Friday, August 4, 2017

GAP Promo: An Intern's Perspective - Article by Nick Kenyon

                  December 2, 2015 will forever be an important date in my life. It marked my first day as an intern at GAP Promo. I was an 18-year-old senior in high school who was yet to decide on a college to attend. I am writing this over a year and a half later, a sophomore at Seton Hall University, and a proud intern at GAP Promo. At the time, I was the youngest intern they had ever had and the first intern they had who was still in high school. I was about 10 years younger than everyone else I worked with. Now looking back as the only underage employee of a company that specialized in the marketing of alcohol based brands, it is clear how much I stuck out. Even with the differences in age, education, experience, etc., I never once felt out of place. I was given responsibilities and challenges that I had never faced before. While most of my friends worked typical summer jobs such as lifeguarding and dishwashing, I was getting my first taste of a professional environment. I originally was hired by Gayle Piraino when I was spending a day job shadowing at a local bank. The woman who was mentoring me introduced Gayle and I, and there was a mutual interest in my services at her company. I stayed in touch with Gayle throughout the year and eventually was given my chance to work for her company and join the GAP family and the rest, as you say, is history.

                  After working from December through March, I had to leave to complete my senior year of high school and my final season of lacrosse. I stayed in touch with Gayle and Justin, and eventually was asked to return the following summer on a more full time basis. I worked closely with Justin the entire summer of 2016 and continued to gain valuable experience until I left for college. I learned about working in a professional environment. I was new to the world of strict deadlines, sales and marketing. There was more being asked of me and I was expected to step up to the occasion. Now, after returning for another summer, I like to think I was up to the challenge. The environment was, and still is, extremely friendly. Everybody was happy to answer my questions and help me to grow and be as successful as possible. From the top of the company to the bottom (me), there was a sincere sense of caring for each and every employee. It was a comfortable, family type of environment.

     I will always be grateful for the opportunity Gayle gave me to be a part of her company. I gained more than just another line on a resume. My time at GAP gave me valuable life experience. It helped me mature as a person and spark my interest in the field of business. I noticed that managing deadlines at school was much easier for me than many of my peers. Also, little things like being comfortable calling people I did not know over the phone, as well as a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint would also serve as useful tools in my freshman year of college. Justin asked me to return the summer of 2017, and I was once again grateful for the opportunity. I believe that my time at GAP has done more than just build my resume, I have acquired valuable skills and gained connections that I would not have otherwise. No matter where I go, I will always remember the promotional marketing company at 1 Washington Street that took a chance on some random high school kid, and for that I will always be grateful.

Friday, June 16, 2017

90's Flashback


The 1990’s are back this Summer in the form of Zima. This July, MillerCoors will be releasing- for a limited time- their popular 90’s clear-malt beverage, Zima.

A new concept in the 90’s, MillerCoors was on the front lines of the “clear” alcohol beverage movement with the release of Zima in 1993. This completely clear malt beverage changed the look of beer and helped launch a new age in the beverage industry.

Many companies during that decade tried their hand at a clear drink concept. Beverages such as Crystal Pepsi, Tab Clear, Clearly Canadian, Orbit and many more were among the familiar to gain in popularity. However, none of them became the “Michael Jordan” of clear beverages like Zima did. With a huge marketing campaign based in humor and the emerging alternative 90’s scene, Zima (the Russian word for Winter) released itself at the right moment to win the hearts of college students and young professionals eager for Zomething Different.

If I recall my first time drinking Zima, it was at a college party around 1994. Newly legal, I wasn’t a fully formed beer drinker yet. I needed a drink with fruit flavors and lightness to allow me to enjoy the experience. Zima had that great balance of refreshing drinkability for a malt beer that no other company had figured out yet. That drinkability mixed with its youthful marketing campaign made it the choice for many people to enjoy the taste of alcohol and enjoy the social activity of drinking. Zima tapped into a culture of drinkers who did not fit the standard mold.

Will the limited release of Zima this Summer once again tap into a counter culture eager for a clear-malt? These days we have many brands that run with the torch that Zima passed in 2008 when it ended its North American distribution.

 "Fun Fact! Zima has always had a loyal brand following in Japan."

Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice are a few of the top trending brands right now that keep with this clear-malt tradition. If the nostalgia of the 90’s are indeed powerful enough to kick-start this brand again, I believe Zima could find itself back in the hearts of us 40-somethings.

This Summer you can relive your youth- even for a moment- by grabbing a 6 pack of Zima, calling your friends you haven’t seen since college and binge watching the Fresh Prince of Belair.

We at GAP Promo highly recommend you “Try Zomething Different” again.

Check out our GAP Promo Marketplace for all sorts of totally rad 90's items. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Leadership Announcement

GAP Promo Press Release
By Gayle Piraino, Founder and President

GAP Promo is growing and I am honored to share the creation of new Leadership positions that will further develop and strengthen our already successful sales and marketing organization. We have created two new roles: Director of Sales|Director of Operations.
Effective immediately, I am delighted to announce that Justin Burkinshaw, Senior Sales Manager has been promoted to Director of Sales and Kim Olson, Senior Project Manager has been promoted to Director of Operations.
Justin joined GAP in July, 2014 as a Sales Account Manager in charge of two important Beer Accounts where he quickly developed and fostered strong client relationships. In 2016, Justin assumed and brought in additional key accounts that included key Beer and Spirits Brands. At this time he was also promoted to Senior Sales Account Manager. Justin is a graduate of Bryant University in Rhode Island. His background included both sales and management.
Kim joined GAP in April 2015 in a newly created position of Project Manager. Kim embraced this new role and immediately developed internal processes that helped implement positive change throughout GAP Promo which ultimately benefitted our clients, vendors and the GAP Team. In 2016, Kim helped identify and lead the way of a GAP Promo investment where we joined a buying group that has provided us many benefits including new and improved software, real-time project tracking and sales reporting. At this time she was also promoted to Senior Project Manager. Kim is a graduate of Emerson College and she also received her MBA from University of Phoenix. Her background includes restaurant management and ownership and most recently Marketing and Project Management for a major food manufacturer.
Justin, Kim and I will work together on a higher strategic level to ensure GAP Promo continues to grow through providing “Best in Class” customer service. We will continue to be “a leader” with our creative ideas and current products to support the Food and Beverage Markets while ultimately assisting our clients to “Win at Retail”.