With technology developing so quickly, it is vital to keep ahead of the curve and ensure as marketers we stand out for the right reasons. With this in mind, we wanted to bring to you the latest trends in branded technology so you can impress your clients with gifts that are relevant as well as desirable.  So, we decided to team up with and interview Matt Pluckrose – known in our industry as the ultimate gadget expert, to bring to you this information.

Matt P

Matt is the Managing Director of Desktop Ideas – a prestigious and award winning supplier of technology branded gifts. Matt formed the company over 20 years ago and is an expert when it comes to quality, trend-driven technology branded merchandise.

So to kick things off we asked Matt a question most of our clients ask when we suggest a technology promotional product to them:

Technological promotional products are usually of a higher cost to your average pen or mug. Why should marketers invest in them?

“Successful promotions are based on return on investment for the marketer which generally is measured in how often the target customer or prospect thinks about the person who has given them a promo product. Promotional Technology has been proven (in research carried out in the USA) to be among the most “useful” of all promotional products and hence is more likely to be kept and used daily by the consumer. This means the marketer is going to have their message, logo or other communication in front of their target for longer and hence increase their return on investment. A good example of a Tech item that delivers this is the Octopus Charging Cable which features a brand reminder on the product and huge branding opportunity in the backing card. It also just won the BPMA Pocket promotional product of the year.”

Technology moves fast, what is the main technology trend you are seeing this year?

“This year we are seeing a large focus on connectivity and speed of re-charging devices. The drive by major brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Google and Apple to introduce Fast Charge and PD (power delivery) charging into their handsets to allow consumers to recharge in the shortest time possible will have a large influence on promotional technology this year. An example of this is the new Fast Charge PD Power bank attached which can recharge at three times the speed of a regular generic power bank. The other major trend this year will be the continued uptake of wireless charging, introduction of more USB C accessories and move to “lifestyle” products like speakers and noise cancelling headphones.”

If you had to choose, what is your favourite technology promotional product at the moment and why?

“Now that’s a hard choice with so many cool items that we demo daily. However I would have to choose the new Xoopar iLO Bluetooth speaker as the quality of sound, LED mood lights and ability to pair two together (Via TWS ‘true wireless stereo’ to produce 20W of stereo sound is simply amazing. Also my teenage kids actually commented on how cool they are – which rarely happens and they see also of my product at home!”

Is there a stand out, most-wanted technology branded product?

“Clients want great branding, a useful product and often one that can be given away to many different targets – the bestselling product for us remains the Octopus charging cable. This remains the must have product for many companies from the largest blue Chip banks to global Search engines to the local Accountancy firm around the corner. The 4 col branding to the product and ability to add a bespoke backing card to deliver all the relevant marketing messages is what makes this the most wanted product currently.” 

Wireless technology is becoming more and more popular in our everyday lives. Is there still room for items such as cable chargers and Power banks?

“Wireless charging technology is set to change the way consumers re-charge their devices whether it’s in the home, office, car or at the local coffee shop. The recharging of everything from your phone, earbuds, mouse or eventually tablet or laptop will go wireless. However there is always room for other promotional technology products as different promotions have of course different budgets set to them and focus on different market demographics. Of the items there is for sure plenty of scope for marketers to generate good returns on the promotion through cable chargers and power banks.”

Xoopar Bubble Bang Wireless Charger is smart-phone sized with suction cups to easily attach to the back of a phone. The logo illuminates when charging with a massive 5,000 mAh battery power.

Is a branded wireless charger a good promotional gift to choose if not everyone’s phone is compatible?

“The uptake and switch of consumers with wireless enabled phones has been slower than expected with many people choosing not to upgrade their iPhones to reduce their monthly bills and also a perception that some of the recent iPhone launched are not that different to each other and so the upgrade costs are not of a benefit to them. This seems to be reversing with the intro of the new iPhone X range and popularity last Christmas and we have seen a marked uptake in the interest of promotional wireless chargers since then. The key to choosing a good wireless charger for your promotion is to ensure as wide a compatibility as possible. This is guaranteed when the wireless power bank or desk charger has a built in USB port. This way the person who receives the product can either charge wirelessly or via a cable if there phones is not compatible with wireless charging. Two very popular examples are the Xoopar Geo and the Duo Slim which have total compatibility to allow the user to charge their device as they choose.”

The new Geo Wireless Charger has a 5,000 mAh battery, an extra USB port to simultaneously charge an additional device and bright LED logo possibilities that will make your brand stand out.

Do you think we will be seeing more 3D printing in the promotional industry?

“3D printing is an interesting area of technology which currently does not feature in the promo market prominently. We have introduced the concept for promotional phone cases, allowing the marketer to design and develop very individual 3D designs on small areas. This has proven quite interesting for some clients but in the whole has not been universally adopted. I think as the market develops and companies want to focus their attention on their named prospect and design promotions that communicate on a “one to one” basis and personal level then the ability to create bespoke and individual products will become more interesting to the marketer. I believe this one is a watch this space over the coming 2-3 years…as the hardware becomes more available and lower cost then forward thinking marketers might even have a printer on their desk from which they make their own promotional products on demand!”

Do you have any predictions for the future of technological branded merchandise?

“The million dollar question and the one that if I had the answer to now I would be filling my warehouse full of them! Technology is changing rapidly and we have a number of “game changer” developments coming over the coming years…5G, driver less cars, electric vehicles, the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence, robots, the internet of everything and a total connected existence, breakthroughs in medicine, health and lifestyle changes. The job of the niche suppliers such as ourselves to ensure we are following and developing promotional technology accessories that marketers can use to gain the maximum return on their investment by focus, targeting, communicating and rewarding their prospects and clients. Rest assured we visit all the major global shows to ensure we are right up to date with the latest trends and will be ready to deliver the cool Promotional Technology solutions for your clients as they are launched.”   

We hope you have enjoyed this great insight into promotional technology gifts. All the above items (except the 3D printed case) have a MOQ of 25.

If you would like to learn more about the products we can offer, see any product videos, visuals or ideas, please get in touch with the team by phone on 0114 275 4150 or by email.