What’s Hot, What’s Not: 3 Ways to Find Industry Trends
Selfie sticks came and went (sort of), and now there is another hot new item on the horizon: fidget spinners. But before we know it, these viral toys will fizzle out and earn their rightful spot in promo history of fame, giving way for something else worthy of our time. The world of promotional products orbits our advertising niche with a speed only known and felt by industry distributors and suppliers. The only way to keep the gears spinning is to stay up to date on all the latest trends and innovations. That being said, our 20 billion dollar industry is notorious for having hidden streams of information that don’t always pull up with a simple Google search.
We’ve been married to promotional products for over 25 years and have uncovered a few trustworthy resources along the way. And since we always strive to fill our industry with good Samaritan spirit, now came the time to share them with you.
1. Check in with relevant publications.
In our professional experience, between client calls and product hunts, we are lucky if we have a moment to drink our cold cup of coffee in peace, let alone look for inspirational resources. That’s why it’s important to dedicate your attention only to those channels of information that can bring valuable returns on your time investment. And while there are many industry publications out there, only a few come with the best price tag of all – absolutely free. If you know of PPAI, you’re aware of their dedication to educating our evolving industry, but if you haven’t heard about their PPB Newslink publication, it’s time to tune into the one resource that has never let us down.
Being a bi-weekly news source for the promotional products industry, you can count on PPB Newslink to show up in your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday of every week. So, make sure to sign up for a free online subscription, or if you are looking for more hands-on material, you can get the monthly PPB Magazine subscription for a one-time annual fee. If you really want to get a bang for your buck, sign up for a PPAI membership, so you can get a free SAGE Total Access subscription, AND a discount on your PPB Magazine subscription, all in one go!
And in case you’re skeptical about this unbelievable deal, prepare to be shocked by all the benefits you can receive under the PPAI & SAGE Power of Two alliance that brings you such invaluable offers.
2. Sync up with the community.
It hasn’t surpassed the speed of light (yet), but social media is changing the way we are used to sharing information. A mere twenty years ago, having a cutting edge cell phone meant that it had a catchy ringtone and maybe a shaky web browser. Nowadays, your phone may as well be Neolithic if it doesn’t let you interact with everyone you know 24/7. Staying wired round-the-clock can get overwhelming, leaving us to opt out of this web of social connections all together. And though it’s easy to toss your tablet and label it “a privilege that is just not meant for everyone,” it’s harder to stick with it and take advantage of its networking potential. Without getting into specifics, here are a few of our tried and true informative channels:
Newsletter subscriptions: Newsletters are a convenient way to get an update on a lump sum of timely trends. They get delivered straight to your inbox and give you a chance to quickly look over fresh new topics you may find interesting to explore further, that way you don’t have to commit to something that ends up being a waste of your time.
Discussion groups: The closest thing you can get to an industry event is chatting up like-minded individuals online. Need help finding a product, or want to know what’s trending in your area? Check out the discussion groups feature in SAGE Online and chat with other industry professionals on any promotional products topic. And rest assured, you can be your true self in a familiar environment, where everyone speaks the promo code.
Social media channels: This resource is by far the most undervalued of all, being that it appeals particularly to the younger generation for reasons we may not be entirely on board with. But there are so many facets to social media networking that extend far past the obvious selfie inflicted warfare. Want a quick update on SAGE? Simply click on the colorful icons below and follow our channels to stay up to date on industry’s hottest events and products.
Like birds of a feather, promotional products professionals flock together. Being a part of this tightly knit group means you get exclusive access to various newsletter services, discussion groups, and social networking platforms that have one thing in common – they all live and breathe promotional products!
3. Leverage your tools.
If you work with promotional products, odds are you have an arsenal of solutions and services at your disposal to engage with your client base and ultimately sell more products. But have you ever wondered if your tools could not only help you run your business but also educate you on latest trends, that are relevant to your trade? That would cut a lot of time out of your day jumping from platform to platform in search of valuable insight on your upcoming project.
Well, it just so happens that SAGE has you covered on both fronts! When you log onto SAGE Online, SAGE Web, or SAGE Mobile you will be greeted with the trendiest product ideas straight from the homepage. These convenient show-stoppers are further broken down into three categories:
Most Popular Products – a lineup of the most in demand products up-to-date.
Fresh Ideas – the latest items that are gaining traction in the industry.
Timely Ideas – seasonal goodies that keep up with holidays and current events.
Simply log into your SAGE account, scroll to the bottom of the homepage and browse through the hottest products that can bring you up to speed on the latest trends. Take a closer look at your research solutions and see if you can uncover any of these trending gems, your next big sale may be closer than you think. And if your tools are somewhat limited in terms of product inspiration, check out how SAGE Online can help you stay resourceful and informed.
And now that we have transferred this wisdom onto you, keep this helpful ball rolling and share these resources with the rest of the community!