A View From The Middle

The Next Trend Designs Inc. Is One of the Best Places to Work: ASI

By Paul Fitzgerald The Toronto Tribune
Mississauga, Ontario (April 4, 2018)  

According to ASI (Adverting Specialty Institute) TNT is dynamite.

ASI and its leading industry magazine, The Counselor, just released its list of top industry workplaces in Canada and the United States this week and The Next Trend (TNT) Designs Inc. ranks 6th overall. Only 40 companies made the 2018 list.

ASI is the promotional product industry’s largest membership organization offering media, technology, marketing and education to help cultivate success and community comradery at the international level.

TNT is a dynamic and innovative company and ASI credits the owners for putting a strong emphasis on employee happiness. For TNT it’s a smart way of doing business.

“Without our team, we wouldn’t be who we are as a company,” explains Janine Taylor, the co-founder and co-owner of TNT, in an interview with The Counselor. Taylor co-founded the company 26 years ago with her partner, Rob Charlton. “As much as we try to give them, we get back ten-fold.”

TNT goes out of its way to make sure every employee feels appreciated and loved. The company hosts summer and holiday parties, and rewards both its top performers as well as accumulated years of loyalty, with gifts.  Parties are thrown for birthdays, going away and other events throughout the year.  TNT likes to do most life events with their team in style.

The Counselor also reports that TNT has cultivated a tight-knit culture and “offers compensation above the national average.”

A happy workplace generates better productivity, innovation and success, according to the company’s long list of employees. As a result, a happy workplace makes happy clients. TNT’s clients across North America applaud their diverse products and services and this is why they have a high rate of repeat clients and constant growth year after year. Just recently TNT made the PROFIT 500 list again, with a five-year revenue growth of 89 percent. PROFIT 500 is the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies.

“It’s great to be recognized by ASI; however, we would never be where we are today without our team of professionals,” says Charlton.

Taylor adds, “Since opening our doors for business in 1992, we always knew that happy employees would help create a successful company… And we were right. When you look after your team, they look after you. We have created a work environment that is positive, fun and ambitious. Looking after ‘our own’ is the reason why we are one of the best places to work in North America and we are elated to receive accolades from ASI.”

Many know that happiness is a great feeling. For Charlton and Taylor, it’s a way of life!

For the full story in The Counselor, click here: No. 6: The Next Trend Designs, Best Places To Work/One of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies, 2018

Sales People Wanted: Should I Stay Or Should I Go

It’s an exciting day in the promotional products business as I scour the many recruiting and job search websites to find a few good sales people. We are growing and we require more sales people to look after our growing client base. Does this sound like you?

I will begin by saying that the promo business is not for everyone and that really good sales people are hard to find. I am not sure whether it is because it is not that appealing to the average sales person or if it is because that good sales people don’t understand that they can make very good money in this industry and be able to sell something to any type of business out there. That to me, would be like getting the golden ticket from Willy Wonka. Sell some kind of promotional item to any business that I walked up to? Be able to put logo’s on hundreds of thousands of products and get paid to do it? Sign me up!! Well, I will say that we have hired two new sales reps in the last 6 months and they have proven to be great hires. Both have come from sales backgrounds but not from the promo business. There is a learning curve that takes time and many resources to get new people up to speed. We all know that. In this business of logo’d corporate items, there is much to understand and plenty to learn out of the gate. Good people pick it up right away. The biggest question is “how hungry are you”? As a good friend of mine once told me years ago, as a commissioned sales rep you wake up broke everyday no matter how much you made yesterday. This keeps you hungry and hunting.

In this promotional products industry, there are a lot of sales people out there that are not exactly enamored with their current place of employment but they are nervous to leave for fear of losing current clients. I get it! The way I look at it is if they have clients that they brought in, looked after and built a relationship with, why would they not follow their star sales rep? I would. Wouldn’t you? At The Next Trend Designs Inc, we offer a better than most profit sharing, excellent benefits program, marketing,  fantastic culture and working environment as well as lead generation. Most of our current sales team have been here for 15 +years and would have moved on if they did not thrive in this culture.

