The Disrupters: How Three Companies Are Shaking Up The Promo Business

Executives from Alibaba, Zazzle and Vistaprint highlighted a series of Monday morning sessions focused on market disruption at the ASI Power Summit. Each discussed the opportunities they see in the ad specialty sector and outlined their future strategies for growth.

Alibaba’s Michael Lee told attendees not to view his firm as a threat, but instead stressed a desire to work with suppliers and distributors. “We want to help with logistics and build trust,” he said. Jason Kang, the CFO of Zazzle – which recently acquired Top 40 distributor Boundless (asi/143717) – said his company should be viewed as a creative “enabler” in the ad specialty market, not a disrupter. “Amazon provides everything from A to Z, but we want to provide everything from Z to infinity,” Kang said. Boundless CEO and Co-Founder Henrik Johansson, who joined Kang on stage, said Zazzle’s “heavy investment in technology” made the Internet company an excellent one to partner with.

Finally, Vistaprint’s Don LeBlanc, president of the company’s corporate solutions division, spoke about his company’s push into the promotional products space. Rather than fulfilling large requests, LeBlanc said his company’s strength is in producing “low and minimum order quantities,” giving distributors access to more options, especially on a local level.

Counselor caught up with Alibaba’s Lee and Vistaprint’s LeBlanc to find out more about why both companies are targeting the promotional products sector. Click here to watch the interview with Lee. And, click here to see why Vistaprint sees so much upside for the ad specialty business.