Top Distributors 2017 Q&As: No. 10 - Jack Nadel International
Every year, Promo Marketing releases its Top 50 Distributors list. To give you some insight into what it takes to make it to the top, we spoke to Craig Nadel, president of Jack Nadel International, No. 10 on the list.
Promo Marketing: Besides sales numbers, what makes your company a top promotional products distributor?
Craig Nadel: I think we know who we are. ... There are several ways to go to market in this business. It is a big world and big industry. I do think it is difficult to be too many things, however. A creative, market-driven distributor can’t really add sales by becoming a bolt-on, fit-the-system-we-have-in-place distributor without losing their former identity. The same is true in reverse, of course.
PM: How was the promotional products industry evolved since you started? What do you think the future will entail?
CN: The quality of the products, including decorating, speed of production, and artwork and other requirements from us is far superior than it was. The suppliers, as a group, have been fantastic in that regard. The world is much more of an information age in general, and that too is true in our business. Getting the basic information was much more difficult and valued. Now, the value is almost entirely in knowing what to do with the information. For example, we once had a department that was devoted to finding products. In the information age, that is not required. However, we now produce and distribute marketing pieces for our salespeople to be proactive with clients and prospects.
The guessing-what-is-next is much more difficult, of course. I’ve always been a big fan of the Noah principle—that is, predicting rain does not matter. You have to build an ark. Arks require a lot of time, money and energy to build.
PM: What’s one trait of your company that you think has made it such a success, and why do you think it’s had such an impact?
CN: There are many things, of course, and no one trait is everything. However, to me the most important thing is people. All the growth opportunities you want to take advantage of, problems you have, etc., get way easier with the right people. Getting and keeping the best people—and trying to get the people who are not the best fit for the company out—is the most important thing.