The 10 Most Popular Promotional Products of 2018

iPhone, iWatch, AirPods Red

Every growing business needs to advertise to expand its client base, but you should use tried and tested strategies to start as brand awareness can be expedited when using Promotional Products.

The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Consumer Study Summary 2017 provided businesses statistics showing the potential impact of promotional products (if marketed correctly) can have on your business.

These following statistics for a small business are difficult to ignore. This is what consumers are saying after receiving a promotional product item:

  • 8 out of 10 people researched the brand
  • 81% of people kept the promotional product
  • 83% more likely to do business with the brand
  • 7 in 10 recall the call to action
  • 8 in 10 recall the messaging
  • 9 in 10 recall the branding

This year’s best sellers throughout the industry are as follows (in no particular order):

What is the benefit for businesses using Promotional products?
What products are best suited for my business?

The following products are the usual suspects when it comes the yearly overview of what was the most popular items used in the industry this year. Help to get the most exposure from your marketing budget in 2019 with the most popular promotional products of 2018.

1. Tech Accessories

Tech is here to stay in the top 10 promotional products of the year. With all age ranges now using smartphones, iPhones, tablets or laptops and in many cases devices being constantly on-the-move, tech accessories are fantastic

From smartphone covers to your logo on branded earbuds, the exposure will be big.

2. Tote Bags

Whenever you have attended a trade show, these things are convenient indeed, and for a business, they are a great way to promote.

They are well-received giveaways as during long shows they are ideal for storing catalogues, brochures, and leaflets while you are getting good exposure throughout the show.

To add a little bit of customisation to stand out and be remembered try canvas tote bags. Less carbon footprint compared to paper or plastic. Stats show now that reusable bags have a lifespan equivalent to over 700 plastic disposable bags.

3. Corporate and Company Apparel

Business branding is big business in 2018. Even if you don’t go as far as staff having to wear uniforms, attire is vital at all networking opportunities. From polo’s to jackets, umbrellas to t-shirts and with casualwear the possibilities are endless. Excellent for employees to wear for brand recognition outside the office but also with the right designer behind the project the staff will enjoy wearing some items post work and get good use from them.

As add-ons think about using other items to enhance your brand by branding golf tees at the next advertising event, a sure way is getting corporate decision makers talking about your business while teeing off.

4. Lunch Bags

Food is a universal language so be sure to have a branded lunch bag in the canteen somewhere. It’s a possible conversation started for students and professionals alike.

With parents now paying full attention to healthy eating many more school children are bringing lunch from home. Plus workers are bringing their lunch and snacks to their offices, so there has been an upturn in the last few years of lunch bags in promotional products.

5. Drinkware

Promotional drinkware never goes away and with the new metal versions readily available from manufacturers this year has seen some very sleek designs.

An everyday use item, these are sure to give you branding exposure but just as importantly, the Holy Grail for Promotional Products – longevity.

You can now cover from coffee mugs to water and sport drink bottles. Logoed drinkware items on average in Western Countries gets used 2-3 times per week between home, office and gym, so these are another Promotional product marketing staple.

6. Journals and Sticky Notes

Even though tablets are fast becoming the norm in the boardroom professionals still need stick notes to write quick-fire notes down, same in the kitchen at home. So branded sticky notes are still useful tools for an everyday logo and brand enhancement.

A recent study by the Association of Psychological Science discovered that you are likely to remember information more if you physically wrote it down, helping boost productivity in the workplace.

7. Sunglasses

Holidays are not holidays without a refreshing cocktail, stylish and trendy swimwear and of course a trendy pair of shades for the finished look.

Branded sunglasses went down well again this year, with stylish options out there it’s a good way of marketing in a positive environment. Outside of holiday time, they are a convenient multi-use item for many occasions from a BBQ in the backyard to any outdoor event.

In the US alone more than 100 million pairs of sunglasses are sold every year.

8. Custom Hats

Custom hats are the literal way to be on everyone’s mind. Look to sponsor a children’s local sports team for local charity. Baseball caps are always a staple plus sports kits of either shirt or include shorts too. Beanies for winter are also an option with embroidered logo. They are well-received and are usually kept and re-used for years.

Both sexes gravitate towards headwear as they are stylish and versatile. Most hats are advertising space waiting to be used.

9. Stress Balls

The average day and home or at work can be a stressful one whether it be a project that fell through or the water heater is broke down, red mist can start to descend, so time to relieve a little stress and tension and add some advertising in there at the same time. Giveaway stress-balls are once again a go to in the promotional products industry, adding a bit of personality to your branding strategy.

With tens of millions of people known to suffer every day with anxiety related symptoms these stress relievers will more than likely be used and not just sit in a drawer seeing no light.

10. Writing Instruments

Now with the advancement in the quality of pens and pencils you still can’t go wrong with adding your brand and company name to them.

They are everyday use for building brand recognition, whether it be in the home, or the office in the supply room, college or uni study areas, or next to cash registers.

In the US stats show that still 50% of consumers still use branded writing equipment on a daily basis.


2017 was not just a record-breaking year for Promotional Products; it was a century breaking record. The industry’s best performance since the 1990’s. Brushed under the carpet by technology for nearly two decades only recently have surveys and statistics started to show the business how more valuable a practical gift is for branding over a fleeting advert on television or a digital ad in the street. With the cost of digital marketing manager jobs on the rise, businesses are looking at consolidation cost-wise promotional products are far more cost-effective. All roads lead us to believe this year will set a new bar as promotional products make their way back into the boardroom when the yearly marketing budget is being discussed.

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