As December approaches, now is a good time to think about what lessons were learned over the past year and look ahead to the future. 2020 brought new obstacles for the promotional products industry and the Koozie Group Team rose to the challenge. So we thought they were the perfect group to reflect back on 2020 and give us their predictions for what’s to come in promo’s future.
From getting outdoors to mobile workspaces to going back to the office in style – here are our team’s predictions for the top trends in promo for 2021:
Fern Azarian, Marketing – Product Data & Process Manager
COVID has taught us how to be nimble and adjust to a new norm. The industry was able to adjust rapidly by bringing in face masks and other PPE, and trade shows went virtual. I think the lesson that will carry through to the future will be to always be prepared with products that are relevant to the times.
I’m excited about “changing for good” in 2021 and thrilled about our new company name and logo. It represents exactly who we want to be as Koozie Group, and I cannot wait for all our marketing materials and signage to reflect that.
Fern’s top product predictions for 2021:
I think products tailored to working from home will continue to sell. My personal favorite items are the #15956 KAPSTON® Natisino Tote and the up-and-coming #46317 Koozie® Savannah Vacuum Tumbler (launching January 1,2021). I like them because we’re “keeping the good stuff” and “changing for good”. I also like them because when we go back to the office, we want to do it in style!
Jessie Duncan-Williams, Red Wing FDA Compliance/Quality Manager
2020 helped us do a lot of outside-the-box thinking, innovation and creativity which helped develop product diversity. With this, we were able to pivot our business. Looking ahead to next year, I’m most excited about our name change and the growth of our business. With the change, we have a chance to revolutionize the promotional products industry with our brand while gaining more market share.
Jessie’s top product predictions for 2021:
Michael Duren, Production Scheduler – Oracle S.M.E.
While life may still be different, over the course of 2020 we’ve seen many aspects of business rise and fall. One trend that I think will decline in 2021 is hand sanitizer demand, now that the market once again has steady supply. Some customers will still want to promote their business with a decorated hand sanitizer bottle, but increased availability is likely to reduce the demand compared to during the national shortage.
2020 shifted nearly every facet of life, including how companies promote their business. Large events have been replaced by small gatherings and massive shipments have been traded for smaller personal drops. In order to survive, companies will need to be willing to change and adapt. Flexibility is going to be what fuels success in this ever changing year and into the future.
In 2020, we truly showed the strength of our team and the commitment we have to our business, customers and employees and worked hard every day to adjust to a rapidly changing world. The plans we set forth in January very quickly had to adapt and change to the new realities we were encountering. I am excited to continue developing the Red Wing Scheduling system to further improve efficiency and planning at the site. However, I am most excited to continue to build with my team upon the strengths and flexibility we found within ourselves this year. One Team dedicated to building a better future, together!
Michael’s top product predictions for 2021:
While I think that we would all love for 2021 to go back to life as normal, I think the true answer is we are far from that place, so many of our popular options from 2020 will continue into next year. Healthcare and sanitization products and face masks (both imprinted reusable and unimprinted single use) are sure to be hot sellers until a COVID vaccine is created and widely distributed. Until then, my team and I will be standing by to provide America with face coverings quickly and safely.
Angela Ferrara, Offshore Partner Relationship Manager
The COVID-19 pandemic will certainly have a big long-term impact on our industry, but I’m proud that we are able to offer essential items and PPE to help our communities stay safe.
Since our business is to help build brand legacies and a lot of promoting is done through activities and large gatherings which are on stand-by right now, this coming year is going to look different for promotional products. Digital marketing is going to be our best friend and Koozie Group offers awesome solutions for businesses as we ebb and flow through this pandemic together.
We did a great job of staying on top of current trends for 2020, so I think that fanny packs and retro/vintage are here to stay for a while. I’m super excited for our official Koozie Group launch and to showcase what our vision is all about to the industry!
Angela’s top product predictions for 2021:
Our Outdoor and Leisure products will be a hit for 2021. As we learn to adjust our activities to socially distance, being outdoors is a great way to enjoy the company of friends and family. Grab a #26121 Koozie® Kamp Chair and post up at the park or beach and enjoy the fresh air!
