Promotional Product Trends in a Post-Covid World

While 2020 is well in our rearview mirror (good riddance), the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic are going to shape our world for years to come. Here are three trends that we’re seeing so far in 2021.

1. Decline of PPE

A big surprise to nobody, the most popular promotional product in 2020 was the branded face mask. Once thought of as solely a promotional item for the healthcare industry, in the early days of the pandemic, face masks became so in-demand that people were having a hard time finding a place to purchase them. Brands were able to take advantage of this sudden popularity, and instead of giving out custom t-shirts or drinkware, they gave out promotional masks. Ultimately though, as masks became commonplace, the feverous demand decreased and in 2021, as consumers grew tired of PPE (plus had amassed a lot of it), they began to favor more traditional promotional products again.

2. Antibacterial Products

If there’s one thing that the pandemic brought attention to, it’s the importance of cleanliness. Even as we begin to see the light at the end of the covid tunnel, proper hygiene is here to stay and companies are taking full advantage of that with their promotional products. Custom hand sanitizer is always a favorite, but new products have been making a splash with customers as well. The antibacterial touch tool was released in 2020, but continues to remain popular well into 2021. While we once thought nothing of pushing an elevator button or hitting the keys on an ATM, now we see them as potentially germ-ridden surfaces that we don’t want to go anywhere near. Purchasing products with antibacterial additives can add a layer of protection to high-touch items like pens or keychains too.

3. Catering Toward Hybrid Work Environments

The pandemic forced many companies to close their physical offices and let their employees work from home. As people start to get vaccinated and the chances of catching the virus diminish, they are asking, “What now?” and many companies have answered by choosing to shift to a hybrid work environment. This means that employees have the opportunity to choose whether they come into the office or not – and many are choosing to remain working remotely. This brings a shift in what promotional products recipients find useful. There’s been a decrease in embroidered dress shirts and an increase in comfortable apparel like branded t-shirts or hoodies. While keeping your devices charged remains a top priority, people have been relying less on power banks and car chargers and more on wireless charging pads that they can set next to their computers. Salespeople have shifted from going on calls with a logoed padfolio, to hosting Zoom meetings with a ring light and a custom background.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball that will tell us when the pandemic will end. Some say a return to normalcy is just around the corner and some say that Covid will be with us for years to come. No matter what the future holds, it’s clear that the world has changed, and with change comes new beginnings, new ends, and new trends for everything in between.

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1001 Stress Balls

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