Reciprocity Road Welcomes QRG, Projects $150+ Million by Year-End

Quality Resource Group of Minnesota joins Reciprocity Road as an official member of the road crew.reciprocity-logos-for-footer-in-newsletter-2-bl-sep-2016-fw

Founded in 1965, Quality Resource Group, a $34 million marketing asset management company, brings technological prowess, operational excellence, and a solid reputation to Reciprocity, a fast-growth collective launched at the PPAI Expo only six months ago.

The seven distributors who comprise Reciprocity Road (MadeToOrder, Inc., Brand Fuel, The Icebox, Zagwear, Image Source, C&S Sales, and Robyn Promotions) wholeheartedly endorsed QRG after a thorough review process, including an on-site visit. “We are meticulous about who joins Reciprocity Road,” stated Rod Brown, Chief Financial Officer at MadeToOrder, Inc. “We have an obligation to our stakeholders and our supplier partners to align only with exceptional companies for the fastest return possible. And we don’t mean merely monetary returns, the criteria for a Reciprocity Road member involves three key areas: a stellar reputation; proficient, profitable, and creative business practices; and a generous corporate spirit. Quality Resource Group exemplifies our highest ideals and will help accelerate our mission and mutually enrich our professional growth.”

“Reciprocity Road is a revolutionary force that drives value to our supplier partners, internal teams, and to the communities in which we live. Reciprocity Road’s core mission and values align perfectly with our own, and we can clearly accomplish more as a group than we can individually. QRG’s inclusion in Reciprocity marks the beginning of what promises to be a fulfilling partnership,” said QRG President, Todd Pottebaum.

A mid-year assessment revealed that the Reciprocity Road collective is now projecting over $150 million in revenue by year-end. “We are humbled by the amount of interest in Reciprocity Road,” stated Rod Brown, “and we’re honored to align with the entire team at Quality Resource Group. Together, we will build a mutually beneficial highway for greater profit, while fueling an inspiring journey for everyone involved.”

Our Journey Begins

To our strategic partners: Thank you for believing in our mission and joining us on an epic adventure. We are proud to announce that nearly all of the selected, top 30 partners, have signed agreements and are official members of Reciprocity Road. Since our inaugural groundbreaking at the PPAI Expo in January, we have:

  1. Secured amazing agreements with our strategic partners.
  2. Sparked conversations and commitments within our walls to give priority to Reciprocity Road members. (Example? One distributor has already kicked-off a sales contest exclusive to Reciprocity supplier partners; see the image at the end of this note).
  3. Began relationships with our charitable partners (one Reciprocity distributor alone has already given to CMN over $4,000 in combined in-kind and cash donations).

Where does the road lead from here?

  • Suppliers: Reciprocity Road has committed to fewer supplier partners so that we can concentrate our spend and magnify our influence. Each distributor member of Reciprocity is striving to give allegiance to our strategic partners. The questions we continually ask: How can we give you priority? How else can we help you with our teams and our processes so that we grow together? The next several weeks are dedicated to answering these questions while opening up communication and building a better road to faster profit.
  • Distributors: Most of the Reciprocity distributor members have already visited each other’s offices. Our weekly conference calls continue to add value to our respective businesses as we open up about the challenges and opportunities before us. Though we are adamant about keeping our group small, we welcome a discussion with any interested distributor who wants to grow their business, enlarge their profits, and pay it forward.
  • BrandGood: Profitable partnerships are our priority; BrandGood is our vision. Our BrandGood component had to wait in the wings until we could establish all the agreements with our strategic partners. Now that the road is paved, expect our charitable efforts to move to the fast lane. In the upcoming weeks and months, we will be sharing more of the charitable work we are doing in our respective markets. You already know of our rather modest donation goal for our first year together. What you do not know is that we have hopes and aspirations for something much bigger. Join us as we work toward our year-end contribution to our primary charities but, in the meantime, let’s learn to work better together to make Reciprocity a reality for us, our teams, and our communities.

Like all businesses, we will grow into our distinct differentiation as we actualize our vision. We’re trying to build something inspirational, not perfunctory. We are idealizing, dreaming, planning that the model of a buying group in our industry can be more, that the alliances can be stronger, the reciprocal influence loud and life-changing.

Again, to those who have taken the high road with us and believed in our efforts: thank you.

May the Road rise to meet you.



Laying the groundwork

The Reciprocity Road Distributors hosted their official launch reception with their teams and potential supplier partners at the 2016 PPAI Expo. Industry leaders from many of the top suppliers gathered to hear the vision for a new kind of buying group, one that inspires philanthropy through common charities and also returns greater profit while building stronger alliances. Rod Brown, industry veteran and one of the founders, cast a strong vision for where the road leads, “this is going to be a journey that benefits everyone involved, by definition, our name carries our brand promise. Reciprocity Road is focused on maximizing financial incentives while lowering frictional cost. We are on a mission to pave the way for better relationships with our partners, our teams, and our collaborative leadership. We want a different kind of journey, a highway that returns greater profits, faster, a journey worth taking together.” Breaking ground (from left to right) are Distributor members Tom Goos (Image Source), Brad Storms (C&S Sales), Rod Browne (Made to Order), Brian Haner (Image Source), Scott Alterman (The Icebox), Robert Fiveash (BrandFuel), Toby Zacks (Zagwear), Bobby Lehew (Robyn Promotions), and Jeff Holt (ImageSource); not pictured: Danny Rosin (BrandFuel), Jordy Gamson (The IceBox), Judd Karofsky (Zagwear).

A New Kind of Buying Group with BrandGood at Heart

Houston, TX (January 5, 2016) – MadeToOrder, Inc., Brand Fuel, Inc. The Icebox, Zagwear,  ImageSource, C&S Sales, and Robyn Promotions announce the formulation of a new kind of buying group, one with a philanthropic heart.

A conversation at the PPAI Expo two years ago sparked a mission of solidarity as seven distributors with collective gross sales of $100 million, galvanized their efforts to build better businesses together while making their communities stronger.

Reciprocity Road is new kind of buying group, committed to returning more business to their carefully selected supplier partners with open access to end user clients, more rebate dollars to their sales teams, and consolidated support of chosen charities.

This initial group of seven founding members reviewed other buying groups and affiliations and, due to regional conflicts or member populations outside their profile, decided to create their own.  The team shares a common vision, transparency and cooperation with each other and all their constituents, vendors, and employees alike.

Rod Brown, CFO at MadeToOrder, Inc. “We are sending a clear message to all of our supplier partners, our communities, and our teams that this is going to be a journey that benefits everyone involved. By definition, our mutual dependence on each other becomes our catalyst. By naming the group Reciprocity Road, it’s a reminder even to ourselves, that we exist to benefit each other.”

“Too often, buying groups lapse into a rebate-only or EQP-for-all entity. Reciprocity Road is focused on maximizing financial incentives while lowering frictional cost but we are on a mission to pave the way for better relationships with our partners, stronger two-way traffic. We want a different kind of journey, a highway that returns greater profits, faster, that is worth taking together, along a road that leads somewhere inspirational.”

Each year, the Reciprocity Road distributors select a charity (or charities) as their mission to make an impactful change. A percentage of the rebate dollars collected will be returned to the chosen charity. The 2016 charities of choice are PPEF (Promotional Products Education Foundation) and CMN (Children’s Miracle Network).

Page 3 of 3123