How is it possible that 2014 is already here? Is anyone else still writing 2011 on their checks? (Does anyone still write checks?!?) Not only does 2014 bring us the Winter Olympics and the new college football playoff system, but also some really great and exciting new products in the branded merchandise industry. Did you know that the average person spends an hour on their smart phones and ninety minutes on their tablets daily? So, needless to say, technology items are the hottest things right now. Anything you can use on or near a smart phone and tablet is going to be a home run. A couple extremely hot items right now are: The power bank. These come in a variety of sizes, capacities (measured in mAh) and price ranges. Here are two of my favorites: If you’re looking for something a little less spendy, but that still packs the same punch as far as impressions are concerned, try one of these: The mini screen cleaner that attaches to the back of your phone: The stylus pen…Don’t ever buy a normal pen again. Aside from technology, we’re seeing a lot of factories gain the ability to do multi-color imprints. You no longer have to print in black or white. We now can take your gorgeous, full color logo that you paid the ad agency thousands of dollars to create, and slap it just about on anything… From bags: To koozies: To pens: To drinkware: And finally, speaking of drinkware…you can never go wrong. Daily, I use a vacuum coffee tumbler, a water bottle and a wine glass (don’t judge…I have a toddler) that are all emblazoned with someone’s logo. It could be yours… The biggest trends we’re seeing in drinkware are: The red party cup…everything: The vacuum tumbler (keeps your coffee hot for HOURS!): And the infuser: 2014 is going to be a great year to get ahead of the game and make your brand stand out. Make sure you add branded merchandise to make the most impact!