Why Your Promotions Might Not Be As Successful As You Anticipated

Posted by Rachel Sullivan on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

393552705900589.BU7ntdzAZO3F2fgMtRKz_height640.png When it comes to the realm of promotional products and the promotional products industry, taking a moment to put some thought into a plan can alter the success of your marketing initiatives. There are a lot of common mistakes that brands make when trying to use promotional marketing, and mistakes are okay, but ParsonsKellogg is here to help you learn from them.


Ignoring the wants/needs of your audience

Obviously there are items that you, as the audience, would prefer to receive. Maybe to-go mugs and hats are your shtick, but that doesn’t mean that’s what your recipients want or need. Functionality and usefulness are key! In fact, 77% of consumers say that the number one reason why they keep a promotional product is because of its usefulness. So just ask! Reach out to your employees and targeted audience and see what it is that they’re looking for. It’s an easy way to ensure that the money you spend on promotion won’t be wasted.

Waiting until the last minute

Sometimes things fall through the metaphoric “crack”; whether they are forgotten, underestimated, or procrastinated, we’re all guilty of waiting until the last minute to do something. Yes, many companies are efficient at rush orders, but they’re going to cost you—both in price as well as time needed to fix potential mistakes. Do your sanity and your wallet a favor and make a timeline for all upcoming events and promotional needs!

Price over quality

The price tag is always important, illuminating the dividing line between what is affordable and what is out of reach, but there is a fine line between saving money and buying cheap products. If you choose cheap products that serve your wallet better than they serve your audience, you will find a much smaller return on investment. Your promo products reflect your company and cheap products will discredit your brand. But have no fear! You don’t have to spend extensive amounts of money, just work to find cost effective items that are useful and good quality!

Too much or too little information

Promotional products are supposed to boost your brand recognition and outreach, so you want to make sure your items are branded simply and effectively. While you don’t want to hand out promo products inundated with information about your brand, a single logo is just as inefficient. Give enough information that people know what they’re looking at but not too much that it becomes aesthetically unappealing.

Wrong target audience

Promotional products are essentially another member of your team. They sell your brand to your market outside the confines of your company. Something to keep in mind is exactly who you want to reach via these products. Choosing items that do not appeal to the audience within your target market is a common mistake. When looking at items make sure you’re choosing something that people will like and use. Handing out toys or stuffed animals with your logo might not be as effective as you’d like because the age group using the products are likely not the ones using your services. So be conscientious and promote your brand with products that appeal to your market!

To avoid these mistakes and get the bang for your buck that you deserve, contact PK!

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Topics: parsonskellogg, #buildyourbrand, 2017 promotional products

How New Trends in the Education System Affect Your Brand

Posted by Rachel Sullivan on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 @ 10:07 AM


Education wields considerable influence on the promotional products industry, defending its position as the number one buyer in the industry. Don’t believe it? Just think of all the college students and graduates wearing sweatshirts, hats, and t-shirts bearing the name of their alma mater. As the number one buyer, the changes in their marketing needs are significant and lead to new branding opportunities. These opportunities arise from 4 main channels: competition, technology, focus on health and wellness, and fundraising and development. But it’s not just education systems that reap the benefits of these 4 trends, you can too!

The effects of competition are pretty self-explanatory; the more colleges in the market, the more each individual school has to expand their outreach to vie for the attention of prospective students and their families. These schools want to stand out and capture the attention of the upcoming pools of college students. All brands on the market feel similar pains, which is why this channel leads to great opportunities for promotional products. Putting your brand into the public eye via promo items provides a great source of outreach to get you noticed over others in the same market.

Changes in technology are a catalyst for changes in marketing initiatives—makes sense, right? The constant development of new technology makes these initiatives simultaneously harder and easier to achieve. If we were to take a peek at the average college student we would see why education systems are using the technology channel to reach out to the younger generations. Tablets, smartphones, and laptops are often more common than hardcover textbooks, which is why taking part in the latest trends is beneficial for both you and your audience. Promotional products like lightening cables and Bluetooth speakers take advantage of the upward curve in technology while also allowing you to market your brand.


