While retail is going through difficult times – store closures, declining mall traffic, e-commerce competition – the promotional products industry is enjoying tremendous growth in the offerings of brand-name items for corporate branding. Those retail brands are looking for different ways to market themselves, and co-branding through the promo channel is another way for them to advertise.
As for the corporate buyers, they have always wanted access to the quality and name recognition of the retail brands. Even as recently as ten years ago, there were few options for companies that wanted to add their logo to a brand-name item. But today there are retail brands offered in nearly every promotional product category. Apparel brands like The North Face and Under Armour; drinkware brands like CamelBak, Contigo and YETI; and even tech brands like Bose and Beats have jumped on the promo bandwagon.
However, not every customer has the marketing budget for a brand-name giveaway. In that case, retail-inspired products are available at a lower price point and with the same quality. The look and function are similar, and the stock is often more reliable. After all, not every marketing initiative calls for upscale retail products – but if a customer can relate to the style of the product because it looks like something they have seen on social media or in the stores, then it’s unlikely it will end up in the back of their closet.
The interaction between the retail industry and the promotional products industry has changed. The gap between them is closing, and the corporate customers are benefitting from the new opportunities created for creative, impactful promotions.