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Four Global Trends to Inform Your Promotional Product Marketing Campaigns in 2019

Four Global Trends - 2019

As we settle in to 2019, make sure you’re in the know with some of the most talked about global trends.


Single-Use Plastics

Throwaway plastic is still a hot topic in 2019 with the world’s largest producer of bottled drinks manufacturing 128 billion bottles a year (National Geographic). Many corporations are now taking action but Marine Conservation Charity “Surfers Against Sewage” state that we still have approximately 5,000 items of plastic pollution per mile of beach in the UK. Consumers are changing their own behaviour to reduce plastic waste, leaving packaging behind at supermarket tills and swapping less-informed purchases for environmentally friendly choices.

Bioplastics & Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic

Providing alternatives to single-use plastics such as bioplastics, recycled paper and recycled reusable travel mugs (instead of coffee cups) should be high on your radar in 2019. Eloquently stated by Mintel, 2018, bio-based packaging materials are “set to be a key component to the next generation of responsible packaging”. Bioplastics look just like single-use plastics but can decompose in food waste within 12 weeks. Other alternatives include recyclable plastics produced with 100% green energy, products made from sustainable plants such as sugar cane and products such as umbrellas made from recycled PET bottles.


Read: "Small Steps Your Business can take to Minimise its Impact on the Environment" 


Smart Wearable Technology

Fitness trackers and smart watches are the number one fitness trend for 2019, according to the worldwide survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Today, over 14 billion products are “connected” with smart technology that, for example, enables your fridge to add milk to your Amazon shopping list or enables your phone to turn your living room light on whilst you are away on holiday.


Health & Wellbeing

People are taking their personal health more seriously, conducting their own research and taking more control over what they eat, how they live and their mental and emotional wellbeing. Products, services and content which supports or empowers this way of thinking could set you ahead in 2019.


Appealing to Millennials

Millennials are the largest generation since the Baby Boomers! Born between the early 80s and the 90s, almost 50% of buyers conducting initial research in 2014 were millennials (Google). Whether you’re in a B2B environment or not, Millennials need consideration. To quote the IBM report, To buy or not to buy? How Millennials are reshaping B2B marketing, this generation is “…the most educated, most tech-savvy, most connected, thrifty, and socially and environmentally conscious.”

So there you have it, a select glimpse from hundreds of trends set to change the global landscape in 2019.

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Read: Small Steps Your Business can take to Reduce its Impact on the Environment

Small Steps Your Business Can Take to Minimise its Impact on the Environment

Going Green Your Way

Small Steps Your Business Can Take to Minimise its Impact on the Environment & Prepare for the Progressive Shift to an Eco-Conscious Population.


The news of the Lib Dems calling for a ban on all single-use plastics (SUP) within three years poses a bold question for all UK businesses: how would your operation cope with such a law? With the recent plastic bag levy, it’s not unlikely that this law will be passed!

I’ve put together a few quick thoughts on how you can work towards lowering your impact on the environment, whether you already have well-established environmental policies or are late to the game.


Single-Use Plastic (SUP)

1 million birds and 100,000 sea mammals and turtles die every year from ingesting plastic and becoming tangled in plastic waste (source: www.kimointernational.org). The European Commission has put proposals forward to the European Parliament and Council for adoption of new rules to tackle 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.

Early this year, Country Living writer Kate Langrish accepted a challenge to live a week plastic-free in the countryside. Here is a quote from her write up, “Leaving packaging at the checkout is one of the clearest ways of letting supermarkets know that their customers want change." This year, UK supermarkets suffered a public backlash against the high volumes of plastic rubbish that is created from a typical weekly shop. Some major supermarkets signed up to support the UK plastic pact as they reacted to the escalating shift in behaviour, recognising that our “throw-away” culture needs to change.

Here are some ideas to aid you in your mission to eliminate single-use plastics within your organisation.


Communicate with Your Suppliers

Reducing single-use plastic produced by suppliers will be challenging but as the demand for alternatives to plastic increases, so will the pressure on these suppliers as well as your own organisation. Don’t be afraid to ask, many suppliers are already adjusting to this shift in behaviour.

Reusable Water Bottles

Ditch single-use water bottles in the office and switch to a water cooler paired with stainless steel branded bottles for your staff. Not only will you be setting a great example for your employees to follow but you will also be encouraging hydration, which we all know improves health and productivity in the workplace.

Buy Your Staff a Bag

Reusable bags are all the rage now but people still get caught out without one. Provide staff with bags they can use when they nip to the shops during their lunch break.

Corporate Branded Reusable Mugs

Treat your staff to some reusable travel and desk mugs with a message promoting your brand’s environmental principles internally. We throw away 2.5 billion coffee cups a year in the UK, with the majority making their way to landfill. I recently heard about a company switching to reusable mugs after it was assessed that they went through 100,000 single-use plastic cups a day – their savings are huge. Reusable cups and travel mugs can make a real difference.


