A Year in Review

How has it been running a promotional merchandise business during the COVID-19 pandemic? Well, the year hasn’t been without its ups and downs and we wanted to do a year in review, taking some time to look back on 2020 and also let you in on some of the trends that we saw beginning to gain traction over the last few months.

etc. Branding started off 2020 with a busy year ahead. Lots of events were planned, for both ourselves and our clients and orders were steadily rolling in. Then, March arrived and the world as we knew it began to shift dramatically. The COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the UK (and the rest of the world) and brought the events industry to its knees. We all had to adapt to a new way of living and working, adopting masks and hand sanitiser into our everyday lives and spending more time at home with our loved ones than ever before.

We saw events postponed all across the country and we had to weather the storm of orders cancelled and an uncertain few months ahead. It could have been a gloomy time for the business but we were able to adapt and diversify quickly and saw our suppliers continuously bring out new and innovative items to help in the combat against COVID-19. We were suddenly getting orders from our clients for branded masks, branded hand sanitiser and perspex screens to make workplaces COVID-secure.

The pandemic had a huge knock-on effect to the manufacturing, transport and logistics industries, causing large disruption and delays to orders, but by keeping an open and honest line of communication with our clients, we were able to manage expectations. 

The first lockdown came and went and we ended the summer with a very busy September and October ahead of us. As the country began to exit the tough restrictions that we had all endured, businesses were beginning to place orders for mailable items as a thank you to their staff in recognition of their hard work or appreciation for the support they’d received from their clients and suppliers. 

We saw customers opting for more personalised items, showing off a bit of personality. Funny, tongue-in-cheek items such as “Shh I’m trying to work in here…” door hangers became popular and we took countless orders for items that would brighten up the recipient’s day when they land on the doormat. With the exponential increase in people working from home, we also saw a shift towards items that transfer into everyday lives. There was much less of a reliance on the traditional post-it notes and coasters and an increase in items that can be used around the home.

Our clients are really trying to connect with their customers and are seeing the value in branded merchandise when physical events are not able to happen. We attended many online showcases, connected with so many new people on a virtual level and fostered some really valuable new connections. It’s been great but it just doesn’t feel the same. But we know the events industry will bounce back and we can’t wait to be first in line at our favourite events where we get to meet all of you!

It has been a difficult year, especially when we haven’t been able to be in our office, bouncing ideas off each other and generally just working together in the same vicinity. But we are so grateful for our incredible and loyal customer base, both old and new, and being able to make it through 2020 happy and healthy and ready to take on what 2021 has in store for us.

etc. Branding provides bespoke and innovative branded promotional merchandise and luxury gifts. Our company mantra: “It’s about being remembered not just being noticed” motivates and inspires us to offer you the best service we can! So, why not call us today on +44 (0) 333 358 3522 to speak to a member of our team who’ll be delighted to assist you. Alternatively, you can email us at or complete our contact form.