Key trends for 2013’s promotional landscape | Incentive & Motivation


Key trends for 2013’s promotional landscape

David Lynn, managing director, Dowlis Corporate Solutions, discusses the year ahead

As we enter another year, we thought it would be a good idea to look at the landscape of the promotional market and how the market will adapt in 2013. Last year was a tough year for many businesses, with reducing budgets, margins being squeezed and clients demanding more bang for their buck. As tough as this has been for promotional product providers, it also opens up huge opportunities for lean businesses who can adapt to clients’ demands and adopt a flexible approach to servicing clients and managing their business.

Full service
Many clients now require a full service solution so, as well as sourcing promotional products, the focus has now shifted to providing ancillary services such as creative design, website development, fulfilment and distribution. Merchandise is increasingly used as a part of an integrated communication campaign – the impact merchandise can create is very favourable and complements traditional marketing activity, such as advertisements or direct mail perfectly.

A promotional item is, on average, kept for over two years! It is this longevity that has moved merchandise up the hierarchy of the marketing mix. Twenty-one per cent of consumers made a purchase after receiving a promotional product, compared to 13% after viewing a print advert. Promotional products are a great to way to build affinity with customers, with 74% of people keeping a promotional product in their workplace. Whether you are looking to build loyalty, reward an associate or grow sales, promotional products can help.

The next big thing
Product trends in the promotional market generally follow the retail market. Traditionally, there has been a time lag of around six months between products hitting the retail shelves and reaching the corporate market. However, with factories operating more flexibly and the recent insatiable demand for new ideas, this has reduced to almost run alongside retail launches.

Brands, brands, brands
There has also been a marked increase in clients using well-known brands to reward associates, influence customers and build loyalty. Clients see the value of offering an aspirational, trusted brand that people will instantly recognise. Brand owners have grasped the potential of the corporate gift market and realise the value by offering core ranges and corporate specials at great rates.

As we embark on the new sales year we are excited by the opportunities that the promotional market will deliver for Dowlis and our clients. We have a really strong focus on creativity and ethical sourcing to minimise the risk of our clients utilising promotional products.

The use of branded merchandise in your marketing strategy can deliver strong, measurable results as many of our clients will no doubt agree.  

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