The Donna Bender Company is a branded marketing and promotional strategy consulting firm, working with people who want to create an emotional connection between their organizations and their customers. 

My motto for this year is: 
Color Outside the Lines -

This month I want to share 10 of the hottest marketing trends for 2019. After viewing hundreds of products at the recent trade show in Las Vegas, it was difficult to choose just 10! There are so many amazing new marketing ideas, and it has always been my goal to provide you with the latest and best information to help you build your brand.

Each of the Top 10 New Product Trends included here contain a good assortment of products, however it is still just a sampling of all products available on our website. Be sure to click on the " View the Showroom " links that will take you directly to that collection. And if you don't see what you are looking for, not to worry, there are many more products on our website.

Please call or email with any questions -  - 214-520-8577.

Until next time…. Remember to keep coloring outside of the lines...
be different - be memorable.

Here’s to your success!!
Top 10 Trends for 2019

Be bold, be different, be remembered!
1 – Good to the Last Sip!

Straws – Ever since  Starbucks made their big announcement  last year, that by 2020 they will no longer be using plastic straws because of their effect on the environment, sustainable straws have been selling with great momentum.

Several of our clients jumped on board right away and found that the responses and accolades they received from their clients were quite favorable. This is one product that certainly can have a huge impact on our environment. 
Sustainable straws: silicone, stainless steel, collapsible , and combinations of both, can be sold with cleaning brushes, and can be packaged in nice jute drawstring bags or in convenient cases. The straws can be laser engraved and the bags or cases can be imprinted. And…… if paper is your thing, there is something for you too.  As an alternative, paper straws , which are bio-degradable, recyclable, disposable and eco-friendly, are available in custom patterns by request.  This is one great product with a huge purpose.
2 – Got Socks?

SOCKS, SOCKS and More SOCKS!  Custom socks have been the RAGE! There were only a few vendors who made them last year and you really had to search for them. This year they were very prominent throughout the Trade Show… Great packaging ideas including full retail inspired wraps, cans with full color digital printing, and they will even create a custom box. I found one that is a truck and when you open the back …. voila…. a pair of custom socks. You can send us your logo and we can create a sock pattern for you.
3 – You Won’t Want to Cover Up These Bags!!

Bags! Whether a backpack, a duffle, a tote , the new canvas drawstring bags or whether you go grocery shopping with a reusable bag, there is no shortage of bags this year with wonderful-textures , bright custom colored trims, and amazing full color digital printing. A very large assortment of smaller and more feminine backpacks for women this year. Silver, gold and rose gold metallics are very prominent throughout all types of accessories for women and the  marbleized effect  has found its way not only on woven bags, but drinkware, journals and paper gift bags.
4 - Welcome! and Thank You!

Bundled Gifts and Kits for a new hires, recruits, and current staff. Employee Appreciation Day  is March 1st and  Administrative Professionals Day  is April 24th. What better way to say you appreciate your new hire on their first day at work! A welcome kit is the perfect vehicle. From  tech kits, to backpacks that can be customized and filled with a premium cotton T-shirt, copper lined tumblers, blue tooth ear buds, wireless chargers, great notebooks and journals. We can put together various combinations of welcome kits to fit any budget.
5 – Everything Old is New Again!

It is true, everything old is new again  and if you keep it long enough it makes a successful comeback…

The Fanny Pack  is baaack!! Thank goodness I kept mine LOL. I heard them being called Granny Packs (ouch that hurts). Worn as a crossbody in the front or back as well as the waist. 

The Scrunchies , growing in popularity, are an excellent accessory for all-day wear. Anyone remember this  episode of Sex in the City ?  Ahh good ole Berger…. I was rooting for him until he broke up with Carrie with a post- it note.  Speaking of Post it notes, meet Post-It EXTREME Notes  – these notes will hold up in hot, cold and wet conditions. They stick to tough and texture surfaces like concrete, raw and painted wood, and tile. 
6 – Hooked on Gadgets!

Cell phone and Tech accessories  for the desktop and on the go. Never miss a call again!  The Moniclip clips to the side of your computer screen to hold your device upright for easy access to your phone while you work. The Round Panel Wireless Charging Station  is a wireless charger with hands free viewing on your Qi-enabled devices while charging your phone.

Bluetooth Speakers  continue for another year to be extremely popular.  For the back of the phone—what I call the best Real Estate investment you can make, cell phone wallets have several new versions, RFID technology, easy access to get to business cards and a comfort ring,  Popsockets, Sling Grip, new rings with full color printing, there is a version for everyone.
7 – The Cork Comeback

Natural and Sustainable Products –  wood and glass  continue to be very strong with a great assortment of products for the office and home.  Great  coasters made of tree trunks , beautiful serving pieces, great executive gifts and toys for the desk, puzzles ,  beautiful wine boxes, cutting boards and serving pieces. There is quite the assortment of beautiful water bottles in glass to choose from.

The cork trend  is going strong in home interiors, fashion, and promotional products. Lightweight, durable, and soft to the touch, this material stands the test of time. Sustainable materials continue to be in high demand with sleek and contemporary designs that include insulated bottles and real bamboo exteriors .
8 – Does Your Apparel Create a Lasting Impression?