The third outlet of change in the education system is the emphasized focus on health and wellness. Most colleges these days are equipped with beautiful fitness centers that cater towards the health conscious youth. However, it is not just colleges that can utilize this outlet in the promotional market. Charity races/events, fitness blogs/social media accounts, and avid fitness gurus permeate society outside the walls of education. So make strides in your marketing initiatives and use promotional products like sports bottles and drawstring backpacks to improve your outreach and marketing initiatives.

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Fundraising and development is the fourth and final channel used by schools to make changes in their marketing. Alumni looking to give back to their alma maters often give donations or institute scholarships to show their appreciation. Thanking the benefactors for their philanthropies is of utmost importance to the colleges, as they know that their alumni network is crucial to the health of the institution. Employee appreciation is just as important to your company, and promotional products serve as the perfect “thank you”. Items like journals and mugs are functional while also showing your gratitude for your workforce.


To find out how we can help you build your brand according to the latest trends contact PK!

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Topics: #buildyourbrand, 2017 promotional products, now trending

How Will You #BuildYourBrand This Fall?

Posted by Rachel Sullivan on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 @ 10:07 AM


As the summer season reaches the August mark, brands begin their planning for fall marketing initiatives. ParsonsKellogg gives you access to the catalogs of premium brands before anyone else—catalogs that feature the latest and greatest styles and colorways. While the fall might be known as a time of last life for the vegetation (at least here in New England), it does not have the same connotation for business. The change in season marks the beginning of new ideas and successes, which open up new opportunities that would not have otherwise been possible.

A recent Harvard study has shown that as the days cool down and lose their summer appeal workers actually become more productive. Surprised? So were we, which is why we encourage you to make the most of the season and capitalize on the zeal of your brand. Channel the fresh energy into the building of your brand and make a change!

Change, though it can be scary for some, paves the way for innovation. If we look back on even the last 20 years, change is extremely prevalent, permeating almost every aspect of our lives. Let’s talk movies. What started as a VHS tape eventually developed into a DVD which transformed into Blu Ray, and now it is possible, even easy, to watch a movie anywhere at anytime with smartphones and tablets.

Our world changes with every second that ticks by, and the well-seasoned brand knows that taking advantage of this fluctuation is imperative to a successful business. Those who ignore the fear behind trying something new taste the fruits of success more frequently than those who choose to stay within the confines of their comfort zone. It’s not just movies and technology that are transforming, our industry is changing too! A lot of companies no longer place as much value on cheaper products; instead, they prefer to go with premium apparel and accessories that their audience actually wear/use. Placing an importance on its functionality allows brands to prevail over the day to day changes, extending the longevity of their success.

So stay up to date on the trends this fall and try something new, whether it be a deviation from a favorite ¼ zip to a polo with a quirky new set of buttons, by adding premium brands to your initiative! Whether you’re interested in lifestyle or supporting goods brands, we have a diverse line-up of brands that will satisfy even the most particular.

To see the latest in promotional products and premium brands contact ParsonsKellogg!


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Topics: parsonskellogg, Promotional Products Industry, Fall Catalogs

July's Brand of the Month: johnnie-O

Posted by Rachel Sullivan on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 @ 10:07 AM


Are khaki shorts and a blue blazer a fashion faux pas? Our brand of the month johnnie-O’s founder John O’Donnell doesn’t think so; in fact, it was this kind of pairing that gave way to his successful brand in 2004. John is all about pushing the boundaries of the known and expanding into the unknown, a character trait that gave the company the edge it needed to become so popular over the past 13 years.

John’s life straddled two places, a town on the north shore of Chicago and Los Angeles. He wanted to create the perfect mixture of his two worlds: his Chicago style of khakis, a blue blazer, and penny loafers combined with the Los Angeles flip-flops, board shorts, and graphic tees. It was from his experiences in these two cities that the brand’s "west coast prep" vibes were born.

A few of johnnie-O's top products—

Jack Polo (bottom left)Classic, lightweight top that’s perfect for the golf course or the office.

