General Excellence: JP Promotional Products

Ossining

Walk the floor at any trade show and you’re sure to find corporate-logoed products of every stripe. There’s a good chance some of those notepads, stress balls, and T-shirts were ordered through Ossining-based JP Promotional Products. Owned and run by father-daughter team Bob Rosenthal and Shari Pulver, the small distributor is growing to be a big player in its niche industry.

The firm was founded in May 2003 with “no sales and no accounts [the Eldorado Diner in Elmsford would become its first customer], just the desire to build a business,” says Rosenthal, who got into the industry after working at a direct-marketing firm that sold promotional products. Today, Rosenthal, Pulver, and two other employees serve nearly 900 customers from a 2,000-square-foot office and showroom, completing 700 orders in 2013. JP Promotional Products works with about 500 different suppliers to deliver thousands of branded promotional items to a wide range of clients—big names like IBM and other Fortune 500 companies (NASA is a former client), as well as hundreds of small and mid-sized firms. 

The company will also go the extra mile to create or import unique products (like a two-hole puncher and a custom paperweight) to please its demanding customers. It’s also been smart about diversifying its client base. It took a big hit a few years ago when its many pharmaceutical accounts adopted a new industry code that limited use of promotional products. “We had to find ways to compensate for that missing business,” Rosenthal explains. Digital-marketing agencies and Westchester’s growing biotech sector have filled in the gap. “The digital guys have been great—they want really high-end, trendy, cool stuff. And they are growing a lot,” Pulver says. Also adding to JP Promotional Products’ success these days is the popularity of tech-related items (cellphone accessories, USB ports, Bluetooth speakers, etc.), which command a higher price.

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But stellar customer service is what keeps the firm’s customers coming back, according to Pulver. A personal response on every inquiry is priority number-one, she says: “We always have someone here to take care of customer needs. If someone emails us, I call them, and they are always pleasantly surprised to get a live person on the phone.”

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