A Trend Indeed Making Retail Relevant
FOR A BUSINESS that has traditionally been ever-so-slightly behind what’s happening in retail, using market trends to guide promotional product development and sales might seem futile. However, according to Britt Bivens, director of international trend consultancy PromoStyl, elements of the fashion world do have a place in this industry.
Salespeople, “don’t have to know everything, they don’t have to be experts,” she noted. But if, for argument’s sake, all the stores have red, they should know that red is important, Bivens added. Read on for three areas that, moving forward, will have an impact on both the fashion and promotional products sectors.
Men’s wear has been becoming a bit more distinguished over the past few seasons and to wit, it has informed women’s styles as well. Jackets on the whole are this year’s key items, Bivens said. She pointed to the bomber style—fitted waist and cuffs, typically leather—as being the most of-the-moment design. To bring this idea to the ad specialty industry, look for zip-up leather jackets that have a less-structured fit for an on-trend, yet lasting, promotion.
“We’re in a luxury moment right now,” Bivens said. “Even for promotional materials, I think it’s important that they look expensive.” Both recipients and suppliers of promotional items want the same outcome—something that will be used over and over again. Embroidered logos, higher-quality fabrics and better-cut silhouettes can go a long way to give these products a more high-end look, while increasing the odds they will be worn. “Everything should be taken up a notch,” she added.
Bags and scarves are growing in importance in the promotional products industry, and as Bivens related, it’s a fruitful trend. She pointed out a big accessories push currently going on in retail. To mimic this move, go for smaller logos and less-boxy construction on these types of products. “We’re looking at big totes and big hobos that are softer in shape,” Bivens said.