Lammie ¼ Zip Prep-Formance Pullover (bottom right)Great for a cool morning run or casual wear, this pullover will keep you comfortable and stylish











PK provides exclusive access to premium brands like johnnie-O for promotional apparel. We give you the opportunity to co-brand with companies that allow promotion inside and outside the walls of your company. The summer months are a flurry of activity, so your marketing initiatives have access to a greater audience. Items such as the Lammie Pullover are great because they stick with you as the seasons transition from summer to fall! To bring an air of casual style to your brand and employee base, add your logo to the top corporate styles from johnnie-O!

Contact ParsonsKellogg

Topics: promotional products, brand of the month, johnnie-O

What Your Logo Really Means

Posted by Rachel Sullivan on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 @ 12:06 PM


As the holiday weekend approaches we ponder the meaning of our country and what our red, white, and blue flag really means to us. It has stood before us for over two centuries, waving its stars and stripes as a reminder of our freedom and equality. How is the American flag similar to your logo? Here at ParsonsKellogg we have the expertise needed to answer this question. They both serve as a sort of symbol, measuring the meaning and importance behind what they stand for. For us, we emphasize your brand through the means of promotional products. 

Whether you realize it or not, a company’s logo has a fairly large impact on the decision of the consumer as well as the success of the enterprise. According to research, upon seeing a logo the audience immediately makes presumptions about the characteristics of the brand based on its design.  This is why you want to make a good first impression because your brand is being scrutinized within milliseconds of being seen (400 milliseconds to be exact).

Take these companies for example, what are your first thoughts when you see the following trademarked brands? Are they positive or negative? Would you recommend them to a friend?


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SAP Logo-2-1.jpg



A picture (or in our case a logo) is worth 1,000 words. Both the flag and your brand’s logo speak without using words, but what they stand for says it all. Our expertise in promotional products enables you to promote your message and maximize your brand’s exposure. Through building exposure you familiarize your audience with your brand, which slowly builds your credibility and credibility strengthens the positive effect of your brand.

For help with brand marketing contact ParsonsKellogg!

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Topics: Your Logo and How it Affects Your Brand, #buildyourbrand

Add Your Logo to Southern Tide with ParsonsKellogg

Posted by Rachel Sullivan on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 @ 13:06 PM


Teamwork makes the dream work, which is why here at ParsonsKellogg we believe that co-branding is integral to furthering the success and longevity of your brand. The beginning of summer’s slow bloom poses a strategic opportunity for brands to branch out and reach a larger audience by gaining access to premium brand's corporate sales. Longer days and warmer weather allows the work within the walls of your office to see the light of day. This is why you should choose to partner your logo and Southern Tide, our brand of the month. Southern Tide is a brand that cultivates the essence of classic style while also delivering the youthful designs demanded by today’s marketplace. 

This hugely successful Southern apparel brand was brought to life in 2006 by founder Allen Stephenson in his parent’s home, where the clothing went from his kitchen table to your closet. Stephenson was compelled to improve the American wardrobe after a trip to Italy. He felt that the quality of clothing consumers were buying was insufficient, so he decided to put the fate of high-quality clothing into his own hands. The child of this idea is the premium lifestyle brand we now know as Southern Tide.

A Few Top Products…

Channel Marker Stripe Polo: This polo with a classic fit has an even hem and open sleeve, perfect for being worn either tucked in or out.

Corporate sales for Southern Tide from ParsonsKellogg

Lightweight Skipjack ¼ Zip: An ideal product for seasonal transitions due to its lightweight nature and large variety of colors.

Corporate sales for Southern Tide from ParsonsKellogg

ParsonsKellogg has access to premium brands like Southern Tide, which allows us to offer you exclusive products at a great price. Premium brands can augment your performance in the marketing realm by putting your logo onto products used in day-to-day life. The warm weather opens up the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the exposure of lifestyle brands whose apparel fits the laid back lifestyle of the summer months. By co-branding you keep your brand front and center by providing employees and clients with products they will wear everyday.

