Jacqui Vear

Posted on 14th January 2021
by Jacqui Vear

The top promotional product for 2021…

There isn’t ONE!

Branded promotional products, corporate gifts, giveaways, whatever label you give them in your business, it’s the time of year when you might be expecting to hear about new ranges and top trends.

We’re not recommending one top product to you, because however you use corporate gifts in 2021 your approach needs to be bespoke, relevant and topical. That means taking a different approach to each audience, brief and budget!

Return on investment

Key message number one, do give corporate gifts due consideration, their return on investment (ROI) stats are compelling! Yet make them count, get the gift right and the number of brand interactions they generate through being memorable, usable and durable will ensure they pack a punch in your marketing mix. And remember, it’s reported that it costs six times more to find a new customer than it does to retain and existing one, so strategies to reward, acknowledge or even just support your loyal advocates are worthy investments. A competitive advantage still needs to be retained and loyalty is priceless!

Embrace the physicality of corporate gifts

Amid a pandemic, we’re encouraged not to touch, keep our distance and stay away, instructions that have caused people to disconnect from physical things. So, when they are presented with something unexpected, thoughtful and free, the positive psychological response is magnified. We have all seen those social posts where people have been motivated to share the delivery of a bar of chocolate in the post. (Not a bad tactic, but not great for ROI if you live in a house where chocolate disappears in a matter of seconds!)

Commit to invest, but invest wisely

Put a lot of thought and effort into choosing branded promotional products that maximise practicality and quality. We’re not advocating luxury items, to the contrary, there’s a lot of merit in choosing items that have mass appeal, such as practical 4-in-1 charging cables. If you consider drinkware, another popular choice, tick all the boxes! Ensure that its indispensable at home, on the move, to keep drinks warm and cool, whilst being leakproof and fitting in cup holders.

antibacterial branded bottles

There is some interesting psychology around product quality to note, the philosophy of ‘buy less, buy better’ is gaining traction. This is particularly prevalent in millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996. It is a retaliation against possessions that range from fast fashion to disposable freebies, with sustainable clutter-free lives in mind.


Sustainability needs a further mention. It comes back to usability, relevance and being made to last. Beyond that, look at the material used to produce your branded promotional products, consider recyclability and ensure that packaging is minimised and plastic free.

promotional seed packets


And last, but by no means least, brand, brand, brand! Without effective personalisation, a corporate gift is just a gift, it has no commercial legacy. Product choice needs to be made with a message and design in mind as the type, colour and scale of personalisation possible will vary across products. Personalisation may be as subtle as an engraved logo, it may exude the quality of your brand as a metallic foiled logo, designs can be clever, humorous or pieces of art. If your brand has a distinctive colour, ideally look for gifts that can be pantone matched, personalisation can then just be one colour, which is generally an economical approach!

The applications of corporate gifts in 2021 will certainly continue to respond to the working from home sector, particularly for internal teams. Another application to note is follow-ups to virtual events or meetings, where an extra touchpoint is needed to initiate action and turn networking and connections into opportunities to quote and new customers.

A recap on the rules of branded promotional products


So, to conclude, there’s not one magic corporate gift choice that delivers all this marketing potential, there are hundreds of contenders. You need to apply TLC to your strategy to refine an approach; what you get out of projects depends on what you put into them, or what you ask us to put into them. We are here for ideas, proposals, samples and full-on project management support. But you have been warned, our input will start with a barrage of questions about your project, as they say, ‘begin with the end in mind’, so get thinking about the who, why, when and how, and our team will start working on the ‘what’.

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