best-selling promotional products of 2023

It's safe to say that 2023 has been quite the year for Total Merchandise.

Over the last 12 months, we've hit some major milestones, grown our team, hosted our first-ever Supplier Showcase and even won promotional merchandise Distributor of the Year for the fifth consecutive year.


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Yep, it's been a lot. No pressure, 2024, but you've got a lot to live up to...

As we look back over the last 12 months, we thought we'd share a round-up of the most popular products of 2023. Whether you're new to ordering merchandise and are looking for some instant inspiration or whether you're looking for some instant ideas to spruce up your existing merch offering, these are the products that our customers turn to time after time.

We've created our guide to the most popular promotional merchandise ideas to be helpful for...

  • Anyone who's currently planning an event and wants to ensure their brand stands out
  • Anyone who's in the process of overseeing a rebrand 
  • Anyone who's brand new to the world of promotional products and has no idea where to begin

So grab a cuppa, get comfortable and read on to discover the most popular promotional products of 2023. (And odds are that they'll be pretty popular in 2024, too.)

The Most Popular Promo Pen Is... The Contour Extra Ballpen

Low cost, high impact and available in a range of colour combinations that would suit any business, our Contour Extra Ballpens have been the #1 pen of choice for businesses across the UK this year.

Why we love it: perfect for showcasing any logo, thanks to their colour pop design, these classic ballpens offer a generous branding area that give you complete control. Plus, they can be ordered from just 100 units, making them a great choice for everything from smaller businesses to nationwide corporations. 

Honourable mention goes to...

  • Curvy Ballpens: the classic promo pen, the Curvy is a consistent hit. Available in a huge palette of colours, it can be ordered from just 250 units.
  • Contour Ballpens: the solid colour equivalent of the Contour Extra, these smart ballpens are great for bringing a burst of colour to any pen pot. 
  • Recyclable Electra Metal Ballpens: a great choice for smaller businesses (they can be ordered from just 50 units), these eco pens can be engraved or printed with your design.

Explore our full range of promotional pens.

The Most Popular Promo Bag Is... The Printed Cotton Tote Bag

Our ever-popular Printed Cotton Tote Bags have scooped the crown for best-selling promo bag yet again, with their versatility and affordability making them a favourite for brands across the UK.

Why we love it: with the reusability of a product an ever-growing consideration point for many of us, these long-lasting and durable totes are a product you can be confident your customers will reach for time after time. 

Honourable mention goes to...

  • Polyester Drawstring Bags: great for targetted demographics, such as students or fitness fans, these drawstring bags are available from 50 units and offer a wide range of branding potential. 
  • Medium Jute Bag For Life: consistently popular, this shopper is ideal for retail environments and is a great way to align your brand with eco-friendly practices.
  • Coloured Cotton Tote Bags: want a tote bag that can match your corporate palette? These totes are for you - there's a shade to match any brand identity.

Explore our full range of promotional bags.

The Most Popular Promo Mug Is... The Cambridge Promotional Mug

Solid, reliable and perfect for showcasing any design, the Cambridge mug is a branding classic. One of our all-time best sellers, it can be ordered from just 36 units and is a great way to add your logo to kitchens and worktops across the country.

Why we love it: mugs are a long-lasting promotional giveaway that have the power to make your brand a part of the user's daily routine. The Cambridge also has a range of impressive finishes available, including handle printing and inner-base printing. Who knew tea could be so fancy?

Honourable mention goes to...

  • Marrow Mug: another drinkware classic, the elegant Marrow mug can be printed with your branding in up to four colours.
  • Americano Coffee Mugs: a great choice if you're marketing to an out-and-about audience (such as commuters), these easy-grip travel mugs are consistently popular.
  • Maxi Print Full Colours Mugs: these mugs are available for 50 units and are ideal for bringing a more illustrative design to life.

Explore our full range of promotional mugs.

The Most Popular Promo Clothing Item Is... T-Shirts!

And more specifically, our best-selling Fruit of the Loom Valueweight T-Shirts. You can't go wrong with a printed T-shirt and whether you're looking to update your team's uniform or are looking for matching clothing for an upcoming exhibition or show, these tees are perfect for doing so on a budget.

Why we love it: these T-shirts are available in a huge range of colours - 33 of them to be precise - giving your business the perfect canvas to build on. 

Honourable mention goes to...