So, TNT is looking for a few good sales people and the call has gone out to those of you who are hungry, tired of your current situation, looking for a change, wanting to thrive in a new environment. Can you hear the bell? It’s ringing and success in on the other end. If it were me, I would pick it up and listen to what it had to say. That is my view!!   

The Next Trend Designs Inc. Ranks No. 460 on the 2017 PROFIT 500

 The Next Trend Designs Inc. Ranks No. 460 on the 2017 PROFIT 500

–Canadian Business unveils 29th annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies – 

Mississauga, Ontario (September 14, 2017) Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked The Next Trend Designs Inc No. 460 on the 29th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Maclean’s magazine and at, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth. 

The Next Trend designs Inc. a privately-owned company, made the 2017 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 89%.

“It is never easy to earn a spot on the PROFIT 500, but this year’s applicant pool was the most competitive yet,” says Deborah Aarts, PROFIT 500 program manager. “This year’s winners demonstrate the resilience, innovation and sheer management smarts it takes to build a thriving business today. Canada—and the world—needs more entrepreneurial success stories like these.” 

“The Next Trend Designs Inc is honoured to be on the PROFIT 500 ranking, once again” says CEO Janine Taylor. “This achievement is reflective of the dedication of our team and the continued strengthening of our relationships with our clients as well as our vendors within our Industry”.  Janine goes on to say that “These factors and relationships are key to our company’s success”.

The Next Trend Designs Inc is celebrating their twenty fifth year in business this year.  Robert Charlton and Janine Taylor started the business in 1992 in Port Credit, ON.  TNT prides themselves on keeping in stride with the ever-changing technology in the marketplace, providing better creative solutions for their clients and making TNT one of the best places to work for their employees. With previous awards such as “One of Canada’s Best Places To Work” and “Canada’s Fastest Growing Businesses”, The Next Trend Designs Inc. is well known for continually challenging the status quo and nurturing a culture of winning.  

About the PROFIT 500 For 29 years, the PROFIT 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Developed by PROFIT and now published in Maclean’s magazine and at, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian companies on five-year revenue growth. For more information on the ranking visit or 

About Canadian Business Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most-trusted business publication in the country. It is the country's premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada's business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Learn more at 


The Next Trend Designs Inc 
The Next Trend (TNT) Designs Inc., est. 1992, is a premier full-service promotional products and ad specialty firm.

As more of a boutique agency, TNT deals with all aspects of branded merchandise, recognition programs and idea/graphic creation. TNT has been involved in countless promotional events with customers both in Canada the United States and abroad. The company’s experiences and expertise has allowed them to provide its clients with the best in service and selection. They are leaders in offering custom design of clothing and promotional products, direct imports, complete on-line and in house programs, premiums and incentives, executive gifts, and promotional products for trade shows, annual conferences, and thank-you gifts for clients or staff. TNT’s products are of the finest quality and include all the top brands, designs and fashions available. But above all else, TNT strives to provide a level of customer service that is second to none.

Media Contact
Scott Reid, The Next Trend Designs Inc, 1-800-891-2666

Service Still Sells

Date: Aug 9, 2017

Do you remember when getting great service was something that we all took for granted?

In today’s fast paced, high tech society it seems that great customer service has gone the way of the Dodo bird! Even good service is hard to find. Nothing irks me more than when I am out spending my hard earned dollars and I receive less than average service. This happens all too often. I don’t usually blame the person serving me, I blame the manager for not training that person properly. That does not happen at TNT.

