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Production Editor

Promotional Fashionista

By Colleen McKenna

About Colleen

Colleen McKenna is Production Editor for Promo Marketing Magazine.

Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
'Can't' Is a Four-letter Word
Oct 5, 2015

Most of us learned the four-letter words we shouldn’t say when we were in school. We heard the words in...

Ask the Accountant

Harriet Gatter
Do I Have to Collect Sales Tax for Out-of-state Sales?
Oct 2, 2015

Question: Do I have to collect sales tax for out-of-state sales? It depends, and it's complicated. State governments would like...

Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
What Can We Learn from The Artist Formerly Known as Prince?
Oct 1, 2015

Since I recently wrote a commentary titled 'Are You Too Old To Rock,' I thought I would share another thought from the...

Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
So What's Holding You Back?
Sep 24, 2015

Are you afraid to fail? Or are you afraid to get started because you might fail? The late TV preacher...

Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
The Mayor of Funkytown
Sep 23, 2015

Each Power Box has its own personality. Power Box 1 is really into dubstep music. He raves hard all weekend long. On...

Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Think About What You Just Did
Sep 22, 2015

My son did something wrong, and I want him to learn so he doesn't repeat the same mistake. I hear...

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
Ask the Accountant
Jul 24, 2015

Question: I am starting out as an ad specialty distributor. Is it better to set up my books on a...

Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Gotta Love These Supplier Best Practices
Sep 1, 2015

I’ve been in the promotional products industry for more than 25 years, both selling products and programs, and coaching and...

Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
A Cycle Of Engagement
Jun 10, 2015

In 2015, the journey of the promotional products professional in shifting prospects to clients is more challenging than ever. With...

Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Swing All the Way Through
Apr 20, 2015

From time to time, I’ve written about a situation involving one of my kids, and after observing something recently, it’s...

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
The Exact Cause Was Never Determined
Apr 3, 2015

If you read what normally is in this space, you've seen a lot about the protocol it takes to manufacture...

Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
Dec 30, 2014

Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks the...

Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...


Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...

Mike's Blog

Michael Cornnell
Interview with Jason Black, CEO of Top Distributor Boundless Network
May 19, 2014

Ranking #19 on the Top 50 List, Black shares his thoughts on the future of the industry and what has...

The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...

Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...

Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...

My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...

Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...

The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...

Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...

Work Out Your Wallet


Brands like Lululemon and Under Armour make gear fit for everyone from extreme athletes to workout newbies. Their garments wick away moisture, feature anti-microbial properties, and even have hidden pockets for keys, phones and MP3 players (much like the sportswear in this industry). All of these accessories help during hours of sweating at the gym. But these brands have also introduced another element to exercise gear: increased prices. With a pair of spandex running from $75 to $100, their garments are far from affordable, but people continue to purchase them. (Lululemon made over $70 million last quarter alone.)

The blog post "Are You A Lulu Lemming?" on BeWellPhilly sparked my interest in the topic. The writer, Emily Leaman, questions if the loyalty to these brands is due to brainwashing or truly superior apparel. I am torn. I own a mix of high-price and low-price workout gear and Leaman's post is making me question how much better the high-price pieces are. Like with many more costly items on the retail or promotional side, more money often means better quality and longer lifespan. But if mid-price and high-price garments boast the same performance properties, is there much of a difference?

I discussed it with a friend of mine who runs almost daily. She believes the gear is worth the extra expense. She mentioned owning one pair of good running spandex and one pair of high-end shorts. These two pieces get her through four seasons of running. Her consensus was that a few good pieces are worth it, but a whole closet is not. You wear sneakers until they are worn down and you need a new pair. Shouldn't the same be said for leggings and performance tops?

This is not a denigration of Lululemon, Under Armour or any of their contemporaries. I own and have owned garments from many of them and I love working out in them. I just wanted to pose these questions to you: Is name-brand or purported "high-quality" performance wear worth the extra expense? Also, will the new popularity of high-price retail gear encourage you to sell promotional athletic wear at a higher price point?

Let me know in the comments or email me at

If you do decide to go with the more expensive gear, here are a few tips on protecting your investment (and the investment of your client):

  • Follow the care instructions. The properties do not necessarily wear off, but improper care can lead to thinning of the garment and shortening of its lifespan.
  • Suggest long-lasting imprint options. Logos need to last as long as (or longer) than the performance piece.
  • Make sure it fits. People can deal with a little bagginess here or tightness there in low-cost garments, but high prices demand ideal fits and flattering shapes.


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