Herff Jones continues to market at Northwest: Do they really need to?


The varsity brand company Herff Jones sells sweatshirts in the commons. This was the latest in a long stream of marketing endeavors by the company.

Per graduation tradition, come the end of the school year, seniors will don a cap and gown, walk across the stage and complete their high school career. To do this, other than the cap and gown themselves, students are also given the opportunity to purchase class rings, diploma cases and more, all thanks to the company Herff Jones.

While it’s great that they come to sell us such fabulously useful necessities, is it possible that they try a little bit too hard to get our seniors to buy their stuff? Just this past week a representative came by during lunches to sell their merchandise despite having already given a presentation earlier this month.

“They can be a little overbearing,” senior Virginia Bellenkes said.

The most curious thing is that the company insists on advertising again and again to people they’ve already sold. Seniors all want to graduate, so of course they’re going to buy the cap and gown from them. All the presentations about class rings and special sweatshirt selling visits are totally unnecessary.

Herff Jones has also been selling with the school for many years, and if Northwest hasn’t decided their products are terrible by now, we aren’t going to suddenly change our minds and decide they aren’t good enough.

“(They have been selling to us) since before I’ve been here,” head counselor Stacy Garner said.

To try and see some of their perspective, graduation products and brand materials are a market like any other. Consumers have choices, and they need to be convinced that they are making the right choice when buying a product.

“They’re trying to do their job and make money,” Bellenkes said.

This is a captive audience though. Northwest isn’t going to stop promoting their brand anytime soon, and seniors aren’t going to stop buying it to graduate. With that being said, it might be time for Herff to hit the brakes on the marketing.