About The Author
Meredith Schwarz

Meredith joined Phase 3 in January, 2020 as Director of Sales, Northeast Region. In July, 2020, she was promoted to Vice President Sales, Northeast Region. In this capacity, she has direct responsibility for the New Jersey office sales team as well as developing the sales presence for the New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore/DC markets. Meredith brings to Phase 3 more than 10 years of Fortune 500 apparel & footwear industry experience having worked for Converse, a subsidiary of Nike, in New York City, as General Manager of their flagship Soho store.

2023 Trends in Branded Merchandise



 Recently we attended the Advertising Specialty Institute Show to learn about the new trends in the industry and to gather ideas for client campaigns. We met with vendors showing the newest promotional items and caught up with partners we've worked with for years to review what items they are offering. In addition, we took photos and videos of products we loved to share with others on the team and with our clients.


The ASI show benefits both our team and our clients because we get to see, touch and experience new promotional items that our clients will love. We often also get to do the same for items we've ordered in the past. For example, at the show we were able to lay our eyes and hands on some gorgeous leather bags we had branded in 2022 for a client’s executive team. It was sweet affirmation that we had made the perfect choice and would use that vendor partner again in the future.


It's especially important when reviewing apparel because of the variances in size, color, and quality per brand. Our team spent a considerable amount of time at the show reviewing, handling, and documenting many different apparel brands and choosing our favorites for future reference.


Every client has a certain style or needs for their branded merchandise. Working with them, we learn their preferences and then can look for new items at the ASI show to offer them in the coming year. For example, one client always orders recycled or earth-friendly items, while another looks for sporty, sleek, and usually black or grey apparel. The ASI show is the perfect place to shop for those clients who come back to us year after year.


The 2023 Trends at ASI

The promotional products industry is on the cutting edge of current events and societal trends. Some of the newest trends we discovered at ASI were:

  1. Anything in a matte color, especially in drinkware
  2. Large 40-64 oz insulated tumblers
  3. Sleek bags
  4. Jackets with clean lines
  5. Recycled clothing
  6. Soft fabric blends
  7. Relaxed fit sweatshirts
  8. Dupes of the Patagonia “better sweater”
  9. Wireless chargers in all forms


The Top Products We Loved at ASI

There were so many outstanding and innovative products at the show it's hard to choose our favorites. But we settled on these 10.

  1. We know animal-friendly clients will love the new pet accessories like this dog bandana and a container that carries both water and pet food and comes with its own bowl
  2. We are always looking for functional products that are not single-use, such as beach towels, for our eco-friendly clients. This includes items made from sustainable materials like these wood and glass bottles. 
  3. Biodegradable items merit its own callout because it is a hot category. Many clients highly regard items made with hemp and other products that break down quickly.
  4. We discovered a new direct-to-garment printing process that is great for printing color on dark apparel. The turnaround time can be as quick as one day. 
  5. Useful phone accessories like this super-functional fan/power bank/stand and this fun phone grip/stand make excellent staff gifts.
  6. Functional and affordable golf gear, including lightweight bags, towels, and shirts, are terrific for convention attendees.
  7. Multifunctional tools like this battery-powered 12-in-1 multi-tool flashlight make useful convention takeaways or raffle prizes.
  8. Futuristic notebook and pen sets like this magnetic journal and metal pen set or this notebook with an integrated pen compartment and a fold-out phone stand are great executive gifts.
  9. We are always looking for stylish and sleek puffer jackets and vests like this washable women’s version and this men’s hybrid down jacket for clients asking for outerwear.
  10. Pens are still a handy promotional gift. We love the elevated look of these metal, chrome, and rose gold pens.


A promotional product should say more than just your company name. It should make a statement about your brand’s values and purpose. It should also create a positive and lasting bond between your brand and the recipient. Phase 3 partners with businesses like yours to develop custom, curated products that deliver your distinct brand message loud and clear.


We work hard to provide the most innovative and desirable rewards, gifts, and promotional items available. Whether you need a premium product with a quick turnaround, or a custom piece designed and produced to match your brand perfectly, our business is making yours look good. Explore our catalog and give us a call for more information.