2014 Top 50 Distributors: The Interviews
Every year there's usually a naturally occurring theme that runs through the interviews within our annual top distributors list. While the questions we ask are open-ended and usually not aimed at creating any particular theme of answers, often the responses of companies interviewed will fall into a pattern on their own. It's strange and interesting to see how those running the top companies in our industry all have the same thing on their minds. In years past, topics like the recession, product safety and government intervention have all been major focal points that have run throughout the entire feature. This year, the running theme is clear: technology.
Virtually every distributor interviewed named technology as what's going to drive the most change in our industry. Whether it's increased functionality for clients, easier access to overseas manufacturers, or something that's going to drive mass consolidation in the industry overall-technology is on everyone's minds.
See what some of the industry's best minds had to say about technology, other changes coming to the industry, and how they got where they are today in the interviews below. After that, have a look at our annual Top 50 Distributors list, which ranks the highest-earning distributors for 2013.
Principals: Greg Muzzillo, Founder, and Vera Muzzillo, CEO
Promo Marketing: How did you get your start in the promotional industry?
Greg Muzzillo: A college friend and I started the company one year after we graduated from college. He was working for a small distributor, I was working for a big five auditing firm. We each put in $100, bought a phone answering machine, some stationery and a used file cabinet.
PM: What changes do you see in the near future for the promotional industry, and what impact do you see them having?
GM: The Internet will continue to change our industry. Smaller businesses and independent (renegade) buyers in larger companies will increasingly buy from online companies. Most medium-size and larger buyers will continue to value relationships, but they will want those relationships enabled and enhanced with technology solutions, too.