As we cruise through the end of 2019, preparing to shift into a new decade, the Identity Works team has been noticing some interesting changes in the custom corporate branding world. I sat down with our in-house account management and merchandising team recently to gain a better understanding of what our clients can look forward to in 2020. As you start planning for next year’s events, buying new team apparel or giveaways, and updating your employee welcome kits, keep your brand plans on-trend with these new perspectives, patterns, and promotional pieces.
In recent years you’ve seen a ton of heathers and ombre looks. In 2020 styles are changing gears in a bold way with fun paisley patterns, dot textures, and military-inspired styles like digital camo. You’ll notice a prevalence of prints in both apparel and hardgoods next year.
Batches of Patches
Our in-house decoration team and account managers have also noticed an increase in patches instead of traditional embroidery as of late. “Patches give the same old work shirt or trucker hat a trendy retro look that’s so popular right now. A company can order a batch of patches, then use them on a variety of different pieces to create a unified look that’s unique to their needs without a ton of additional cost”, commented Maggie Peters-Voss, Identity Works Account Manager.
Moving from Matchy-Matchy to Complimentary
If you’ve worked with custom branded apparel for any amount of time, you’ve almost certainly been asked at some point to find a company uniform for an event that required matching polo styles and colors for men and women. This trend is finally evolving! 2020’s looks will feature complimentary colors and materials for corporate-wear that have similar styles for men and women but aren’t exactly the same.
Support for Social Responsibility & Sustainability
Although this isn’t a new trend, the focus on eco-friendly items, sustainably made products, and giveaways that support efforts for social good is worth mentioning because more and more suppliers are making these things a priority. Well known retail brand names like Patagonia, Parkland Bags, MiiR, Welly, and Ecoconscious are leading the way in the custom corporate branded goods realm. From full product lines that are made from recycled, organic, or renewable materials to apparel that’s being made by employees who are guaranteed a full living wage to products that contribute a portion of sales to non-profits for veterans, the options are growing year over year, and that’s a good thing.
Hybrid Jackets are Hitting the Scene
Hybrid jackets are hitting the scene in a big way next year! Common styles you’ll see will include a puffer-look on the front chest area paired with a sweater or lighter material on the sleeves and back. The beauty of this type of hybrid is simple – it keeps you protected in questionable weather, but cooler (and potentially more comfortable) than wearing traditional outerwear.
Trendy Tech Continues
“More tech-related options in 2020?! I’m shocked,” said no one. To no one’s surprise you can look for the continued expansion of branded technology offerings in the coming year. You’ll see even more integrated wireless charging options, more branded pieces that pair with smart homes and offices, and increased product availability for a growing range price points.
Custom Corporate Stickers
Not only are teens and tweens putting stickers on any and everything, corporate clients are as well. IDW account managers have noticed an uptick in sticker orders promoting anything from multiple office locations to products to company values. Stickers are an easy choice because they’re cost conscious, travel/store easily, and offer virtually limitless customization options.
Creative Puffer Patterns
Custom branded apparel has been lagging a bit in recent years when it comes to options for puffer jackets. Lots of companies offer puffers, but there hasn’t been a ton of pattern variety in those options. In 2020 the wait is over. According to Matt Gonzales, Merchandising Director, “You’ll notice more creativity in the use of baffling and new insulation technology that give these next-generation insulated jackets a modern look and superior insulation without the bulk and weight of a full down jacket.”