At The Next Trend Designs Inc, we are thriving in the promotional products business after 25 years, because we have never lost sight of the fact the “Service Still Sells”. Yeah, that may sound cliché but it is a fact. We do not pride ourselves on selling T-shirts, drinkware, pens, and mugs. We pride ourselves on selling solutions for our clients. We deliver great ideas, we deliver great logo products, we deliver at a fair price, we add value and we deliver on time……with a big huge smile! Once again, it may sound cliché but it is what we have built our business on. SERVICE! SERVICE! SERVICE!

In this day and age of on-line shopping, I can tell you that we hear many horror stories when it comes to ordering logo merchandise through this medium. Firstly, you do not get to touch and feel the actual product that you are ordering. Secondly, if your logo is put on in an incorrect fashion, guess what? You are stuck with it. Thirdly, will it arrive on time? Maybe? If not. Oh well. No recourse! I know that price is a big factor when placing an order for logo products, but is it worth saving a few pennies per item to pay the bigger price in the end? We don’t believe it is and you won’t either after it happens to you and your company.

Most of the employees of The Next Trend Designs Inc. have been working here for 15 + years and a large number of our clients have been with us for the same amount of time or more. There is no secret to this, just good old fashioned customer service and going the extra mile.  At the end of the day, if you are looking for logo merchandise and want some new and exciting ideas, contact us at 1-800-891-2666. We will deliver for you and you can take that to the bank! That’s my view.

Is your company E-Commerce Store doing the job

Date: July 24th, 2017

It was 16 months ago and we were evaluating where we stood when it came to having a good solid E-Commerce platform for our client’s company stores. The answer was clear…..we didn’t like where we stood with what was out in the market at that time. It was time to develop a promotional products E-Commerce platform that would do everything that we wanted and everything that our client’s wanted.

The team at The Next Trend Designs Inc, headed by Jeff Alcorn, locked themselves in a room and came out with a better mouse trap. What we have today is a multi-tiered solution that gives our client’s everything that they could possibly want in a company store site. The beauty of this new platform is that clients can have as little or as much as they want, when it comes to technology. Simple, clean, functional and affordable. All very important in today’s very competitive marketplace.

To further enhance the experience with our new E-Commerce platform, we have also put together an extensive marketing and training program. Web stores are great but if no one knows how to use them or they are not enticed to use them, they are just web stores. At The Next Trend Designs Inc, we are committed to First Class service levels and have not and will not compromise on that! To add to the overall experience, we ensure that all products on the E-Commerce site are representative of the brand itself. These products are monitored for sales activity and changed frequently to keep the store looking fresh at all times.

If you are interested in having a company E-Commerce store or would like to update your current web store, then The Next Trend Designs Inc will be a great choice for you. We are very proud of this promotional goods E-Commerce platform and we are confident that you will be as well.  That’s my view!

Golf Balls - Premium or Price Point

Date: June 19th, 2017

I can’t begin to tell you how many golf balls I have found (over my many years of golfing) that have a corporate logo on them. Way too many to begin to count. What I can’t understand is why I find inexpensive, very average golf balls with Fortune 500 companies logo’s on them.

The Promotional Products Industry sells several hundred thousand dozens of logo golf balls each year. That means that you think that they make a great marketing vessel for your brand. Right? Well, we agree. The one issue I have is that when you purchase these logo golf balls you are either not putting enough thought in to which type to buy or your sales rep is not selling the correct golf ball to show your brand on! Please pay attention and I will do my best to educate you on golf balls and what they can do to promote your brand or what they can do to leave a sour taste in golfer’s mouths.

Traditionally, buyers look to get as many golf balls for as little as possible. That is a fact! Remember the old saying “if it appears too good to be true, then it probably isn’t?  That saying is very true when it comes to purchasing golf balls. Your rep says “I can get you golf balls for $19.99 per dozen”. You say “great, let’s get 48 dozen”.  Did you ask what these balls are like? Did you stop to think…”is this a good ball to have our logo imprinted on and then give to clients”? You probably thought that “a golf ball is a golf ball”. Not true! You pay for what you get.

