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   MAKE IT PERSONAL
From  nding the gift that represents the region in which a consumer lives to customizing co ee mugs with initials or inspirational sayings that make a gift less mainstream, consumers continue to look for products that re ect their personality and make gift recipients feel special.
“Inspirational is making a comeback, but in new ways,” said J. Brandes’ Luna, noting that inspiration now can come in the form of
a sentiment on a mug or a trinket tray or a cupcake plate. “It’s still practical and it’s special. It’s something to remember that person by.”
INSPIRATIONAL GIFTS FROM MIDWEST-CBK ON ROCKS. MIDWEST-CBK, WTC 407
Hometown pride, which has been trending for several years isn’t going away anytime soon. Consumers are looking for products that connect to their home base. “Regionality will continue to be important,” Ivystone’s Loving added. “Regional, made in America, that’s still gaining traction.”
Whether it’s initials, sentiments or customized collections, products that allow for a personal touch on any gift item are bound to resonate with customers of all generations.
NATURAL MATERIALS
AND ORGANIC STYLING IN PLANTERS FROM BLOOMINGVILLE. WESTERN REPS, TM 2822
 STORY TELLERS
As consumers become more experience-oriented, a story is one way to capture their retail attention. Handmade, crafted from repurposed materials, traditional craft from another country, made in the United States, limited edition or brands with a charitable focus are all details that give the consumer a story to tell to make that gift even more exciting.
“Having a story has gotten more important. It goes back to experience,” Ivystone’s Loving said. “Vendors need to spend more time explaining the story behind the products to their customer base.” And retailers need to take that cue too, bringing the story to their customers. “You’re in a better position to compete if you have a story. You have to tell it,” Loving added.
    TABLEWARE WITH INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGES. DEMDACO, TM 1418 (left)
SPARTINA 449 ADDS REGIONAL FLAIR TO ITS GREETINGS ACCESSORIES LINE. IVYSTONE, WTC 236 (right)
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