Distributor Sales Increase 3.4% In Q3 Distributors increased their sales in the third quarter of 2015 by 3.4%, according to new data released by ASI. It was the 23rd consecutive quarter with growth in the industry. In addition, the Counselor Confidence Index, which gauges the health and optimism of distributors, measured at 112 for the second consecutive quarter, residing near a record high and indicating continued optimism. Read Article
Power Summit Keynote: Can You Read Your Clients’ Minds? The Tuesday keynote session at this week’s ASI Power Summit in California featured a unique concept: The ability to read people’s minds. Kevin Keane, the co-founder of Brainsights, a Toronto neuromarketing technology and research firm, provided the audience a look into how different people react (both consciously and subconsciously) to various marketing messages. Read Article
Two Secrets To Motivate & Retain Employees Two industry leaders used the Power Summit stage this week to share their differing, but both very successful, tactics for keeping employees happy and motivated in their workplaces. First, Marty Lott told the crowd about how Top 40 supplier SanMar (asi/84863) was able to recruit better-quality employees and dramatically improve retention when he began letting the company’s call center employees work from their homes.
Distributor Choice Awards Voting Begins Every year, Counselor magazine honors the best industry suppliers with our Distributor Choice Awards. Of course, we can’t name the winners without distributors, because these awards are chosen solely by industry distributor firms. Read Article
Product Safety Deconstructed: What Industry Pros Need To Know Now Karolyn Helda, director of client services and global programs for AI Anseco, a global product safety and compliance company, led an informative and enlightening session at the ASI Power Summit on Tuesday. Covering topics such as what constitutes a children's product and what to look for when testing power banks, the session also revealed testing results on three different souvenir items: a novelty pen, a drinkware item and a stuffed bear wearing a college T-shirt.
Spoiler alert: the bear passed a product safety lab testing, but the pen failed for having excessive lead content in the substrates, as did the drinkware item because it showed traces of Bisphenol A.
Helda's advice was thorough and practical: know your product; know how many are being distributed and where; know your audience and age grade; know how dependable your factories/suppliers are and their history; request documentation from your suppliers to substantiate claims; and talk frequently with your lab partner. For power banks in particular, Helda advised only buying certified products, reviewing certification documentation for completeness and validity and to do spot checks to test for key safety standards.
The Joe Show:Tastefully Awesome Promo Products
In this episode of The Joe Show, Product Editor Joe Haley shows off several products to help you build great promotional campaigns for clients. Looking for a unique spin on a mobile charger item that campers and travelers are sure to appreciate? How about a fun product for the education sector? Or, a clever drinkware item that will certainly get attention?
Click here to watch the latest episode of The Joe Show.
Counselor Unveils 2015 Power 50
At a ceremony held this week during the ASI Power Summit in Dana Point, CA, Counselor magazine unveiled its 2015 Power 50. The rankings of the most influential executives in the ad specialty industry are headed up this year by Kevin Lyons-Tarr from 4imprint (asi/197045), the Top 40 distributor that is an e-commerce powerhouse in the industry.
Following Lyons-Tarr in the top five are: Norm Hullinger from alphabroder (asi/34063); the father-son duo of Marty and Jeremy Lott from SanMar (asi/84863); Bill Schmidt Sr. and CJ Schmidt, another father-and-son pair from Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125); and Proforma’s (asi/300094) Greg and Vera Muzzillo.
“The men and women on the 2015 Counselor Power 50 list are the most influential executives in today’s ad specialty market,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “They’re the ones who dream up the great ideas – and then stop dreaming and get the job done. Their innovative approaches to business are changing the way we all do business.”
The 2015 Counselor Power 50 is made up of the executives who have the most influence over how business is done in this market – both currently and into the future. It contains distributors and suppliers, as well as some traditional market outsiders who impact the industry’s operations. Including a record 12 new additions, the members of this year’s Power 50 also give a nod toward e-commerce and the impact it’s having on how everybody operates in the promotional products market.
Click here to see the complete rankings of the 2015 Power 50.
Grossman Marketing Group Acquires Fleet Business Products Grossman Marketing Group (asi/215205) announced Monday that it has acquired Fleet Business Products (asi/195105). Terms of the acquisition were not announced. The move expands Grossman’s client base in Connecticut and grows its full-service marketing operations. Fleet Business Products will become a division of Grossman, and the distributor will move its operations from East Hartford to Grossman’s Hartford offices. Grossman will also acquire Fleet’s Vermont operations.
“As a fourth-generation, family-run business, Grossman Marketing Group has an enviable roster of top-name clients and a well-established history of performance and success,” said John Fleet, who started Fleet Business Products in 1987. “I am glad to be a part of that tradition and I am proud to join them, along with all of the members of my team. I look forward to working with my team to provide our customers with the same high level of quality and service to which they have become accustomed over the last three decades.”
Ben Grossman, co-president of Grossman Marketing Group, said Fleet’s success in the financial market and business-related services will complement his company’s existing offerings. “We are excited to partner with Fleet Business Products,” Grossman said. “John Fleet and his team have built a wonderful business, as evidenced by their long-standing client and employee relationships.”