Now, if you are thinking that the purpose for purchasing these logo golf balls is to give to clients who will then go out and lose them, and you are not overly concerned about your brand image, then go ahead and spend less money on the balls. I don’t recommend it but if your decision is based on budget only, then go ahead. What I recommend is that you purchase a golf ball that golfers will want to play with, whether they are given to them or if they find them on the course. Although reputable golf brands offer less expensive balls (we refer to those as Ammo), there are golf balls in the $29.99 -$49.99 /dozen range. These are usually a better quality golf ball and one that you can feel good about putting your logo on. Brand names such as Tilteist, Taylormade, Bridgestone and Srixon all make good golf balls in that magic price range.

The Next Trend Designs Inc is ready to help you make the right choice today. Give us a call at 1-800-891-2666 and we will walk you through the features and benefits of each golf ball and help you make the right choice for your brand. Trust me on this one, it can make a big difference in the eyes of a good golfer if you give them a good golf ball or if they find a good golf ball on the course with your branding on it! That’s my view! 

Plaid for Dad - Prostate Cancer Fundraising

Date: June 14th, 2017

What are you doing on June 16th between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.? The Next Trend Designs Inc. knows what they will be doing! We have been fortunate enough to be part of a very worthy cause this year. We volunteered to join the fundraising committee for “Plaid For Dad” which is the theme for fundraising for Prostate Cancer Canada and runs up to Father’s Day.

We have organized a themed BBQ at our office, where we ask that you dress in plaid and come by and purchase a hamburger or hot dog, chips and a drink for $5.00. All profits will then go to Prostate Cancer Canada. This is a very worthy cause because as many as 1 in 8 men could be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in Canada in their lifetime.

The Next Trend Designs Inc. is located at 1200 Aerowood Drive Unit 8, Mississauga, On. We would love to see there on June 16th. Help us crush this terrible disease. Together we can make a difference. That’s our view!

Tee for Two

Date: June 13th, 2017

So, you want to buy some T-Shirts?

Well, I can tell you first hand that there are hundreds of different styles and make-ups of T-Shirts available on the market today.  Which one you may choose usually depends on your price point, which equates to your budget. How much do you want to invest on each shirt? I say invest because that is exactly what you are doing…..Investing in a marketing spend for your brand or company.

It is very easy to get your hands on a T-Shirt for $2.00 today but be aware of the inferior product that is being sold out there right now. As well, be very aware of what the decoration of said T-Shirt will look like on the finished product, let alone if the logo on the shirt will last more than one wear and wash cycle.  T-Shirts come in cotton, polyester blends, bamboo, moisture wicking, technical, and a wide array of other fabrics. You will usually end up paying for what you get.

To make the right choice when purchasing Promotional T-Shirts for your company or event, always ask to touch and feel a sample. At The Next Trend Designs Inc. we always order samples for you to touch, feel and try on and even take home and wash. This is just part of the extra mile that a good Promotional Products company will go! Next, always ask about decoration techniques available. What will set you apart in the “sea of tees” out there? This is also something that top Promotional Products companies will offer their clients…….several different decorating options. Don’t settle for less. If you have specific pantone colours for your logo, then insist on them being correct and be sure the T-shirt your logo is going on is of a good quality fit to bear your brand. We always do and so should you. 


The bottom line is that whether you choose a $2.00 T-Shirt or a $20 T-Shirt, it needs to be the right one for your budget and needs to be done right. We like to offer our customers our proprietary Authentic Wicked Wear line because we know that our T-Shirts are the best on the market for value, fit and retail presentation. If you are in the market for T-Shirts, give The Next Trend Designs Inc. a call at 1-800-891-2666 or visit our website at We will take care of all your Promotional Products needs because that’s how we roll. We have been doing it right for 25 years now. That’s my view!  

