2020 Trends & Themes to Look Out For

So you've kicked off the year in style, welcoming 2020 with a bang! Now what? With trends and popular themes constantly emerging in the promo universe, it’s time to find what’s hot in the new year. Here’s what customers and prospects will be looking for in 2020.


Social Responsibility

We’ve seen increasingly that customers want to feel good about what they’re consuming. There are endless ways to be socially responsible with the products you choose. Whether it’s apparel made with environmentally sustainable materials, or products that give a percentage back to charity, clients will be drawn to options that make social responsibility easy for them.

Eco-friendly products are trending everywhere you look, and technological advancements in materials have made way for these product developments. We’re seeing a lot more items made with bamboo – it’s more sustainable because it grows incredibly fast, yielding up to 20 times more timber than trees taking up the same area. A brandable bamboo cutting board is one such sustainable option.

Another material growing in popularity is wheat plastic: manufacturers mix in pulp from wheat stalks in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. Reducing plastic usage is eco-friendly but these products lose that edge if wheat plastic is used in place of metal or ceramic, so choose mindfully. Regardless, wheat plastic is a very affordable new option.

Other trending products are friendly to the Earth by replacing disposable options, like reusable bottles instead of pre-filled plastic water bottles. The reusable straw will continue to be a big seller. that is collapsible and stretches to user’s desired size. It even comes in a wheat straw plastic case and 1% of proceeds are donated through 1% For the Planet, making this product a 3-in-1 hit!


High Quality

A growing trend in the promo sphere is retail-quality and retail-inspired goods. When products look like the most popular retail items on the market – or better yet, are made by those same brands – end-users place more value on them. One example of this is the Puma Rotation ¼ Zip Pullover made with high-tech moisture-wicking jersey material. It embodies street-to-office wear, another important trend, and has the bonus of a name brand.

Combining quality and social responsibility into one unique product, a powerful light-up lantern that is completely powered by the sun is a good option. It’s able to withstand up to 200 pounds of pressure and is lightweight, durable, and waterproof. Even better, for every ten lights purchased, one is donated to people in need through MPOWERD’s Give Program!

Memorable Experiences

Your clients are looking to get remembered by end users, and a killer product isn’t the only way to do it. A growing trend is creative marketing that evokes customer feelings from the experience of receiving, opening, or “unboxing” products. This lets you make an impact from the moment they get the package in their hands.

Another way memorable experiences are growing in popularity is with products that provide an experience for the recipient. One way to do this is with a “plant-able” product: the Chamomile seed matchbook is a small seed packet enclosed in a decorated matchbook-style case with growing instructions for the seeds. Users get to plant their own mini garden of Chamomile flowers – now that’s an experience to remember!


Political Promos for the Election Year

With 2020 being a major election year, political promos are a big trending category. And we’re not just talking about the presidential election: many states will be holding senate and state representative elections this year, as well as elections for local government offices and local and statewide referendums. See what elections will be taking place in your state and take advantage of the opportunity that political promotions present!

The campaign trail of course requires plenty of yard signs, bumper stickers, and buttons, but it doesn’t stop there. Campaigning politicians need everything from event tents to t-shirts. And politicians aren’t the only ones who will be looking for election promos! Lots of businesses and organizations will want to remind their customers to get out and vote with giveaways and other reminders. Others may be supporting a particular local candidate or referendum. There are lots of ways to take advantage of election year promo opportunities to drive success in 2020!


Other Product Trends

For apparel, keep an eye out for fabrics that stretch and look as good as they feel. Hip urban backpacks are also a major trend to look out for in the bag sphere. Technology accessories will continue to be big, too: wireless earbuds and fast charger packs will continue to be popular. This mini wireless clip-on charger pack is a great example. Also be on the lookout for cool new tech like phone cases that incorporate earbuds for one easy carry. And apparel trends meet technology trends with clothing and accessories that incorporate health monitoring tools and health tracker apps.

An awesome tech product to try is the Habitat In/Outdoor Weather Station. This little gadget tells you everything from indoor humidity levels to outdoor barometric pressure trends. It includes a moon phase/tide indicator, temperature and weather information, and even a built-in alarm clock!

Another item we’ve seen a lot of so far in 2020 is variations on the classic dry bag. The Koozie Two Tone Dry Bag is water resistant and the perfect size to protect essentials like a cell phone and wallet. For a bigger option, there’s the Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack. It even floats if dropped in the water!


If it isn’t already, make sure branding is a part of your 2020 business plan. A picture says a thousand words, and your brand image says even more. Do more than just “being” a brand – show your clients who you are with the most impactful elements of your business like your website, logo, social media presence, mission statement, and language you use in marketing.

As a distributor, our goals must align with our client’s vision. Remember with these 2020 trends that it’s still about how you integrate all these elements into one strong campaign. Try a high quality, retail item made with socially responsible materials. Gift an eco-friendly product with packaging that provides an exciting unboxing experience. However, you combine the elements, keep your eyes on the trends and your mindset on your customer's needs, and you’re destined for a successful 2020!

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