Branded merchandise

Pinnacle Promotions Presents: 2022 Hot Holiday Gift Trends

Pinnacle Promotions Presents: 2022 Hot Holiday Gift Trends

With summer coming to a close and autumn on the horizon, the holiday season is just around the corner. For many brands, it also means gearing up for corporate gift giving. Whether your recipients are employees who deserve recognition for a great year, partners you want to appreciate or customers who have supported your growth, corporate gift giving will play a significant role in your brand recognition and reputation this year.


Still, sourcing gifts is time-consuming! How can you pick the perfect promotional product that shows gratitude while staying on trend and within budget? That’s where Pinnacle Promotions comes in with our 2022 hot holiday gift trends.

2022 Hot Holiday Gift Trends

I sat down with Jeannie Hurley, Merchandising Manager with Pinnacle Promotions, to chat about great advice for tackling the holidays this year. So let’s dive right in and get the scoop on the best holiday gifts to showcase your brand.

Stylish and Sustainable 

First and foremost, sustainability will play a big part in this year’s trends. ASI confirms that pushing promo towards more sustainable practices will positively impact not only the planet but your customers as well.

And Jeannie agrees, “Sustainability has been the breakout trend we’ve seen this year, which will play a big role this holiday season. Expect products made with earth-friendly materials, like the Field & Co. 100% Organic Cotton Check Throw Blanket, Bamboo Fast Wireless Charging Dock Station, and the stainless steel S’well Shaker Set.”  

Wood-grained S'well shaker set with Pinnacle logo.

Big Name Brands

We, of course, can’t forget our favorite brand name products! These big names will definitely play a part as companies aim to impress consumers this year. Jeannie says, “Retail brands are also key this year, and we’ve had some big names join our industry recently. Hydroflask, S’well, and Vineyard Vines are all in-demand newcomers, while legacy brands such as Yeti, The North Face, and JBL continue to dominate holiday wish lists.

White North Face backpack with red JBL speaker.

Corporate Kits

COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with our network. Since many employees and partners continue to work remotely, corporate kits have become an excellent way to help employees and partners feel appreciated from a distance. What makes these kits so fun is that they are built with several items within one package. 

Jeannie says that holiday kits are expected to be a huge hit this year. She went on to say, “Holiday kits contain between 2-4 products, packaged in a custom printed box and drop shipped to your individual recipients. They can range in price anywhere between $35-$200 depending on your budget, and typically include popular categories like apparel, tech, and drinkware.”

Blue YETI coffee mug with white Vineyard Vines tote bag in front of Christmas tree.

Getting Ahead of Your Shopping This Holiday Season

Marketing coordinators, administrators and brand strategists may remember the woes of last year’s holiday shopping season. With chain supply issues, many had to settle for limited options or huge delays — with some gifts arriving until after the new year. Unfortunately, this trend seems to be rearing its head again this year. But don’t worry, since we know this may still present a problem, it means we can solve the issue before the shopping season is in full swing.

Jeannie advises, “Don’t wait to shop this year! Supply chain issues caused by the pandemic continue to disrupt inventory and staffing, both overseas and domestically. Popular retail brands sell out quickly in Q4, and apparel decorators are already extending their lead times by several weeks due to the busy season. The longer you wait, the fewer options you will have.”

So what can you do to get ahead of the game? Jeannie has a solution — “Reach out to your account manager with your initial ideas, quantities and budget to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Larger companies do this out of necessity, while smaller companies tend to wait closer to the end of the year.”

Are Corporate Holiday Gifts Really That Important?

You may be asking yourself if corporate gift giving is even that important. And the short answer is yes! The 2021 Coresight Research study found that the corporate gifting market reached $242 billion last year, with an expected growth of 8% CAGR through 2024. 

This means that not only are corporations prioritizing gift giving, but they are also increasing their promotional spend budgets as well, with 60% spent on gifts for clients and 40% for employee recognition.

What are the Benefits of Corporate Gifts?

The most significant benefit of corporate gifting is lasting recognition, relationship building and creating a positive reputation. The Coresight Research study stated that over 80% of gifts improved relationships with employees and clients. The main takeaway was that recipients felt valued, improved customer loyalty and increased employee retention. 

Since COVID-19 has changed how we work, socialize and engage our customers, it’s crucial to implement this brand strategy with innovative products that make the right impression.

Find your Holiday (P)inspiration with Pinnacle Promotions

One final word of advice from Jeannie — “Start your corporate holiday shopping now if you haven’t already!” Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. At Pinnacle Promotions, we thrive on creative promotional projects with perfectly branded products that arrive on time, just the way you want them. We have all the tools you need to make 2022 a holiday success, from IdeaKits™ to our very own 2022 holiday catalog. We can even store your holiday items and drop ship them as the holidays approach! To learn more, contact us today at 800.351.4226.

Posted by Lee in Seasonal Marketing Ideas, 0 comments
What Are the Differences Between Merch vs. Swag?

What Are the Differences Between Merch vs. Swag?