To add Southern Tide to your promotional marketing initiatives contact ParsonsKellogg today!

Contact ParsonsKellogg

Topics: Southern Tide in the Corporate Market Place

Technology and The Promotional Products Industry

Posted by Dominique Ferraro on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 @ 09:04 AM

Technology and the Promotional Products Industry

In the past 10 years, every single industry has undergone huge changes due to super-fast growth in technology. The promotional products industry is no exception. Though our production process has stayed relatively unchanged - embroidering a shirt will always require a machine that sews - our industry has seen a massive shift toward e-commerce and online stores. 

Online catalogs and ordering/payment systems have made and will continue to make it easier for companies to source custom promotional products. Just like Amazon can deliver your household items, Peapod can deliver your groceries, and Nordstrom can deliver your clothes, your custom logo shirts, hats, sweaters, jackets, golf clubs, accessories, and more can now be delivered right to your door.

PK is at the leading edge of this trend for the corporate market. With the imminent launch of our new online store, Shop PK, our clients will be able to shop promotional apparel and accessories from top brands, like Patagonia, Nike, Under Armour, Bauer, Southern Tide, Vineyard Vines, and more. 

Currently, we offer webstores for our clients that give their employees and customers a similar shopping experience. The stores have varied purposes, including:

  • Event Microsites, for event-specific branded products, open just before and after the event date
  • Corporate Webstores, for large companies with offices and franchises around the country who need to purchase company-branded apparel and accessories for their location
  • Employee Shops, where new hires and seasoned pros can buy corporate branded products to wear both at work and at home, or view gifts they will receive as recognition for their time with the company
  • Industry Shopping Centers, providing items that cater to a specific industry that any of our customers in that industry can access

We're excited to expand on these models and offer a user-friendly, around-the-clock shopping experience for our customers that will bring them innovative promotional products and marketing solutions. 

We've been working hard over the past few months to develop a top of the line site with top of the line products for our clients and prospects! Don't miss out on your opportunity to browse promotional products right online - sign up to receive updates from ParsonsKellogg and beat the competition by staying at the forefront of promotional products trends. 

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Topics: Promotional Products Industry, ASI Industry, Technology

Arbor Day, Earth Day, and Giving Back with Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

Posted by Dominique Ferraro on Fri, Apr 21, 2017 @ 08:04 AM


Between Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 28), a lot of our focus will be drawn to protecting our planet this week - whether it be by planting a tree, carpooling to work, or switching to solar energy. (At PK, we installed solar panels to our office and warehouse space last summer.) In honor of these special holidays, here’s a few of our favorite eco-friendly vendors and promotional products 

Patagonia For Good
When we think eco-friendly, we think Patagonia. First organic cotton, then recycled materials, now Traceable Down- Patagonia covers all the bases for preservation and fair treatment of animals, plants, and humans alike. Some products from Patagonia we love: the Fisherman's Rolled Cap, the Better Sweater, and the Refugio pack -- all pictured below.

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*PK is a member of 1% Percent for the Planet - a global movement started by Patagonia’s founder to support grassroots environmental organizations, through which we donate 1% of all our Patagonia sales to benefit the cause. 

Conserve Resources
It can be hard to find promotional products that are built from green materials on a budget, but that doesn't mean you can't choose products that help you be environmentally responsible every day! Here are a few ideas to save the planet in little ways with promo products from PK.

Brandable Plastic Tumblers with Straws: If you're anything like us, your iced coffee comes in a disposable plastic cup every morning (and afternoon!). In fact - over 150 million disposable plastic cups are used every day in the US. Reduce waste and get your brand in the hands of daily coffee drinkers with brandable tumblers, from a plain color plastic to this heavy duty RTIC. This same concept applies when switching out disposable water bottles for an insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle you can use again and again. 

Customizable Grocery Totes: Disposable plastic grocery bags cannot be recycled - and they take 15 to 1000 years to decompose organically. Luckily, a major switch to reusable grocery bags continues to grow. With your brand on a reusable tote, your logo goes with your audience not only to the grocery store, but anywhere they need to bring a quick carry bag. 

