As an artist and designer, I learned early on that there are thousands of different references that contribute to a final product; creativity is never a solo venture. In a loud world full of ideas and visual inspiration, multiple sources contribute to influential patterns that communicate global values and cultural significance of the time; one could say that trends come to define our modern era.
Product and design trends recognize the change in today’s dynamic society, and I stay connected to top cultural producers and retail innovators–from industry “disruptors” to the easily accessible—to see what’s fresh and attracting attention. I’m always excited to see products in our promotional space that are adopting these concepts and offering an elevated brand experience. Inspired by five key retail trends, I’ve created the 2020 Trending Lookbook to help guide your promotions and build Brand Love with your customers. Check out the trend overview below!
Trend #1: ARTISAN TOUCHES
In antithesis to mass-produced and automated goods, authenticity is a growing trend for 2020. Products that offer an “artisan” touch are often using textiles, materials, and decorations that offer a handmade feel. With the increased popularity of art markets and conventions to an online community of makers à la Etsy, it’s clear that more people are opting for unique, craftsman-like details. The ability to personalize these products also creates a warm and inspiring “gifted” experience when shared with others. Let’s celebrate the maker’s mark with these products!
Trend #2: POPULAR PALETTES
Product color has been a proven influence on consumer choice, affecting people on emotional, psychological, and even physical levels. Every year, color trends shift in ways that are dependent on current events and the social collective, and these new palettes just continue to promote increased expression through branding and product. Embrace calming “vacation vibes” with Aquas and Neo-mints, punch up the vibrancy and spice factor with Mellow Yellow and Tangerine Dreams, and celebrate the familiar and trustworthy expanse in Pantone Color of the Year’s Classic Blue. Expect these new color collections to continue hitting the shelves and saturating the 2020 market.
Trend #3: CONNECTED EXPERIENCE
Let your brand further connect to your stakeholders! As humanity continues to navigate a high-tech world, we want more connection. Influencer culture and experiential marketing promote sharing unique moments with a wider audience and breeding “F.O.M.O.” (fear of missing out) as a key measure of success. High-tech integrations are making travel and on‑the‑go connection more efficient. And connected consumers are breaking barriers in retail; the increase in conscious buyer behavior shows that people want to feel better, combating their daily hustle and increasing anxieties by feeling connected to something bigger. As 2020 ushers in a new decade, finding a shared connection in human experience will remain an important by-product of our changing tech and natural environments. These products deliver that connected feeling by using integrated, mobile-friendly, and eco-conscious design!
Trend #4: WELL-BEING
Who doesn’t want to feel warm, cozy, and happy? As global and personal anxieties increase, well-being is becoming the new basis of brand loyalty; compared to traditional wellness, well-being takes happiness into consideration, a newly celebrated commodity in cultures around the world. From theories like treating yourself and sparking joy to more transformative physical and spiritual nourishment, well-being puts a focus back on “self” in an atmosphere of “many.” Whether it’s for the mind or body, the items above are examples of happiness boosters that play into several cultural trends that are attributed to well-being.
Trend #5: THE CASE FOR SPACE
The final frontier has always been fascinating, but 2020 will be massive year for space. The galactic trend is inspired by numerous cultural events planned for 2020: the Curiosity rover mission to Mars, Elon Musk-Jeff Bezos-Richard Branson’s race to privatize space, and NASA’s plans to open the International Space Center to tourists are just a few examples. In terms of translating this exciting trend to product, all-terrain and all-weather durability will protect against the elements; high-tech, sleek silhouettes are defining design. Holographics and colors like space white and gray (along with other trending colors blue and orange) are translating aeronautic aesthetics to the masses. With more visionary technological advances and a public eye to the sky, these product offerings are sure to take off in 2020!
We hope you are as inspired as we are by these contemporary trends and product selections. Honestly, understanding and identifying trends is vital and relevant for brands that want to stay top of mind with customers. Branded products are much more than just a logo on a product; they are truly about making a poignant impact and associating your brand with that warm fuzzy feeling (we call that Brand Love!).
Here’s to a stellar 2020!