Distributors Capitalize On Low Oil Prices Swelling supply and relatively sluggish demand have pushed oil prices down even further in recent weeks. This week, Brent crude plummeted to $36.05 – an 11-year low – before recovering some to more than $37 yesterday. Meanwhile, the per-barrel price of U.S. crude sank 40 cents to $34.17 – the lowest level since 2009. Read Article
Cintas Grows Quarterly Revenue Top 40 distributor Cintas (asi/162167) reported quarterly revenues of $1.22 billion for a year-over-year increase of 8.5%. In the company’s fiscal year second quarter (which ended November 30), Cintas recorded 6.5% organic growth, tabulated after adjusting for acquisitions and foreign currency exchange rates. Its operating income increased 10.3% for a total of $200.3 million. Read Article
Podcast: Inspiring Ownership At Every Level In the latest edition of ASI’s Strategy Session podcast, author and business-leadership speaker Meridith Elliott Powell talks about redefining personal responsibility and how it can be used as a leadership strategy. She also shares insights on assembling a winning sales team, the importance of focusing on customer experience and the most critical traits for an effective leader.
The Joe Show: Awesome New Products
In this episode of The Joe Show, Product Editor Joe Haley features a power bank that works as a flashlight in a pinch. In addition, he shows off customized greeting cards that are perfect for acknowledging employees and clients. Plus, Joe examines an excellent workout accessory for today’s connected users. Watch Video
Digital Ad Spending On The Rise Globally
With consumers increasingly tethered to their smartphones, tablets and other devices, expect brands to funnel more and more of their marketing dollars into digital channels. A new global report by eMarketer finds that 2016 will be the year when advertisers in the United Kingdom spend more on digital advertising than on traditional media. By 2017, China will do the same, and in 2018, Denmark, Australia and Norway will join the list.
Only three of the 20 markets examined by eMarketer showed a decline in total ad spending for 2015: France, Finland and Norway. However, even in those markets, spending on digital advertising is expected to grow.
In the U.S., digital ad spending as a share of total media ad spending was at 31.6% in 2015. Next year, it is expected to grow to 34.4%, according to eMarketer. By 2019, digital ad spending in the U.S. is projected to reach 41.4% of total ad spending.
When it comes to the types of companies investing in digital, fast-moving consumer packaged goods are the leaders, in part due to multinational brands' adeptness at such channels and their willingness to invest in developing markets ahead of local players. Still, for many startups in the developing world, digital advertising is most affordable, and such companies often direct 100% of their ad budgets to digital channels, according to eMarketer.
The auto industry was another big spender in digital, especially in countries where auto sales are on the rise. In China, automotive digital ad spending was up 3% in 2015. Car buyers around the world have become accustomed to researching their purchases online, helping fuel the increase in digital advertising in this sector.
Counselor Commentary: Capitalize On Merger Mania
Across many markets, mergers and acquisitions are on fire. Forbes recently stated that M&A activity is on track for a record year, and The Week reports that 2015 hit an all-time high of 18,603 deals completed for a total value of $4.61 trillion, beating the previous record set in 2007. This is a trend that distributors should look to capitalize on.
Sectors like technology, health care, drug & biotech and energy are experiencing dizzying activity. A few of the biggest M&A deals of 2015 according to CNBC include Shell buying British BG in April for $81.5 billion; Charter Communications set to buy Time Warner Cable for $79.6 billion and the completed merger of Heinz and Kraft which was valued at $62.6 billion and will now be known as Kraft Heinz. Just announced is the pending merger of giants Dow Chemical and DuPont. The merger between pharmaceutical biggies Pfizer and Allergan is worth $160 billion.
On the local level, a number of schools, banks and hospitals are merging. For example, the Philadelphia area is home to many of the oldest and largest Catholic schools in the country. With changing demographics, many schools are merging and adopting new names, which requires everything from signage, uniforms and stationery to book bags, trophies and sports equipment.
In suburban Philadelphia, the merging of First Federal and First Savings banks gave birth to the newly named Penn Community Bank, with the colors blue and green being used on all new signage. Think of all the freshly logoed pens this bank and its branches will need. Another Philadelphia example is the recently announced merger of Jefferson Health and Aria Health. In the photo shown here from the Bucks County Courier Times, Aria Health CEO Kathleen Kinslow shows off a jacket branded with the names of both health-care giants. If this merger goes through, Jefferson would grow to 23,000 employees, 4,400 doctors and eight hospitals.
With all these merged and acquired companies, promotional product professionals need to stay on high alert for hearty re-branding opportunities. Whether it's two or more names, hyphenated combos or completely new brands, these re-born firms need imprinted items, both internally for combined workforces, as well as logoed products for the world to see. They need to shout from the rooftops with newly-branded products to ensure their customers and prospects know who they are. Help them do it – now.
Nominate Now For The Counselor Product Design Awards Counselor magazine is looking for innovative products for its annual Product Design Awards competition. Suppliers are invited to nominate their favorite eye-catching products in the following categories:
Awards & Recognition
Caps & Wearable Accessories
Meeting & Travel Products
Sports & Outdoors
Watches & Jewelry
To enter, please submit the following:
A sample of the product. (We recommend that the product be exclusive to the supplier that is submitting it, although this is not a requirement.)
A brief description of the product, including any special features.
The category that the product should be considered for.
There is a limit of one submission per category, per company. Please note that only products from North American suppliers will be considered, and that submissions will not be returned unless requested. Items that were submitted for previous Counselor Product Design Awards competitions are ineligible.
Please send samples and descriptions to:
4800 Street Road
Trevose, PA 19053
All submissions will be judged on the following areas: design appeal, functionality and the ability to attractively feature a logo (when appropriate). Winners will be featured prominently in a future issue of Counselor. All samples must be received by Friday, January 8.
Ready, Set, Customize
Distributors can visit booth 1251 at ASI Show® Orlando January 5-6 for info on customizing an ESP Website. Find out more.
Another New Member Benefit
ASI recently announced a new affiliate partnership with Xpedite Fulfillment, Inc. that will allow members to save up to 25% on warehousing and fulfillment services. Find out more.
EVERYTHING'S BIGGER IN TEXAS, INCLUDING SALES! Plan the perfect getaway to Texas' top visitor destination, Dallas! The fun is heating up with Pritzker Prize-winning architecture, lush parks, innovative dining and memorable entertainment… and so are promotional products sales opportunities at the BIGGEST AND BEST industry event in the Southwest, ASI Show Dallas. Register for free today with code promogram and gain access to a full day of education on February 9 and exhibits on February 10-11, in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
You'll find over 67,000 sq. feet of show floor and approximately 500 exhibiting companies showcasing innovative products, ideas and client solutions just in time for the start of the New Year.
Meet with top suppliers who will launch new products and fresh ideas to start your sales year off right
Take advantage of ALL NEW education, so even if you've attended the show before, you'll learn something new
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