Solar Powered Phone Chargers: Our smartphones are essentially an extra vital organ - but one that needs to be recharged, probably more than once a day. Portable chargers come with us everywhere, providing ample opportunity for impressions for your brand. What better way to get your logo out there and preserve our planet than powering up phones via solar?

This year's Pantone Color of the Year is Greenery - so Go Green with promotional products from PK. If you want to play a role in making positive changes for our planet while also securing high-quality custom promotional apparel and products, contact PK to shop our exclusive Patagonia line and access great deals on eco-friendly products from other brands.

Contact PK to Build Your Brand

Topics: promotional products, Patagonia, 1% For the Planet, environmental stewardship

Remembering Matt Cariglio

Posted by Dominique Ferraro on Mon, Apr 17, 2017 @ 16:04 PM

On May 16th, we'll honor the life of Matt Cariglio at our 5th Annual Matt Cariglio Memorial Golf Tournament. Last week, you read our post entitled 5 Questions with Matt Cariglio's Closest. Please enjoy this video we put together that includes some of those questions, plus more, with Matt's childhood friends and fellow PK employees.  

Special thanks to John Centracchio, Mike Danahy, Jay Albanese, Alan Conca, and Anthony Antonelli for taking a trip to the PK offices to shoot this video, and to Bryan McWilliams, Evan Gall, and Rick Santos for taking the time out of their workday to answer questions about our friend, Matt. 

Register today to join the tournament! All proceeds fund education costs for Matt and Kim's two youngest kids, Nick and Ella. 

Eventbrite - 2017 Matt Cariglio Memorial Golf Tournament

Topics: Matt Cariglio, Golf Tournament

Promotional Products For Runners That Go the Distance

Posted by Dominique Ferraro on Fri, Apr 14, 2017 @ 08:04 AM


Marathon Monday is just days away, and we could not be more excited for the 30,000 runners making the trek from Hopkinton to Boylston Street this year. (Can you believe the event started wtih just 18 runners in 1897?)

The Boston Marathon symbolically marks the start of marathon season, which won't be over until mid-November. In total, there are 570 marathons expected to take place across the US with over 500,000 finishers - not to mention the 5.7 million runners racing shorter distances throughout the year. And the fastest marathon ever? 2:02:57, which means at least 2 hours of brand exposure on the fastest runners at races - but the average man in the US finishes a marathon in 4:19:27. On top of that, cheer sections and race expos pull in families and spectators to big races, adding thousands more people to the running scene. 

What's this mean for your branding strategy? Impressions. Here's a few products we love that will make a memory and earn your brand the first place medal with the active crowd. 

Nike Shield 1/2 Zip (pictured above), featuring mesh lining for weather-resistant protection and incredible breathability. Stretch cuffs and adjustable hem for a custom fit and side zip pockets for convenient storage.

Nike Jacquard Towel (pictured above) - built for golfers, with thick absorbent fabric good enough to dry off after any warm weather run.

Fitbits make a great corporate gift for clients or employees and promote wellness every day (marathon runners clock over 50,000 steps over 26.2 miles!)

Under Armour Run Shorts leave plenty of room for a screen-printed logo on the leg while still providing a sweat-wicking, moisture control short with side hand pockets. 

17 oz. Copper Insulated Vacuum Bottles come in 14 colors and provide substantial place for your logo. Plus, they keep drinks cold for 48 hours, so this bottle will be used over and over again, even after race day.

Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones - Bluetooth, wireless headphones that use breakthrough technology allowing you to control your own level of noise cancellation and tune out while you run.

Angel City Beer

Women's Nike Dry Tank and Men's Nike Miler Tank (above) - For this year's LA Marathon, Team ACB (Angel City Beer) got Nike tanks from PK, printed with their logo - a great way to run as a team and to promote their brewery for the duration of the race! 

Don't miss the opportunity to get your logo in the hands of an active audience all race-season long with health and fitness promotional items from PK. 

Go the Distance with PK

Topics: promotional products, health and fitness promotions, Boston Marathon, #BostonStrong