Now more than ever, keeping customers engaged is important for small businesses. With the impacts of the COVID-19 public health crisis, businesses are seeing a drastic drop in foot traffic and/or leads. This decline can mean decreasing marketing budgets and pausing non-essential spending, so it’s essential that every advertising dollar needs to pack a punch. (1)

As the industry responds to changes due to Coronavirus, more small businesses are focusing on ways to overcome new challenges by shifting processes while maintaining communication with their customers. We’ve gathered the most effective promotional products for small business, and how they work in today’s changing marketplace.

1 – Totes

15916-mega-grocery-toteHalf of all consumers are more likely to do business with the advertiser that gave them a promotional bag. That’s why you see promo totes everywhere – from home delivery services to supermarkets and boutique shops. What’s great about totes is that people keep them – for an average of 11 months (3)  – keeping the advertiser top-of-mind every time they reuse the bag.

As restaurants and supermarkets shift to pick-up and delivery service, imprinted reusable totes (maybe even with a magnet thrown in) keep contact info handy for their customers’ next orders.

2 – Writing Instruments

Even though people rely on electronic devices, promotional writing instruments aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Want proof? In 2018, writing instruments accounted for more than $1.5 billion of total promotional product industry sales in 2018 – behind only drinkware and wearables. (4) One of the reasons promo pens are so popular is that they are affordable. Small businesses can afford to imprint a large number and give them out at every opportunity.


Writing instruments like the #CSANTI BIC® Clic Stic® Antimicrobial Pen are more important now than ever. The MicroBlok™Z additive protects the pen by suppressing the growth of bacteria, algae, fungus, mold and mildew. Also, encouraging people to take and keep pens can help stop the spread of germs via sharing writing instruments.

3 – Wellness & Health Products

Workout-From-Home-BIC-GraphicAccording to the Global Wellness Institute, the global health/wellness market is valued at $4.2 trillion after growing 12.8% in the last two years. Promotional products are a natural fit for this booming industry, with items from exercise mats to lip balms, first aid kits and sunscreen.

The $94 billion U.S. fitness industry has gotten creative amid the Coronavirus outbreak, offering classes online, virtual training sessions and pre-orders for equipment. Some small studios are making YouTube workouts or charging for yoga practice series to keep clients entertained and active while working out from home. (5)

4 – Apparel

CT1000_Champion-Jersey-Short-Sleeve-TeeThe wearables category, including apparel and accessories, makes up 35.8% of all promo product sales, according to PPAI. Promotional clothing and headwear are versatile, offering a good array of options that can work for any type of business.

To generates sales during the COVID-19 crisis, businesses are turning to online merch shops to keep their name out there, and generate sales. People may not be able to visit  local shops right now, but buying logoed apparel online shows support for their favorite spots. Plus, casual wear is great for staying comfy while working from home.

5 – Tech Accessories

Technology promos are always a hit because of their utility. Plus, they also show a 32413-stay-connected-home-schooling-kitcompany is modern and up-to-date on what consumers need. Tech items work for virtually any industry and there is always something cool, unique and trendy in this popular category.

Today, more people are working from home and teaching their kids at home due to stay-at-home orders to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Promo kits that make remote working/learning easier and help with virtual meetings are great ways for businesses to stay connected with customers getting used to this new normal.

6 – Drinkware

46273-Yazzy-Vacuum-Sport-BottleWhen people find their favorite mug, tumbler or sport bottle, they use it frequently – in fact, almost every day! That’s why 78% of consumers own promo drinkware that generates 1,400+ impressions throughout its lifetime. (6)

Companies who have adapted to a work from home culture due to COVID-19 have sent promotional drinkware to their employees as a token of appreciation. Sport bottles are also a useful item for healthcare workers, first responders and other essential industries.

If your clients are looking for promos to keep their brand on customers’ minds, check out and our COVID-19 Resource Center for more great ideas.

Enjoying our content? Think your customers would enjoy it as well? Feel free to take this article and post it on social media, your blog or wherever else you market your business. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PLEASE . . . STEAL OUR STUFF!

©2020 BIC Graphic North America, Clearwater, FL 33760.




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