Counselor Names iClick Supplier of the Year, Unveils Distributor Choice Winners
At a ceremony held last night at the Orange County Convention Center during ASI Orlando, Counselor announced the winners of its 2014 Distributor Choice Awards. Read Article
"I think the real reason iClick is tonight's winner has a lot to do with founder Lon McGowan's mantra: ‘Do whatever makes the distributor look good,' " said Tim Andrews, ASI's president and CEO, upon announcing the Supplier of the Year award. "Distributors couldn't agree more. Voters described iClick as a first-class company that delivers on its promises – a company that rewards customer loyalty with over-the-top service."
Supplier winners were also announced in 60 different product categories – including two new categories (Children's Apparel and Party Products) in this year's Counselor Distributor Choice Awards program. In all, 42 suppliers won awards at the ceremony tonight, which honors suppliers for their service and dedication to their distributor customers. "We call them the Counselor Distributor Choice Awards because distributors across North America choose which companies to honor by voting for their most-valued ad specialty suppliers," Andrews said. "Winners are selected based upon real votes and data from ASI's Supplier Performance Ratings."
To see the complete list of Counselor Distributor Choice Awards winners, click here.
To watch a video interview with iClick's Lon McGowan immediately after he accepted the Supplier of the Year award, click here.
Shark Tank Highlights ASI Orlando
The ad specialty industry’s version of the hit TV show Shark Tank entertained and informed a packed house of attendees this morning at The ASI Show in Orlando. Read Article
With keynote speakers – and Shark Tank judges – Barbara Corcoran and Kevin O'Leary judging their presentations, representatives from four supplier companies (Americraft Products, BamBams, Card Ninja and Ssam Sports) pitched their product ideas. In a unique and high-pressure setting where the judges fired questions at the presenters, the winner of the program was a new supplier in the market: Card Ninja, which has an item of the same name that sticks on the back of cell phones and can hold credit cards or other items that would traditionally be placed in a wallet or purse.
"You have a phenomenal product," Corcoran told the three representatives from Card Ninja who were presenting their company's wares to the judges. "I'll offer you $10,000 right now for 30% of your company."
O'Leary, though, was a little skeptical of the company's financials – as he tends to be on the ABC show Shark Tank, as well – saying that he thought their product was priced too high and cost too much to produce. "I love the idea; it could really sell," O'Leary said. "But I'm sick with the numbers. I like it, but it has to be at a lower cost to really move. I could fix the costs for this business. It's eventually going to make a lot of money."
For today, though, Corcoran and O'Leary agreed to name Card Ninja the winner, which meant they walked away from the keynote competition with a check for $5,000 from ASI. It was presented to the winners on stage by Corcoran and O'Leary along with ASI Vice Chairman Matthew Cohn. Click here to see a video interview with the winners immediately after the keynote this morning.
The session also provided attendees with entrepreneurial advice from Corcoran and O'Leary. Corcoran said she firmly believes that a company can be successful if its leaders are extremely passionate and resilient. "To turn an idea into a business, you need an entrepreneur that simply loves being smacked down and getting back up again," she said. "They just need to relish that, and know that their next opportunity is going to be the big one."
O'Leary, the more practical financier of the two, said a great product is vital to being a success, but that knowing the financials inside and out about the product is critical for business success today. "You have to price things right, and be acutely aware of the value of the items you're selling," he said. "Know the cost of goods, the margins you can sell at, what the buyers are willing to pay and then go. If you're not priced correctly, you'll be out of business."
Following the session, Counselor caught up with Corcoran to find out her tips for increasing sales and her ideas on the best markets to target today. Click here to watch the video.
ASI Orlando Gala: An Animal Kingdom Party
Attendees at ASI Orlando kicked off the 2014 show season at a gala celebration held at the Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World. Read Article
Suppliers and distributors danced under the famed Tree of Life, rode the thrilling Everest roller coaster and dined in the caverns of DinoWorld USA.
Counselor's cameras, of course, were on the scene to capture all the action. Plus, we challenged attendees to a few rounds of ASI trivia, offering a chance to win prizes. Click here to watch the video.
The Joe Show: Day Two
Some new products are stealing the scene at ASI Orlando, and Managing Editor Joe Haley has found the most impressive of the lot. Read Article
In this video, he shows off an array of items that are sure to surprise and inspire client campaigns in 2014.
Click here to watch the Day Two episode of The Joe Show from ASI Orlando.
ASI Radio: Supersize Your PR Efforts On today's Tuesday Morning Show, the hosts offered provided callers with ideas for how they can get more media coverage for their companies. Plus, we revealed our Favorite Things, offered strategies for implementing wellness programs and discussed how salespeople can make better first impressions.
If you missed the show, a recording is now available at www.asicentral.com/radio. And, don't forget to join us for our next broadcast – Tuesday, January 14. Log on at 10:30 a.m. ET to listen to the show – and give us a call at (215) 953-4979 to hear your voice on the air.
Counselor Unveils Best Places To Work
At the inaugural Counselor Best Places to Work Conference, held recently in Santa Barbara, CA, Counselor magazine announced its 2013 ranking of the best workplaces in the industryWith a list of 85 distributors and suppliers, the Counselor Best Places to Work this year is headed up by supplier firm Crystal Impressions by Seaena (asi/47782). "It's truly a great honor to be number one on the list," said Allison Robbins, one of the company's owners, upon finding out about the ranking. "We're a fun company that we all love spending time at."
Rounding out the top five on the 2013 Best Places to Work list are: Proforma Albrecht & Co. (asi/116308), Beehive Specialty (asi/135780), Royal Crest Promotions (asi/83740) and Clean Fun Promotional Marketing (asi/162979). Click here to view the complete ranking of the 2013 Counselor Best Places to Work list.
In The News
Starline (asi/89320) has announced that Matt Carter of Flanagan and Associates was awarded the title of "Multi-Line Representative of the Year" by the Georgia Association of Promotional Products Professionals for 2013.
People On The Move
Heritage Sportswear Inc. (asi/60582) and Virginia T's have hired Rick Mellendick to their team of sales account executives. Mellendick will be responsible for providing sales support and service to Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia.
New Clients Inc. (asi/282470) has announced the addition of Barrett Hubbard as chief operating officer.
Vantage Apparel (asi/93390) has hired John Cheevers as the regional sales manager for the East Region and Canada territory.
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