Apparel-   Cropped styles are one of several new apparel trends for 2019. They are great with high waisted pants, or over exercise clothes.  Styles that are feminine and flowy have been popular with Millennial women as well. Great styles and colors made from Premium Cotton , like the ones from Bella and Canvas, are what more and more clients are asking for. Quality material is a key factor to differentiate products and the less expensive Carded Open Ended (C.O.E.) cotton that many suppliers offer, has been banned from retail stores for many years. Comfy, super-soft poly-cotton sponge fleece designed for warmth and breathability such either as a  Hoodie or Crew Neck  as well as  Full Zip Hoodies  have been a fan favorites because of their unisex appeal and retail fit.  Quarter zips  have been a popular sweater style alternative. The trend in apparel is to be fashionable and comfortable at the gym as well as in the office.  Additional brands such as Roots 73, Spyder, Nike, Adidas , Under Amour are also popular with Millennials

Key Take away:    If you are looking for corporate apparel for your employees and great give aways for an event, trade show, or conference, consider looking at more popular brands and fabrications that the end user will want to wear long after the event…. your employees will become better brand ambassadors. (We will be addressing this KEY point in our next few blogs.) Spending a little more money on a better-quality fabric will actually save you money. A better-quality fabric that an end user will want to wear again and again will give you more exposure so the cost per impression, (the number of times your brand or logo will be seen on a product by other people) will increase. The stiff and scratchy hand of carded open-ended cotton will not be seen as many times. It is much too costly to spend money on a logoed wearable product, to only have it wind up in the back of a drawer.
9 – Drink Up!!

Drinkware-  Last year there was a big emphasis on coffee tumblers. Tumblers that could grind and steep your coffee, cold brew tumblers, and stemless wine glasses. Coffee lovers take notice! Drinkware for  Tea lovers  are trending right now and increasing in popularity!  It appears that the demand for stemless wine tumblers has encouraged drinkware manufacturers to continue to produce shorter sized tumblers ( 12oz) again this year. Think of the original Swell-shaped bottle, but shorter. Many drinkware options come with copper linings . Beautiful 18 and 24 oz tumblers still shine as well. There are many interesting combinations of materials ceramic tumblers with wooden or cork handles  and long cylinder ones with great graphics adorned with fun handles that you can grab and go. Another Eye-catching item was a water bottle that was made from high-strength borosilicate glass with a leak-proof lid that locks in place to prevent spills. It features an award-winning Danish desig n and comes in three sizes and 13 lid colors. Another fun drinkware item seen at the show was a 3 oz Popsicle Flask available in purple and berry red.  

Health and wellness  have been a focus of the drinkware industry for years. Convenience is also extremely important so this new product, combines it all. Introducing the ULLA, the SMART Hydration Bottle Reminder . Drink 3-times more water, get healthier, have more energy and avoid headaches with Ulla – your personal hydration coach. Ulla can be mounted on water bottles of all sizes and materials. It can also be attached to any standard glass or mug.  

USA, USA, USA – January is almost over and this means we are getting closer to the month-long celebration of Chinese New Year!  So, what does that mean to me you ask?   In my industry that can mean one of three things…..

1 – Work with suppliers that have deep inventories, enough inventory they can weather the storm (not receiving any more stock until the end of February or beginning of March when shipments start to roll in); 

2 – Work with suppliers that manufacture their products in other parts of the world;

3 – Work with products and suppliers who manufacture here in the US.  Thankfully we have more and more factories manufacturing in the USA.
10 – Retail Packaging: Creating Brand Recognition

MOVE OVER YETI , you are not the only retail drinkware in town, catch these chic brands:   Asobu, MIIR, Ulla, bebottle, Memo Bottle, Bottle Keeper  (As Seen on Shark Tank), Aviana and Swig….to name a few.

Retail looks and packaging as well as lifestyle brands continue to influence the industry.  Many trade show booths created beautiful vignettes that just welcomed you in with open arms.  They created an emotional connection. They told a story without any words.

So perhaps you are wondering whether it is possible to create that same feeling between you and your company when selecting corporate gifts and branded products. The answer is yes!  We all have a story to tell.

Does your marketing and branding tell your story?   Find products and brands that you relate to and that your clients will relate to as well. Retail brands are great to use in incentive programs for both your clients and employees. Select several products that compliment and/or relate to each other and for each milestone achieved, (or each Quarter), implement a contest where the winners can select a gift.  There is an increasing shift in the goals of incentive programs to focus on rewards aimed directly at building relationships, encouraging inclusion and knowledge-sharing, and promoting engagement.

Retail packaging also plays an important role in how a gift is presented and perceived. Several years ago, only a small number of factories were offering retail packaging. Today, we can offer custom packaging with almost all products. If done correctly, retail packaging automatically creates a higher perceived value to the gift you are giving. Why is product packaging so important?  

Here are four reasons why: 

1- For a brand to succeed, it is important to differentiate your brand from your competitors.

2-The color of your packaging can play a key role in consumer purchasing habits. 

3- Product packaging is a marketing tool. What message does your packaging convey about your brand?

4 – Packaging creates brand recognition. When thinking about your favorite brands, what do they all have in common?  They are memorable!

Each of the Top 10 Marketing Trends included here contain a good assortment of products, however it is still just a sampling of all products available on our website.  

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Visit  to get a  more in depth look of  all  of the additional products and categories we offer. Should you not see what you are looking for, please note that some of the  the newest items  are still being downloaded  by the factories.

Feel free to call or email with any questions –  – 214-520-8577.

 Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability. 

~ Jason Hartman | 214-520-8577