Trunk Slammers

Date: June 7th, 2017

Choosing the right promotional product to help promote your brand, give to clients or give to your employees, can be a real pain in the “you know what”! Let’s face it, within your organization this is not a full time job and most often is handled by someone who wears several different hats on any given day.

It is imperative to work with an account executive that is much more than a run of the mill salesperson. After all, we are not in the business of just selling product, we are in the business of selling ideas and solutions. It would be very easy to open a catalogue or send someone to your website and say “choose a product and we will put your logo on it”. Unfortunately there are a lot of sales people out there that are doing just that every day. We like
to call them “Trunk Slammers”. They sell on price only and are quite often here today, gone tomorrow. 

At The Next Trend Designs, we pride ourselves on being creative, going the extra mile and doing everything that we can to ensure our clients are 100% satisfied with their promotional products that we produce for them. There has to be ROI (return on investment) for our clients on everything that we sell to them. If there is not value, we are not in business. It is as simple as that!

So, when thinking about making that next promotional product purchase for your business/brand, ensure that you are dealing with a reputable Promotional Products Distributor and that that they truly care about the future health of your brand. If you do not make the right decision, you may be throwing money down the drain and putting your company in a worse position than where you started. That’s my view! 

The King Of Swag

Date: May 5, 2017

It was a sticky June day in Mississauga when I first laid eyes on him. Little did I know that I was just about to meet the unofficial “King Of Swag” and promotional goods- and my life as I knew it- was to be changed forever.

I parked myself in one of the comfy chairs in the very trendy reception area of The Next Trend Designs Inc and waited for someone to come and get me. Before I knew it, I was lead into one of the swankiest, promotional products filled showrooms that I had ever been in. After a few short minutes, in walked Robert Charlton, the King, with his entourage beside him. He was a hulking presence of a man and to my surprise, did not have a crown on. His over-sized hand extended to me, I held my breath and offered my sweaty hand to him. Whew! He didn’t squish it. We all sat down for our first face-to-face meeting.

While we discussed the ins and outs of the promotional goods industry and how I might fit in with The Next Trend Designs, the bustling businesses of the GTA area were buying up branded merchandise and carrying on with their daily routines. He was genuinely just as curious about my thoughts and opinions about the industry as I was about his. So after what was a fairly informal ‘interview’, and a refreshing one at that, we hammered out a deal within an hour and I left with a new perspective on life. I was to become one of the King’s loyal subjects and a close confidant nonetheless.

My days at The Next Trend Designs since that day have been action packed, fun filled and full of logoed apparel, drinkware and electronics. There really never is a dull moment around this place. We have built a newly and updated designed website (, we have brought on new clients, sold a lot of branded merchandise, tweeted, shared, liked, posted and pretty much everything else that Social Media could throw at us, and really had a lot of fun while doing it. The culture at The Next Trend Designs lends itself to people excelling at what they do best – Create interesting ways for clients to promote their brands and insure they receive those products on time every time!  This culture is maintained by the team but the implementation is handled 100% by the Queen herself, Janine Taylor. She does wear a tiara by the way. Janine is the backbone of the company and nothing happens around here unless she knows about it. Not because she is a control freak, but because she cares so much and as Queen, she ensures that all the loyal subjects get taken care of and that things operate as they should.

The Next Trend Designs has a small but powerful band of Knights that could sell just about anything to anyone. I am talking about our Account Executives. They grew up in the Kingdom, which has been here for 25 years, and are still here after 15 years or more. They sell promotional products to Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses across Canada. Many of our clients are based in the Toronto area but we also invade other Kingdoms wherever possible. The Kingdom of Trump is a popular target for us and we always look to conquer wherever we can.  If we continue to choose the right products at the right price and always deliver on time, we will persevere.

A wise old man once told me, “Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded”. We believe in this at The Next Trend Designs and that is why we will continue to be considered one of “The Best Promotional Goods Distributors” in the business. Gotta go, the King is summoning me.

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