It began in an apartment in 1984, with a lot of passion and dedication and little room in which to work. Twenty-plus years later, Commotion Promotions has expanded to seven locations nationwide, not only marketing and promoting their clients, but making a name for themselves as well.
Over the past year, Commotion Promotions has created quite the buzz for itself, launching projects such as the One Good Turn Project, which donates $500 of promotional products to non-profit organizations monthly, as well as receiving recognitions for its work.
Highlights include earning a Best Places to Work award from Counselor Magazine and, most notably, its placement on the 2011 Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies List.
Headquartered in Phoenix, Commotion Promotions was not only recognized for its 33 percent growth over the past three years, but it was also one of the only promotional products companies on the list.
What does this recognition mean to Karen Kravitz, president of the female-owned business?
“It really means that we have, since 1984, been able to grow continually,” Kravitz says. “And certainly in an economy where people are seeing a downturn, we’ve actually grown.”
Kravitz credits the company’s success to the strong relationships with its suppliers, its sales team, customer assistance as well as its niche markets.
“We meet with our suppliers on a regular basis, so they are bringing us new pieces and product lines all the time,” Kravitz says. “And the staff is always sharing ideas, even for each other’s clients. So we work with a team approach. There are a lot of sharing of communal ideas here.”
For Commotion Promotions, it’s all about staying ahead of the game and on the cutting edge. And there are several ingredients to creating and maintaining an award-winning marketing company.
According to Kravitz, one of the main ingredients to its business success is creativity. Because Commotion Promotions has received awards for its creative pieces and campaigns, “suppliers and manufacturers will come to us before the product has hit the market, and we help guide them regarding whether it’s a valuable product to bring to market and what we think it could sell for,” she says.
The niche markets Commotion Promotions work with also sets them apart — with brands including Stop Smoking Promotions, Get Healthy Promotions, Planet Earth Promotions and Promotions for Pets, which are all found online.
“In terms of providing promotional online stores for clients, we’ve been able to implement those and that’s definitely helped our growth,” Kravitz says.
But according to Kravitz, it’s the combination of award-winning creative advice, measurable results and its “unbelievable customer service team” that doesn’t usually happen when customers purchase promotional products online — a game changer in the industry — that makes Commotion unique.
“I think over time, people will realize the value of a promotional contact you work with at a local level brings to the table, as opposed to trying to buying something online,” Kravitz says.
Kravitz’s advice to other female entrepreneurs?
“It’s OK to be a woman entrepreneur, a women-owned business, run a home, have children, work out of a second bedroom or have a toddler in the background,” Kravitz says. “As long as you have a passion and the dedication, you will succeed.”
Commotion Promotions has plans to expand into southern California and Chicago, as well as launch other niche markets over the coming year.
2999 N. 44th St., #340, Phoenix
Commotion Promotions: By the Numbers
3-Year Growth: 33%
2010 Revenue: $8.9 million
2007 Revenue: $6.7 million
Industry: Advertising & Marketing
Industry Rank: #348
Source: Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies List