to reach $242 billion this year, growing at an accelerated rate.1 

The reason behind this growth? 

Things got personal. 

With everyone feeling dispersed and disconnected, companies are looking for ways to show people they are valued and not forgotten.  

Print and promotional items cut through all the noise and show companies are willing to invest in their staff and their customers.  

This includes aligning with their values, thanking them for sticking with you during tough times and showing you care not only about them, but those around them.  

As you start to implement your 2022 employee programs and marketing promotions it’s important you stay on trend.  

If you don’t have time to keep up with trends, we’ve saved you some time!  

We’ve talked to our team of promotional product experts and dedicated supplier partners and identified the 2022 promotional product trends you need to know. 

2022 Promotional Product Trends 

Ekobo 25oz Lunch & Heat Safe Bowl (00276)

As low as $29.99

Alternative Unisex Eco-Jersey Crew (00278)

As low as $15.74

Sprigbox Mint Grow Kit (00275)

As low as $13.98

Trend #1: Eco-Friendly

In 2022, we can finally say, eco-friendly is here to stay. It’s good for business and the environment.  

According to the latest Global Ad Impressions study from the Advertising Specialty Institute, “46% of consumers surveyed have a more favorable opinion of the advertiser if the promotional product they received was environmentally friendly.”2 

“As a younger more eco conscious demographic have established themselves in the workforce and economy, they are looking for more eco-friendly products that align with their values,” said Steve Gelernter, National Sales Manager at PCNA. “Meeting their philosophical needs helps create a deep connection with your brand. Not to mention, caring for the environment is just the right thing to do.” 

How to incorporate it into your strategy. 

  • Sustainable Resources – Utilize products made of sustainable resources like the Ekobo 25oz Lunch & Heat Safe Bowl that uses bamboo fibers.  
  • Eco Give Backs – Incorporate products that give-back to environmentally friendly causes like the Sprigbox Mint Grow Kit that is a part of the 1% for the Planet program.  
  • Waste Product Utilization – Source products that are made of recycled materials and waste products like the Alternative Unisex Eco-Jersey Crew that utilizes recycled plastic bottles.  

MiiR® Wide Mouth Bottle & Camp Cup Gift Set (00286)

As low as $63.00

Patriot 20qt Cooler (00282)

As low as $185.95

Soapbox Healthy Hands Gift Set (00285)

As low as $11.49

Trend #2: Give Back

As mentioned before, people want to work with and buy from organizations that align with their core values. It’s a part of the personal connection they feel with the brands they bring into their lives.  

One growing trend is products that are tied to a give back program that give a portion of their proceeds or products to a cause. Some companies even offer a giving code that allows your recipients to choose from a selection of charities for them to give to. 

How to incorporate it into your strategy: 

  • Sustainability – Products from drinkware company MiiR give recipients a code to donate to projects that focus on clean water, a healthy environment and strong communities. 
  • Veterans Organizations – Products from lifestyle brand Patriot give back to veterans’ organizations like Wounded Warrior Project®. with every unit purchased.
  • Helping Those in Need – Products from soap company, Soapbox, donate a bottle of soap to the needy for every bottle bought.  

Truman Wireless Charging Desk Organizer (00292)

As low as $65.00

Basecamp Globetrotter Laptop Bag (00287)

As low as $42.99

Wave Dual-Band WIFI Extender (00290)

As low as $65.83

Trend #3: Work from Anywhere

From in-office to home-office to hybrid working and everything in between, work environments will continue to evolve in 2022. 

“We believe there isn’t so much of a change coming in 2022, but an evolution of cultural shifts we’ve seen over the past two years. Work from home and hybrid work environments have changed the way people work, just as virtual events and Zoom meetings have changed the way we interact.” said DeShaun Diggs, VP of Account Management with Gemline. “Because of these shifts, the need for companies to find creative ways to keep employees, clients and customers engaged will remain critically important.” 

Show your workforce that you embrace this new working environment and weren’t simply forced into it to boost employee retention and attract new talent.  