Those of us in the promotional products world have heard all the terms before: advertising, offline marketing, promotional marketing, company promo, branded swag, tchotchkes, freebies, and giveaways. And now merch has debuted among our growing list of evolutionary terms. 

While most people would assume these terms have the same basic meanings, we have a different opinion — especially regarding today’s most common promotion terms: merch and swag.

Diving into Merch vs. Swag

Before we get down to the brass tacks of the conflict between merch vs. swag, let’s go through some simple definitions.

What is Swag?

Swag:

\ ‘swag \ 

(noun) Promotional items given away for free.

Swag is a slang term for many things, but for our purposes, swag is a term used to describe promotional items — typically giveaway items with a short shelf life. You know those branded pens passed out after getting your A/C serviced or the free sunglasses you pick up at a local music festival? Those items are typically thought of as swag. 

What is Merch?

Merch: 

\ ‘mərch \

Short for merchandise. 

(noun) the commodities or goods bought and sold in business 

 (verb)  to promote for or as if for sale

Merch is slang for “merchandise,” and while there are a few different definitions for the word, let’s focus on the verb — “to promote for.” Merch tends to be higher-end products with long periods of usage. These items, like company tumblers or promotional shirts, can still be given away, but top-rated brands have also started selling them to their customer base. 


Are you looking for quality merch that makes the right impression? From branded apparel and custom water bottles to ready-made kits and high-end products, we have everything you need to tell your brand story. Tell us how we can help your next promotional campaign — call us at 800.300.2007. 


The Evolution of Swag into Merch

So why compare merch vs. swag? Or even better yet, why is there a shift in the terminology? We all still love freebies, right? Well, yes and no. It all comes down to the audience. Entrepreneur.com has a fascinating take on this: Millennials don’t want ads. They want stories. This goes for Gen Z too — since they’re the ones taking on marketing coordinator and brand strategist roles. The younger generations want their brands to tell a story, especially if they can play their part on social media. 

Let’s say for example, Carli is out at her local state fair. She is browsing vendor booths covered with all kinds of interesting products, from fresh-cut flowers to kettle corn. There is a vendor there promoting dance lessons. This vendor is there talking with potential customers while giving away free, branded tote bags. 

Carli picks a tote bag and wanders to the next booth, a local vendor selling not only ethically-sourced honey but also eco-friendly t-shirts with a perfectly designed logo. Carli loves the shirt’s design, so she buys it along with some of the honey. 

Carli then arrives home, where she gushes over the local honey company and her new, unique (and sustainable) t-shirt — all the while, the tote is left in her car for future grocery trips. Carli will wear that t-shirt frequently, add pictures of her wearing it to Instagram and even go online to shop their beeswax products.

This highlights the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the branded tote. It will still have a practical use, and people will still see it! But that t-shirt carries a story of helping a local business and the benefits of ethical beekeeping. It reinforces moral efforts of sustainability. And it builds a connection between the business and the customer. 

Should We Say Goodbye to Swag?

As telling a brand story becomes more and more important, so does the term merch. Customers, employees and partners want to “buy” into your brand story. They want to be a part of the experience of your products, both free and purchased. But where does that leave swag in all of this?

It’s hard to say for sure what will happen to swag. Many of us still think of promo items as swag — especially as we walk the aisles of our favorite trade shows or visit annual conferences. But we can say for sure that merch is in its hay day and doesn’t seem to be stepping down anytime soon. And that’s a good thing because your brand deserves to be admired, worn, used, and, most of all, remembered. 

Are you ready to move your brand story forward? At Pinnacle Promotions, we know a thing or two about building the brand journey through quality products, perfectly branded and delivered where you need them when you need them. Let us help you find the right products and elevate your merch to the next level.

Posted by Chrissy Petrone, 0 comments

‘Harry Potter’ Series Lives on Through Branded Merchandise

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Trending Topic Tuesday,” where we share our take on what’s going on in the world and what promotional products would appropriately (or inappropriately) market the subject matter.

The final installation of the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, smashed box office records and brought in nearly half a billion dollars in its opening weekend. But the story and its revenue-generating potential are far from over, if the countless forms Harry Potter branded merchandise has taken over the years are any indicator of just how far-reaching this franchise really is.

Continue reading →

Posted by Admin in Top Trending Topics, 1 comment

“Sex and the City 2” Promotional Products: Approved by Carrie & Friends


Guilty as charged: I am a long-time fan of “Sex and the City.” I’ve seen almost every episode of the show, went to the premiere of the movie, and look forward to seeing the movie’s sequel. With young girls now participating in Facebook polls to determine “Which ‘Sex and the City’ Character Are You?,” the series has clearly become one of the cultural phenomena of this generation.

But, as many critics have been saying, is it time for the franchise to graciously bow out before it begins to go stale? Promotional products from brand name laptops to luxury vodka are rumored to dominate the two and a half hour film and you can find merchandise inspired by (and in some cases, featured in!) the movie in stores near you.

Read more about where to find SATC2 branded items after the break…

Posted by Admin in Product Placement in the Media, 0 comments