Our Super Hot Branded Merchandise Predictions for 2022

Want to know our predictions for the top selling company branded merchandise for 2022?

Every year the Brandelity gang sit down and make predictions for the year ahead and one of the things we discuss is what’s likely to be top of every promotional merchandisers shopping list. Trying to keep ahead of trends helps us and our clients get the most from their promotional marketing budget. To begin with, let’s see how we got on last year.

2021 branded merchandise predictions. Were we on the money?

Last year we wrote a blog with our Must Buy Merchandise for 2021. We predicted 4 big areas of growth: staff merchandise, fitness merchandise, branded postal gifts and merchandise with Eco appeal. We’re giving ourselves a 3.5 out of 4. 

Requests for staff merchandise rose massively last year. Whether it be working on staff retention, new onboarding gifts for remote workers or just wanting to say thank you to staff working hard through the difficult pandemic, it was a big area of growth. This went hand in hand with the increase in postal gifts. While there were some companies wanting to send promotional items to potential clients in the post (mainly due to the lack of direct marketing opportunity), we actually found it was companies distributing gifts to staff that made up the larger portion of our postal gift enquiries. This may be to do with data privacy and companies not having permission to send items directly to customers personal home addresses. 

The popularity of fitness merchandise last year did not reach the levels expected. That’s not to say interest in wellness and fitness is not on the up. It seems having more time for work/life balance and wanting to “get out the house” meant more people were taking up low cost fitness activities such as running, yoga and cycling. “Couch to 5k [a free NHS backed running program] has passed 2.36 million users over the 18 months”. If these interests hold through to 2022, we may still see a rise in fitness merchandise, which is why we are adding eco-friendly yoga mats, yoga blocks and fitness packs to our branded merchandise offering for the new year.

Finally, eco-friendly merchandise! By far the biggest area of growth over the last few years and for good reason. The planet is facing a crisis, arguably far worse than the pandemic, and that’s climate change. With the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in the UK this year, the issues of global warming and carbon emissions have featured heavily in the news and made many more aware of their own carbon footprint. Companies want to be seen as part of the solution, not the problem and this has led to a huge shift away from single-use items, low quality promotions and items made from non-recycled plastic. 

So let’s move on to 2022.

Our 3 top branded merchandise predictions for 2022 are:

1. On Brand

Pass on Plastic MerchandiseWe predict a rise in Pantone matching and co-branding. These are two things that are often done to either get more brand awareness or to increase brand value. Co-branding allows your brand to be associated with another which has established quality. This could be Parker Pens, Patagonia clothing or Nike backpacks. These items are more likely to be kept and used by recipients and have a higher perceived value. Pantone matching allows the product, for example a drinks bottle or umbrella, to be in the specific colour shade of their brand, allowing for quicker and stronger brand recall from those who see the products. Marketers are getting smarter and want to see their branded merchandise be more effective and say the right things about their brand.

Our top choices: 

2. Need For Speed – Express Yourself!

2021 has taught us that things can change quickly, especially when it comes to the pandemic. With events being cancelled last minute, many companies want to leave their promotional product purchases until the latest date possible. We think this uncertainty will carry through to 2022, at least the early parts of the year. This means our Express Range, where lead times can be as short as 72 hours, is likely to be very popular. Another issue that we may face in 2022 are rises in shipping costs and raw materials which unfortunately means some may find their pre-planned promotions just aren’t able to be delivered on time. We believe that this again, will see increased interest in our Express Range. 

Our top choices:

3. Sustainability Push

As with last year, we think eco-consciousness will be a top priority for businesses. In the past, the move to Eco promotional products by companies was somewhat superficial. If the aesthetics of something were “Eco” they would be happy to brand it with their logo. We’re seeing a shift away from that and think it will continue into 2022. Companies want to know that the product is from sustainable sources, if it has a low Carbon footprint and if it will have a long lifespan. Often they like to see certification or know that the product adheres to certain criteria. With some products, they like to know that the item can be composted or recycled at the end of its life. Marketeers don’t want to see their brand on old merchandise in a landfill. Companies are making suppliers be more responsible and it’s great for the promotional merchandise industry. In 2022 we predict a rise in quality, reusable merchandise from sustainable sources. 

If you’d like to discuss your merchandise projects for the coming year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team on sales@brandelity.com or by phoning 01753 491470.