Recycled Products & Company-Wide Recycling

If your company is serious about reducing its impact on the environment and reducing its carbon footprint then this could be a game changer for you. Waste prevention and recycling reduces emissions associated with the energy required to produce and transport new products and emissions from incinerators and landfills. The study, ‘Greenhouse gas emission factors for recycling of source-segregated waste materials’ (Williams, Kemp and Turner, 2016), uncovered the most beneficial materials to recycle based on the saving of emissions. At the top were aluminium cans, aluminium foil, mixed cans, aerosols, textiles, footwear, mattresses and mixed plastics. Other benefits to recycling are that it reduces waste taken to landfills, it saves resources and it avoids injustices that can be associated with producing new materials.

As well as recycling the waste that your organisation produces, you can also opt to only source recycled products where possible. They are all the rage! Recycled paper products are a given, but did you know that you could buy furniture created from recycled plastic and post-consumer rubbish? 


Go Local!

If this is just too much too soon for your company then you could consider doing your bit by going local! Sourcing products from a local supplier will reduce your carbon footprint and you will be supporting local businesses along with the local workforce! What better message to promote to your local community?


Make a Pledge

Over 40 major businesses have signed up to the UK plastics Pact, pledging to eradicate single-use plastics from all packaging. If you want to be taken seriously you have to get serious. Make a pledge and get the whole company involved. You need buy-in from the top down and you need to approach environmental responsibilities like all other business objectives to be measured. Even something as small as pledging to go paperless is a great way that your company can reduce waste in the office and do its bit for the environment.


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How Our Branded Mugs Ease All of Them

Your Top Four Frustrations When Buying Promotional Items

The custom mug is the third most popular promotional item found on a desk. Based on the most recent research into the use of promotional products in the UK, conducted by the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association), 20% of interview participants who had promotional products on their desk had a promotional mug. The cost per impression is extremely low; they last for an average of 3 years and when you consider the exposure gained by using a mug at your desk or at home with guests visiting - it’s pretty high.

Custom mugs are a popular choice for a promotional product for many reasons. They have a very long lifespan and owners can develop an emotional attachment to their own. Think about your favourite mug, is it a personalised one? How do you feel about someone else using it? Plenty of people will confirm that they feel emotionally attached to a specific mug and have admitted that they would be upset if it broke.

Let’s Set the Scene…

Imagine…you see somebody making tea from across the room. You catch a glimpse of your mug, why? You didn’t ask for a drink! Your instincts kick in….you move in to grab it…

Rim and Handle Custom Mugs

Number One Frustration - Poor Quality

The biggest frustration when it comes to purchasing branded promotional goods for your company is that the items are “cheap tat” which can break easily. Micro only supplies mugs of the highest quality with a wide choice of materials and print. Our Duraglaze PhotoMugs have been independently tested to BS EN 12875-4 to over 2000 washes and are confirmed 100% dishwasher proof.


Number Two Frustration - Pricing

Websites that don’t show prices & vague quotes that don’t include all costs!

Promotional products are offered completely bespoke to your company’s branding. One organisation may require 200 t-shirts made from organic cotton with an embroidery detail, another may ask for 500 transfer t-shirts in full-colour print. In our experience, we find it best to speak directly with you. This allows us to gain all the information required to provide you with an accurate quote that has no hidden costs, which means no last-minute surprises.


Number Three Frustration - Lead Times

Some promotional merchandise can have lengthy lead times, but it doesn’t have to be this way. We stock many products which offer fast delivery. In the case of mugs, if requested, particular lines can be branded and delivered to you within 48 hours of artwork approval. We always endeavour to cater to any specific need or requirement, just give us a call!

It should be noted that artwork confirmations can significantly increase lead times. As long as you quickly approve your artwork, we can move the order forward swiftly and get your product despatched fast.


Number Four Frustration - Communication

“The company forgot to contact me!”

Sad, but true! At Micro, we have processes in place ensuring each and every enquiry is followed up on, as scheduled, so that no customer is forgotten about.

“Bombarded with emails!”

We like to send status updates in the form of an email letting customers know exactly how an order is progressing. After this, we will only send relevant email updates on the latest products and services - loyal customers receive the best offers. Customers can opt-out and in of email updates at any time.

“Pushy sales!”

Our ethos is the opposite. No one likes to be forced into anything. Micro likes to think of ourselves as an extension of your own team, your very own promotional product consultants advising on the best practice and the most suitable products for a particular campaign. We will provide you with all of the information you require, giving you the time and space needed to make an informed decision. Our excellent service sells itself, give it a try!


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