Based in Somerville, MA, Grossman Marketing Group now has major operations in four states in addition to Washington, D.C. Two years ago the distributor acquired ASAP, a promotional products firm based in Norwalk, CT.
Power 50 Podcast: Jeff Lederer, Prime Line In this sixth installment of the Counselor Podcast: Power 50 Series, Jeff Lederer details the importance of having capital support as a supplier in the promotional products market today. “One big challenge that companies have today is that you have to invest in inventory and still service customers at a high level,” said Lederer, president of Top 40 supplier Prime Line (asi/79530). “You need good financial backing to be able to do both.”
Also in this podcast, Lederer shared his views on how e-commerce is impacting the market in both positive and negative ways, and he explains why his company is currently looking for other suppliers to acquire or partner with.
In this series of podcasts, Counselor talks to some of the most influential people in the promo products market – the members of the 2015 Power 50. Counselor is catching up with various members of the list to gauge their views of the market. What's their outlook for the industry? What's the top challenge that promo companies face today? What tech item can these top influencers simply not live without? All that – and more – takes place in these one-on-one in-depth conversations.
Click here to listen to the Counselor Podcast: Power 50 Series.
Podcast: Apparel Sourcing Best Practices
In the latest edition of ASI’s new Strategy Session podcast, David Bebon, the CEO of DBEBZ Apparel, talks about apparel sourcing best practices and emerging markets overseas. The long-time industry expert discusses his view on whether apparel pricing will increase or decrease next year. Plus, he reveals some new opportunities for decorated-apparel sales and the latest styles and decorating trends in woven shirts.
For key information about apparel pricing and sourcing, click here to check out our latest Strategy Session podcast.
In The News
American Solutions for Business (asi/120075) announced that it has been named one of the top business-to-business e-commerce companies in America by Internet Retailer magazine, B2BecommerceWorld.com and the B2BecNews newsletter.
Facilisgroup announces that its newest distributor member is Jacksonville, FL-based Horizon Promotional Products.
Osborne Coinage Company (asi/ 75260) announced that it can now print with a four-color digital process directly onto its coin surfaces, allowing each individual coin to be customized. Visit www.osbornecoin.com for more information.
Penn Emblem Company (asi/77120) announced that it offers extensive graphic design services. For more information, go to www.pennemblem.com/artwork.
Rymax Marketing Services has launched a redesigned website that offers desktop and mobile optimization, as well as easy access to Rymax’s capabilities and its catalog of more than 10,000 products. View the new site at www.rymaxinc.com.
SailorBags (asi/84293) now offers Promo Totes, an affordable line of tote bags created exclusively for the ad specialty market. Visit www.sailorbags.com for more information.
People On The Move
Cap America (asi/43792) has appointed Shawn Naeter as its new multiline representative for the Midwest and Southwest regions, covering AR, KS, LA, MO, OK and TX.
Cedar Crest Manufacturing (asi/44368) has named Tom Flynn and Tony Flynn of Flynn & Associates Inc. as its sales representatives for KS, NE and MO, and Bill Hess of Hess & Associates as its sales representative for IA and SD.
Fields Manufacturing (asi/54100) welcomes Matt Wagner as national sales manager of American Greenwood (asi/35500), recently acquired by Fields Manufacturing. Wagner will also be the director of sales development for the entire Fields family of companies.
Starline USA (asi/89320) welcomes KC and Michael Fields of KC Fields & Associates as its newest sales representatives for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region, covering PA, DC, VA, WV, MD and Southern NJ.
Stromberg Brand (asi/89955) has hired Jim Curtis of JC Corporate Sales as its multiline sales representative in New England.
NETWORKING CLUBS RETURN TO ASI SHOW® ORLANDO
With the success in 2015, ASI Show is continuing our specialized networking clubs at ASI Show Orlando, hosted at some of the locals’ favorite settings. Bringing together suppliers and distributors alike, enjoy these activities with fellow members of the advertising specialty industry.
The Explorers Club | Monday, January 4 | 1 PM-5 PM | $75
Get Stoked for Wakeboarding at Aktion Park for 4 hours – price includes transportation, basic gear, wet suit and group instruction. Maximum 10 people.
The Diners Club | Monday, January 4 | 7PM | $45
Join your ASI hosts, Nate Kucsma and Joe Haley, and network with fellow show-goers for a buffet dinner featuring tasty Irish faire at The Pub Orlando. Dinner includes a buffet and two beers or glasses of wine. Maximum 25 people.
The Good Spirits Club | Monday, January 4 | 7 PM | $25
Join your ASI hosts, Melinda Ligos and Andy Cohen, and mingle with fellow show-goers for a martini tasting, including a flight of three specialty martinis, at Taverna Opa. Maximum 25 people.
The Runners Club | Tuesday, January 5 | 6:30 AM | $10
Get a jump on your day and meet fellow running enthusiasts on this morning fun run, hosted by ASI Computer Systems Jamie Fens. Maximum 50 people.
Space for each club is limited, so register for FREE today using promo code promogram and reserve your spot! For more information on ASI Show Orlando, January 4-6 at the Orange County Convention Center, visit www.asishow.com or call 800-546-3300.
Click here to subscribe to Counselor® magazine. You must be a member of ASI to subscribe to this publication. The publisher has a right to refuse subscriptions to non-members.
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