Carly Jaeger, Sales Account Manager – IN & MI
Like it or not, I think PPE and health/safety related products are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. With many experts predicting that most face-to-face engagements will not return to normal until sometime in 2022, I believe that face masks, sanitizers and other PPE-related promo items will be a key driver in our industry for many years to come. Even when events and engagements begin to ramp back up, PPE-related swag will be key with helping people feel safe and secure.
I also think the cozy, work from home lifestyle is here to stay. Be it athleisure apparel, products to create effective work from home environments, or items that help us stay connected even when we are not together, I think the remote learning and working environment is something that will remain even post pandemic.
Carly’s top product predictions for 2021:
I think the Koozie® and KAPSTON® brands are going to do tremendous in 2021. The brand recognition continues to strengthen, and the quality and style behind the new items is unbeatable! In my photo you’ll find my outdoor social distance survival kit . . .
- #26121 Koozie® Kamp Chair
- #26120 Koozie® Two Tone Beanie
- #46173 Koozie® Triple Vacuum Tumbler
- #16113 Koozie® Rowdy Fanny Pack Kooler
- #16017 Koozie® Olympus Kooler Tote
- #16105 Koozie® Tarpon Tote
- #15524 Travel Blanket
Rachel Rosario, Vendor Relations Manager
2020 has been such an eerie and odd year. I think this year’s trends of PPE, social distancing, remote work, and online shopping will evolve into more creative offerings for consumers. How we work remote, and promote to those working remote. How we shop, and the user experience for online ordering/shopping. How we distribute promotional products to our key demographics, from what we distribute to how we get it into the hands of our consumers, has changed and will continue to do so in 2021.
The global pandemic has changed how we work and interact with people- from families to strangers. Anything that can help us get back to normal, in as safe of a way as possible, will continue to grow. I see continued growth in hand sanitizers, masks, health awareness signs/magnets and PrevaGuard™ products.
I’m excited to keep helping businesses find creative ways to promote as we recover from the impacts of a global pandemic. The sense of community that we’ve felt as we try to figure out how to align our own business to help the new needs of our customers pushes us to be even more efficient and flexible with the ever changing promotional landscape.
Rachel’s top product predictions for 2021:
The expanded Koozie® Olympus collection, specifically the color coordinated #16017 Koozie® Olympus Tote, #46329 Koozie® Olympus Can Cooler and #46173 Koozie® Triple are amazing products. Together they’re the perfect outdoor kit. I love these in all white or all teal.
BK Stevens, Quality Manager
People trying to stay “cootie free” is one practice from this year that is going to stick around long-term. I feel like people are taking a much closer look at the advantage of single-use and anti-microbial, like our PrevaGuard™ products.
In 2021, I’m excited to put the old in the past, think outside the box and truly make a change for good as Koozie Group! The sky is the limit with our ridiculously amazing and diverse team. I have invested almost 34 years of my life here and I can’t remember a time that I have been so excited about our future!
Greg Wooff, Field Sales Account Manager – AZ, MN, OK, UT, West TX
I am hoping the PPE stuff will die down as we move into 2021, but I think the reusable masks will be here for quite some time. Especially with more color options, decoration and full color imprints. There will definitely be continued focus on health and safety products and wellness programs going forward.
The promotional products industry has survived downturns in the past and rebounds well. The distributors and suppliers who have watched their margins over the past years will survive. Like after the recession, the industry will be a little leaner on both sides, with opportunity for growth. As Koozie Group, I’m looking forward to continuing with our service enhancements that will build confidence and benefit all our customers.
Greg’s top product predictions for 2021:
The outdoor category will continue to do well, especially coolers like the Koozie® Olympus family. I am also really interested in the new product releases for January. I know it will be limited in number – which I think is great – because the majority are impactful.
Are you gearing up for a successful 2021? Visit kooziegroup.com to check out all the products mentioned in our team’s predictions, plus thousands more!
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