What factors are impacting the way you buy promotional gifts and how – the industry leader clarifies things

Welcome to the third and final blog post in this series, where I’ve been seeking some clarity from Gordon Glenister, the Director General of the British Promotional Merchandising Association (BPMA), on a range of important issues facing promotional gift buyers.

My timing could hardly be more appropriate as the UK’s second Promotional Products Week event kicked off this week on the 15th September, which you can find out more about here www.promotionalproductsweek.co.uk.

This third blog post focuses Gordon’s attention on three factors that have helped to shape the promotional gifts marketplace in recent years, and how they might impact on your promotional gift buying going forward.

1: Gordon, recent legislation from the EU is beginning to have an impact on the UK promotional gifts industry, so what’s next? Will all promotional pens, for example, have to be made to a standard size?

1: I don’t think some of the EU legislation will have the same impact on our promotional gifts industry as it has had in the UK in, say, the retail sector. Product traceability, however, is an important directive and the source of a gift’s origin is likely to be an area of development. But, the reach of the EU constantly evolves – just look at the recent headlines regarding vacuum cleaners – so the industry and gift buyers should keep an eye on European developments.

2: There seems to be a trend for customers requiring their promotional gifts much faster, often within the same week, and increasingly in full colour. How do you see this trend developing?

2: I see the growth in short term lead times as part of a ‘want it now’ society we live in. I do think that some of the demands are creating real challenges in the supply chain. If everyone wants products in a week and there are limited production slots, then it’s simply not possible. My view is that as there is more pressure and less choice in short time periods. So if buyers plan more time into their deadlines, this enables them to consider a greater range of product ideas and what creative messages works best.

3: A few years ago everyone was demanding their promotional gifts be ‘eco friendly’ or recycled. Has demand dropped for green gifts or is there a lack of variety of products available to tempt the customers?

3: Actually, there is the widest choice possible for eco friendly products nowadays, although I do think there has been some slippage here. Again, much depends on the objectives of the gift buyer and what type of message they wish to be promoting. For example, do they want to be seen in a positive ecological light?

4: Finally Gordon, what are these ‘Deskies’ we’ve been hearing about in the business?

4: This is our fun way to promote our second National Promotional Products Week, which runs between 15th and 19th September, and to engage our industry and its buyers. In order to promote the value of promotional branded gifts we are encouraging people to take photos of their desks – hence the ‘Deskie’ – to help us glean which promotional gifts are the most popular. Research shows that 89% of people will keep a gift if it’s useful, so we’re expecting lots of ‘Deskies’ which can be uploaded to our site at www.promotionalproductsweek.co.uk.

My thanks again to BPMA Director General, Gordon Glenister, for helping me to put this three blog-post series together.

As importantly, thank you for reading. I hope you found these question and answer sessions useful. Does your opinion and experience reflect Gordon’s answers? Please feel free to leave me your comments.

And don’t forget to give us a call when you need friendly, helpful, expert and experienced advice on all things promotional gift.

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