What you can learn from the 370% increase in demand for puzzles

When was the last time you conquered a 1,000 piece puzzle? To some, that’s a measly warmup. For others, it’s a feat worthy of a wall plaque. We’re in that latter group. Our puzzle conquests won’t be racking up world records any time soon.

Speaking of records, did you know that puzzle sales were up 370%? Ravensburger, a global leader in puzzle-making, has averaged 20 puzzle sales a minute—that’s right, 20 every minute.

Puzzles aren’t the only thing seeing big numbers. Bidets saw a 300% increase in search volume in the last 60 days, meanwhile chicken coops saw a 250% spike. Think those are big numbers? Try a 766% increase in “DIY haircut” searches.

Sure, puzzles aren’t a necessity, and chicken coops aren’t for everyone, but people are changing the way they live and buy. As we racked our brains over these staggering numbers, we knew there had to be others riding this wave of resurgence—sure enough, we found several interesting stories.

These aren’t promotional products, but they’re wonderful examples of how you can evolve a business strategy to keep revenue ticking over in any environment. Businesses are making the choice, position yourself to ride the trend, or adapt to the new market that we play in. Dig in and steal some inspiration, creativity, and chutzpah from these four businesses.

The Trendsetters

Some companies are in the right spot at the right time, but that doesn’t guarantee success. You still need to see the opportunity and position yourself to capitalize. Here are two companies that identified a shift and doubled down.

Peace Out Skin Care

Peace Out knows how much we hate stress and what brings more stress than a global pandemic? Nobody likes looking at their pimples in the mirror, but that skin anxiety is magnified 10x when you’re staring at a snow-capped face mountain on Zoom calls all day. Peace Out was perfectly positioned to capitalize on everyone’s new video-induced self consciousness, pushing their 1-step acne solution to customers all over the world.

While Peace Out is by no means a comprehensive skincare brand that offers solutions to everything, they most definitely deliver on their specialty. This specialty—a 1-step solution for clear skin—has proven to be the MVP during the recent pandemic, with numbers soaring far above their annual predicted revenue. In March, they watched double the amount of customers spend $500+ on their orders, as well as an increase in customers who purchased four items or more.

What can be learned from Peace Out? It’s pretty simple–double down on what you do best and keep pushing when opportunity presents itself. You don’t need to offer 1,000 products or start producing outside your specialty to find success, it’s a matter of finding the markets that need what you have.

Fully Chairs

We all have that one chair in our house we throw ourselves into at the end of the workday, but what about the one we use during the workday? With everyone quarantined, home office chairs are seeing a dramatic increase in gluteus maximus time. That means those cool antique chairs with padding from the 1930’s just won’t cut it any longer.

Fully, the ergonomic chairs and desk architects were ready for the day when the corporate crowd had to start hustling from home. With that in mind, Fully crafted a chair that anyone could use, in any style they want. You want to rest on one leg and use the other for a bass beat? Go for it. Want to sit reverse against the back support like a cowboy? Have at it partner. The goal was to make something so different that supported all their customers, in whatever method they chose to work.

Our national stay at home orders fed this beast nicely. Since the moment employees started setting up home workstations, Fully’s phone was ringing. In March alone, they handled five times the number of inquiries compared to last year. Not only that but they started offering guides to help employees at home set up their ideal workspace, using Fully products.

Now let me be clear, their desks and chairs are pricey—try $800 for their Capisco chair—but, their focus on customer needs propelled them to the top of their space and most office supply lists. Fully is a great example of how the right premium product can fly off the shelf, even during a global pandemic—or because of it.

The Adapters

Some brands are built to adapt, others adapt out of necessity. What’s impressive is the ability to operate in one space, and quickly transition to another, without missing a beat. It’s no easy challenge, but these two operations have it figured out.

Splash Studio

This Milwaukee-based painting studio is changing the way they do business through “Take and Make” kits. After conversing with their parent group, Bar and Recreation Inc, Splash quickly realized they needed a way to continue connecting with customers and empowering them to paint, without coming into the studio. Hence “Take and Make” was born.

These craft creations blend all the best of the Splash experience, mixing together paint, canvasses, brushes, wine, and even popcorn for customers who purchase a kit. Once you’re all set up, you can hop on YouTube or Facebook and watch one of their professional artists walk you through a design—just like you’re in the studio with them.

This transition to digital service wasn’t easy, but Milwaukee natives responded quickly, snatching up all of the available kits on a daily basis. After weeks of watching the painting studio thrive online, their parent company even took to the digital space, offering up a new product called Head Space Trivia—a pub trivia game you can bring into your living room.

Though the transition to digital selling started with Splash Studio, it was quickly adopted by the rest of the brands under the Bar and Recreation umbrella and is proving to be quite profitable for every brand they operate.

Bread Furst

Founded by Mark Furstburg in 2014, Bread Furst is your ma and pa bakery—copious amounts of fresh bread line the walls and aromatic pastries are squeezed up against the glass. These sights quickly diminished as customers stopped stocking up on baked goods and retreated into their homes.

A week before the President announced national stay-at-home orders, the Bread Furst crew decided to make a change—for themselves and their customers. Rather than offer exclusively bakery items, they jumped straight into the grocer market, flaunting local vegetables, fruits, and basic baking ingredients. Little did they know that their baking ingredients would start selling better than their sliced bread.

As Bread Furst has adjusted its approach to business, they’ve continued to keep their customers in focus, making sure to ask questions and provide additional information via Facebook and Youtube tutorials. Not only that, but they’ve expanded their partnerships with local restaurants offering takeout orders and even slinging yeast to a popular pickle supplier. The once bakery now looks like a full-fledged supermarket, but they’ve obviously found a nice recipe to stay in business.


Open your eyes to the peripheral opportunities around you. Our world has changed and it will continue changing. Think about how you can play into trends or adapt to the new market. Don’t simply chase face masks and hand sanitizer. Go deeper and determine where people will be spending their money as we emerge back into the world. The ability to spot opportunity and adapt to capitalize is one of the most valuable skills in business.

Enjoy this article and want a little more inspiration and direction for your promotional product business? Join 35,000 other promotional product companies getting ZOOMtrends each month.