Any promotional product that is given away is technically a gift, but it’s elevated into the stratosphere during the holiday season. It’s an especially important time for distributors to come up with even more creative and memorable ways for clients to thank their customers, recognize employees and help them win new business. Carefully chosen gifts show the recipient you value the relationship and help reinforce the giver’s brand.
A gift is designed to please the recipient, but it’s also meant to boost the image of the gift giver. Identifying the client’s objectives is the starting point for the holidays before recommending any specific products and trends.
The holiday ideas distributors and suppliers brainstorm are certainly important, but perhaps equally relevant is when they start shifting their gaze. Starting early helps guarantee stock availability, avoid expedited or rush fees, and allows extra time for any type of custom product that needs to be done overseas, Senna notes.
Since there’s no time to waste, we asked suppliers and distributors to come up with recommendations for this holiday season.
These wireless earbuds (Pionears) come with a built-in microphone as well as a wall charger and external battery pack.
When it comes to tech, Bluetooth speakers remain especially sought-after. Origaudio’s Sonosphear wireless speaker, which features big and bold branding are highly sought after.
Smart home tech products continue to be an exciting category. Retail products like the Amazon Echo, Nest Learning Thermostat and new Apple Homepod have surged at retail, and Blanco says retailers are coming to market with affordable options, like buttons and plugs, that allow the user to control anything in their home.
Security-related products, like webcam covers and gifts that shield RFID, will continue to be sought after as people are increasingly conscious of their online identity – even better when the products look good and serve a purpose.
The six-way signature cube collection (6SCC-DTL) offers an assortment of premium treats in upscale packaging.
Edible enticements are a delicious way to dazzle. Branded food is a hot category at the holidays.
This year Prime Line has introduced Fascia Chocolates, a handmade Swiss-style boutique chocolate line, to its holiday offerings, according to Fiderer. The company is also featuring new plush bears wearing printed T-shirts, sold alone or as part of several holiday gift sets. One example: A bear packaged with a logoed mug and hot cocoa.
Sugarfina candy is a white-hot luxe candy brand that will continue to be a standout gift offering this year, according to multiple distributors.
This Bluetooth luggage tag and tracker (ECSL-900121) alerts the owner when the bag is onsite, and increases its signal as it gets closer.
Last year, international travel by Americans increased by 8% over the previous year – one reason travel continues to be a hot category this year.
Smart suitcases, with sleek styling and high-tech features, are an deal gift for the sophisticated traveler. Recent retail innovations include the Away travel suitcase (lightweight with an unbreakable shell and built-in USB charger), and the Bluesmart Suitcase with a host of high-tech features (a super-charger that charges devices up to six times faster, GPS locator, remote auto-lock, smart scale and more).
The BeagleScout Bluetooth tracker and luggage tag from Powerstick.com, which not only tracks luggage, but alerts the user when the suitcase is on site – the signal gets louder as you get closer.
The LugLoc Luggage Locator from Hirsch Gift is great also, pack it in a suitcase and track luggage anywhere in the world from a smartphone.
This Leeman journal (LG-9221) features a faux leather cover that can be debossed and comes in 13 different colors.
Leather remains a consistently popular holiday gift item. Its durability, versatility and high perceived value make it an ideal holiday gift. Leather is a great luxury item and high-end gift for executives and top customers.
Prime Line’s Leeman leather and faux leather items are consistently popular as holiday gifts. Journals, portfolios and luggage tags are top choices and easily customizable with deboss decoration. Don’t forget about gift sets, which can include items like leather-wrapped tumblers that will be retained and used long after the food component in the set is gone.
New this fall, this heathered knit beanie features a leather patch that can be debossed.
Apparel is a category that continues to grow for holiday gift giving. The introduction in the past decade of more name brands, styles and (in particular) more options for women have allowed apparel to gain a larger share of the holiday mix. Also, there are more electronic tools available in the industry to make sizing and style selection easier for intended recipients.
As for popular styles in apparel, clients favor fleece and quarter-zip jackets.
Drought-resistant plants called succulents promote serenity and offer an appealing look.
The gift of health is always welcome – encouraging people to get healthier and maybe even disconnect from their phones and devices for a little while.
One easy way to accomplish that is to give a book, even one that is messaged and creatively branded. Gifting people with books, and offering ways to gain focus and time for themselves – to inspire and encourage them.
One new trend in the mindfulness category that has gone over well are succulents – drought-resistant living plants housed in custom glass vases.
Essential oils, branded candles and aromatherapy products are also hot trends in this category.