2015 Top 50 Distributors: The Interviews
The Top 50 Distributors List recognizes the top-performing distributors each year, and as a whole this year, distributors have exceeded expectations. The list’s totals have crossed the $4 billion mark ($4.2 billion to be precise), increasing the total revenue of those appearing on this list by about $350 million. The threshold to join the list also rose. Last year, $18 million in sales earned a Top 50 spot, while more than $24.5 million in sales was needed this year.
The top earners and biggest climbers were eager to share their thoughts, so we interviewed a selection of them about their ascents to becoming top distributors, their 2014 accomplishments, the biggest challenges facing distributors and the industry’s future.
Kevin Lyons-Tarr, CEO
Promo Marketing: What is the key to becoming (and remaining) a Top Distributor?
Kevin Lyons-Tarr: [The key is] finding and retaining the right team so that they can focus on finding ways to deliver constantly improving value to customers.
PM: What was your company’s biggest accomplishment in 2014?
KLT: We don’t really think in terms of “biggest accomplishment” as much as setting challenging targets for ourselves and then achieving them. So, I guess I’d say I’m pleased with our performance against the targets we set for 2014.
PM: What is currently the biggest challenge a distributor faces?
KLT: Every distributor is different, so I’m not sure there is a broad-brush answer. Keeping up with the pace of change in terms of technology, demographic shifts [and] changes to the advertising and marketing landscape are probably some challenges we all share. In effect, staying relevant.
PM: How can distributors stay relevant in the industry?
KLT: Listen to your customers. Seek their input. Look at industries outside of our own.
PM: How has the industry evolved since you started? What do you think the future will entail?