How can you incorporate it into your strategy?  

  • New Hire Kits – Start your relationship with new employees strongly with New Hire Kits mailed to their home. Include items like apparel for Zoom calls, drinkware, and a desk organizer with a built- in charger.  
  • Welcome Back Kits – As you start to bring employees back in the office a day or two a week offer them a kit of products that helps them with the back and forth. Items like backpacks, spill proof drinkware, and tech organizers remove some of the stress from the journey. 
  • Work From Anywhere Kits – For employees that are feeling cooped up, encourage them to change the scenery with a kit of products that help them work from anywhere.  Items like a power bank, Wi-Fi extender, and notebook help fuel productivity.  

Stacking Puzzle Set with Pouch (00300)

As low as $7.49

BASECAMP Acadia Casual Camping Tent (00297)

As low as $63.19

Family Pizza Night Gift Set (00302)

As low as $80.00

Trend #4: Experience Gifts

Experience gifts will continue to gain popularity in 2022 as brands look to create a multi-sensory experience for their audiences and those closest to them.  

Traditionally experience gifts include tickets to a sporting event or other group activity, but in light of the pandemic think “inside” the box! 

Send your recipients products that help create an experience. Cooking gifts that include a recipe and all the ingredients are becoming more popular. According to ASI, food gifts were the product of the year in 2021.3 

How you can incorporate it into your strategy: 

  • Game Night – Providing indoor and outdoor games paired with some sort of food gift is a great way to include the friends and family of your recipients.  
  • Adventure Awaits – Pair a tent with an extra day or two off to encourage your team to disconnect from the world and get outdoors.  
  • Gather Around the Table – Create a multi-sensory experience in the kitchen with a gift that requires your employees and customers to break out their chef hat.  

Skullcandy Indy™ ANC True Wireless Earbuds (00289)

As low as $144.99

Personalized M&M’S® and Dispenser in Gift Box (00312)

As low as $48.00

Slowtide Quick-Dry Fitness Towel (00272)

As low as $16.98

Trend #5: Retail Brands

As companies around the world are rushing to establish a strong employer brand, we are seeing increased demand for retail brands.  

Retail brands carry name brand recognition and therefore provide a higher perceived value. These are the brands your customers and employees desire in their daily lives.  

Using these products in employee kits are a great way to onboard new employees or reward current ones to help ensure their longevity.  

How you can incorporate it into your strategy:  

  • Work/Life Balance – Include set of retail branded headphones like Sony, Bose®, or Skullcandy® in a Work from Anywhere Kit that they can use at work or in their free time.  
  • Snacks – During the holidays give food gifts to customers from well-known brands like Maple Ridge Farms™, Mrs. Fields®, and M&M’S® that they can indulge in themselves or with those closest to them. 
  • Up and Comers – Work for a trendy brand? Align your brand with niche retail brands that are gaining traction like Slowtide

The Biggest Trend You Cannot Afford To Miss; Supply Chain Issues! 

This year supply chain disruptions are expected to continue until the end of the year.  

“Last year was a perfect storm of material shortages, worker shortages, logistical nightmares, and rapidly changing government policies. Many of those trends will likely continue well into 2022, but will start to resolve as companies employ new technologies and strategies as we all continue to navigate through the pandemic.”  Michelle Dalton, Vice President of Strategic Partner Development at Proforma.  

The good news is, just because they are expected it doesn’t mean your projects have to be delayed.  

Here are three ways you can reduce the impact of supply chain disruptions this year.  

  1. Plan early – Make sure you plan early and engage your vendors in the planning process to get orders in quickly.  
  1. Identify better products – As you look at products for your promotions, look for products that are deep inventory or domestically sourced to avoid delays.  
  1. Adopt technology – eCommerce solutions like our ProStores help streamline the ordering process. Getting orders quicker means you can get fulfillment in process faster.  

As you navigate 2022, we are here to help. Contact us today to keep your projects on-trend and on-time this year.  

Originally published by Xanthi Katsigiannis of Proforma.

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