  • Fruit of the Loom Polo Shirts: for a more structured aesthetic, these high-quality polo shirts are perfect for promoting your brand in style. 
  • AWD College Hoodies: ready to order from just 10 units, these cosy hoodies are ideal for everyone from fundraisers and students to outdoor workers and gym members. 
  • Brushed Heavy Cotton Caps: these high-quality caps make great resale items and are also a must-have for employees who work outside. 

Explore our full range of branded clothing.

The Most Popular Promo Keyring Is... Our Eco Trolley Coin!

Customers have adored our New Shape Recycled Plastic Trolley Coin this year, with its low price points and full colour branding options making it a no-brainer hit.

Why we love it: trolley coins are a highly practical giveaway and a great way to subtly associate your business with reliability. We also love that this particular product is made from 100% recycled plastic, making it great for adding a touch of environmental awareness to your marketing drive. 

Honourable mention goes to...

  • Tao Bottle & Can Opener Keychain: able to open bottles and cans, as well as advertise your brand at the same time, this multi-tasking keyring can be ordered from just 50 units.
  • Portland Torch Keyring: help customers shine a light on your brand with these handy torch keyrings, which are a particular must-have for the darker winter months.
  • Recycled Plastic Keyrings: great for adding some low-cost eco awareness to your marketing, these key rings are made in the UK from recycled plastic and can be recycled themselves post-use.

Explore our full range of promotional keyrings.

The Most Popular Notebook Is... The A5 Budget Soft Touch

With the option to print, foil block or deboss your design, this budget-friendly notebook is anything but ordinary.

Why we love it: this particular notebook is just so versatile. As well as the range of branding methods, the product itself is available in a wide range of colours, with its low minimum order quantity (50 units) meaning it can be suitable for everything from offices to classrooms. 

Honourable mention goes to...

  • Luxury Soft Feel Notebooks: another classic, this product ticks all our boxes when it comes to its versatility, practicality and long-lasting brand awareness potential.
  • Recycled Notepad & Pen Sets: these recycled pen-and-pad sets are perfect for handing out at events and conferences, or for keeping stocked-up in the office.
  • 3 x 3 Sticky Notes: sure, it's not a notebook per see but this handy block of printed sticky notes is still one of our best-selling paper products - and we're not surprised!

Explore our full range of branded notebooks.

Some Of The Other 2023 Best Sellers You Need To Know About Include...

20mm Full Colour Lanyards

A must-have for any events you've got on the calendar in 2024, these vibrant lanyards are perfect for drawing attention to your branding and adding a smart touch to any corporate occasion.

Available to order from a mere 50 units, they're printed with your design to both sides and are perfect for displaying name badges, security passes and more. 

Smart 6 in 1 Charger Cables

Ideal for adding a smart techie touch to any marketing campaign, these handy on-the-go chargers are also great for helping your team's devices stay charged up when they're representing your brand on the road.

Printed with your design in one, two or full colour, they're a high-perceived value item that can be ordered from just 50 units.

Finger Grip Sports Bottles 500ml

These budget-friendly water bottles are great for adding a splash of colour to any marketing campaign. 

Particularly fitting for sports or fitness-related brands, they're perfect for encouraging your customers to stay hydrated and offer a generous print space for your design.  

All Over Print Table Cloth Throws

Preparing to showcase your brand at an exhibition or show in 2024? These table cloths have been our best seller this year, making them a must-consider option for your upcoming event.

With three sizes to choose from and ready to order from one unit, they make adding an instant corporate touch to any display area feel effortless.

Silicone Wristbands

Whether they're used a ticketing alternative for an event or are sold as low-cost charity merchandise, these wristbands are an all-rounder that have helped logos to shine time after time this year.

Printed or debossed with your design in a range of options, they can be matched to your precise Pantone requirement to ensure that the product colour is exactly the shade you want it to be. Talk about bespoke!

Explore our full range of best-selling promotional merchandise to find the perfect match for your business. Need assistance? Simply contact a member of our friendly and experienced Sales team on 01376 509092 or email info@totalmerchandise.co.uk. Main image: Nataliya Vaitkevich via Pexels.

Written by

Katie Reed | Product Manager & Head of Artwork

With 13 years of experience in the promotional merchandise industry, Katie speaks with true authority about all matters related to promotional products. Her attention to detail and creative flair ensure that product details, prices, imagery and descriptions are accurate and answer all our customers' questions. Her articles and other product-related content have become truly trusted sources of information and inspiration for anyone deciding on their next promotional product order. In another life, Katie would have been a star Quidditch player.

Connect with Katie Reed on LinkedIn Connect with Katie Reed on LinkedIn

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