4 Signs that the Promotional Products Industry Will Improve in 2012
At the start of every year, we're subjected to the usual parade of talking heads discussing what went right and what went wrong over the last 12 months, and why the next 12 will be better. It begins in early December and culminates in the State of the Union address, where we all sit around and wait for the president to say some variation on "the State of the Union is strong."
It's boring. Boilerplate. Like a confidentiality notice at the bottom of an email, it barely registers. So when pundits predicted that 2012 would see improvements over the year prior, I said "Uh huh" and went back to reading a press release about a new hire, followed by a release about new positions, followed by a release about sales records, followed by ... you see where this is going?
After going through the news archives, talking to people and giving it some thought, I've come up with four purely anecdotal, entirely subjective pieces of evidence that prove the business of promotional products is looking up in 2012. It's like the State of the Union, except you don't have to stand up and clap every 12 seconds.
Companies are Hiring
Since January 1, we've run 23 articles and press releases announcing new hires for suppliers and distributors, many for newly-created positions or for jobs left vacant during the recession. That's one article every other day this year, many of which announce multiple hires, and those published articles only account for a portion of all new employee releases I receive. Compare this to the same period in 2011, when we published 14 such articles, and it paints a picture of a growing industry.
What's more, most of these hires are for sales positions. Suppliers and distributors are increasing territory and representation, which tells me that there are enough sales happening to support larger staffs.