Top 10 Promotional Products 2020

  1. Face Masks
  2. Hand Sanitizer
  3. Antimicrobial Pens
  4. Door Opener Keychains
  5. Tote Bags
  6. Styluses
  7. Stress Balls
  8. Drawstring bags
  9. Coffee Mugs
  10. Koozies

Usually at the end of the year, everyone’s talking about the best movies, most rockin’ concerts, and craziest pop culture moments. Things are sure different in 2020! The biggest events of the year were, well, kind of bummers.

Still, let’s look at the positives! Many of us get to wear pajamas to work every day, drive-in movies are making comeback, and puzzles have become a cool thing to do with the family, maybe for the first time ever.

Business owners can also take solace in the fact that advertising products are thriving! Here are the top promotional items and trends of 2020 – keep them in mind going into the New Year.

#1: Face Masks

It should come as no surprise that reusable face masks spiked in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the market value for face masks is expected to exceed $74.9 billion by next year. Time will tell if these promotional items continue to be top giveaways in the future, but for now, it’s a good idea to get them in bulk for your entire team.

Best Seller: Reusable Stretch Face Mask

See It in Action

Humana insurance mailed out two bright green face masks to every one of their policy holders. These masks were imprinted with the company’s name at the bottom and came right when demand for reusable masks was at an all-time high.

#2: Hand Sanitizer

Face masks and hand sanitizer were the peanut butter and jelly of promotional items this year. With germs running rampant, a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol was an absolute must. Hand sanitizer sales reportedly saw a 255% year-on-year increase in February alone, and some stores even still have a shortage!

Best Seller: Antibacterial Pocket Sprayer

#3: Antimicrobial Pens

We used to share pens without a second thought. Now the spread of coronavirus have made us a bit more stingy with our office supplies. This is a good thing as pens at doctor’s offices alone have an estimated 46,000x more germs than a toilet seat. Antimicrobial pens are a safer option, which is why they topped the best seller list this year.   

Best Seller: Safe-Write Antimicrobial Pen

#4: Door Opener Keychains

Germaphobes have been avoiding door knobs and handles for years, and now it’s easier with opener keychains. The COVID crisis has caused 89% of Americans to be more conscious of germs, and this is a trend that’s likely to continue. You can expect safety keychains like these to always be unique and welcome gifts.

Best Seller: Touch Free Door Opener

#5: Tote Bags

Businesses weren’t really going to trade shows or expos this year. Still, that didn’t stop tote bags from making the top 10 list for 2020. These handy bags were being used in many meaningful ways during the pandemic. This includes finding ways to support small businesses in a time when they needed it most.

Best Seller: Eco-Friendly Non Woven Tote Bag

See it in Action

Source: mainstreet.org

Main Street America, a non-profit in Rhode Island, has made it their mission to preserve the history of their community. During the COVID pandemic, their team created custom tote bags that were decorated with silhouettes of local storefronts. Anyone who donated $100 to their Small Business Relief Fund received one of the bags as a “thank you!”

#6: Styluses

Text, email, and the occasional phone call were the only way to stay connected with family and friends during quarantine. As a result, people were spending an additional 23 minutes per day on their smartphones during the pandemic. Custom styluses were a very popular item in 2020 to go with all that screen time.

Best Seller: Satin Stylus Pen

#7: Stress Balls

If you can associate any word with 2020, it would probably be “stress.” The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that 78% of adults believe the coronavirus pandemic is a significant source of stress in their lives. Stress balls with logo are definitely not a cure, but that didn’t stop customers from adding them to their promo wishlist this year.

Best Seller: Round Stress Reliever

#8: Drawstring Bags

Lightweight drawstring backpacks were top sellers in a year where the only place people could go was out for hikes and walks on public trails and paths. In fact, “Quarantine Fatigue” has more people going outside than ever before according to The Chicago Tribune. A breath of fresh air will always be good for your health, so you can expect these bags to always be a good giveaway item as they’re lightweight and easy to carry around.

Best Seller: Cinch Up Back Pack

#9: Coffee Mugs

Wake up and get ready for another day of e-learning or working at home. It’s easy when you’re sipping from a custom coffee mug! A study from the National Coffee Association found that 64% of people drink at least 1 cup of coffee every day. This makes mugs amazing personalized gifts for every occasion.

Best Seller: Budget Coffee Mug

#10: Koozies

Parties may have been postponed in 2020, but still, businesses loved promoting with can koozies. At under $1 each, these are one of the most affordable promotional products out there. A staggering 81% of small businesses lost revenue in 2020. Koozies are way more affordable than billboards when it comes to marketing your brand, which is why they were scooped up in bulk this year.

Best Seller: Collapsible Beer Can Cooler

Final Thoughts

The top 10 list may change year after year, but one thing will always stay the same – the ROI of promotional products. Hands down, freebies are one of the best ways to promote your business, non-profit, or event.

Case in point, the Advertising Specialty Institute reports that 40% of consumers keep their promotional products for more than 10 years. That’s a decade of seeing your logo or company name over and over again!

So whether you go with one of the promotional items on this list, or try something new, you’re going to always win with this advertising strategy.

References

Grand View Research. Disposable Face Mask Market Size, Share, & Trends Analysis Report. Retrieved from, https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/disposable-face-masks-market

Advertising Specialty Institute. (2020). Global Ad Impressions Study. Retrieved from, https://media.asicentral.com/resources/2020-Global-Ad-Impressions-Study.pdf

Taylor, C. (2020, March 3). Sales of Hand Sanitizer Are Skyrocketing Due to the Coronavirus, Leading to Rationing and Price Hikes. Retrieved from, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/03/coronavirus-hand-sanitizer-sales-surge-leading-to-price-hikes.html

DiNuzzo, E. (2019, September 10). This is the Filthiest Item in Your Doctor’s Office. Retrieved from, https://www.thehealthy.com/healthcare/doctors/filthiest-item-doctors-office/

Occupational Health & Safety. (2020, April 20). Retrieved from, https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2020/04/20/Vast-Majority-of-Americans-Increase-Hand-Washing-Due-to-Coronavirus.aspx

Wurmser, Y. (2020, June 4). US Mobile Time Spent 2020. Retrieved from, https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-mobile-time-spent-2020

American Psychological Association. (2020, October 20). Stress in America 2020 Survey Signals a Growing National Mental Health Crisis. Retrieved from, https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/10/stress-mental-health-crisis

Zaveri, M. (2020, April 27). ‘Quarantine Fatigue’ Has More People Going Outside, Researchers Find. Retrieved from, https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-nyt-quarantine-fatigue-going-outside-research-20200428-bfiofglmejgc7e4zhptqahmsvi-story.html

Sherman, E. (2018, March 19). Americans Are Drinking More Coffee Than Ever. Retrieved from, https://www.foodandwine.com/news/americans-drinking-more-coffee-ever

NJB Magazine. (2020, October 14). Survey: 81% of US Small Businesses Lost Revenue. Retrieved from, https://njbmagazine.com/njb-news-now/survey-81-of-us-small-businesses-lost-revenue-due-to-covid-19/

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.