With the objective of creating a broad and holistic ranking of companies in the promotional products industry, PPAI 100 takes into account virtually every key measure of corporate leadership for its scoring.

Companies on both sides of the industry are scored on a 500-point scale that is spread across eight separate categories. Metrics from each scoring category are slated to be discussed when the inaugural PPAI 100 list debuts at North American Leadership Conference, June 4-6 in Washington, D.C.

Although the categories have different weights depending on the consensus of their importance to a company’s vitality, none are so overpowered as to dominate the ratings.

Who will be the No. 1 distributor and No. 1 supplier? To score highly, a company must truly be well-rounded in the following categories.

Previous Year Revenue

While the spirit of the list is that money isn’t everything, no one would pretend that it isn’t crucial in attempting to ascertain a business’s strength. Companies exist to make money. It’s a measure of how successful they are at fulfilling their respective missions. It allows them to employ workers who can pay their bills, put food on the table and kids through college. It creates opportunities to give back to society through philanthropy. It’s better for any business to sell more. Last year’s North American sales represent the most significant scoring factor to the PPAI 100 rankings.


The most recent full year provides a quality picture of the strength of any business, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Some execs would argue that an organization’s trending performance tells an equally important tale, and one year could simply be an aberration. Firms on the upward trajectory may indeed be the revenue leaders of the future, and those who are stagnant or making less than they were in previous years face uncertainty. For the purposes of the inaugural survey, a company’s performance from 2019 to 2022 is considered in this category, which is broken down into two segments: Revenue trends are considered as both a whole number and as a percentage rate of growth or decline. Including the percentage factor creates parity in the program, acting as a counterweight to ensure that the largest corporations did not dominate the rankings on the basis of their size alone.

Industry Faith

Promotional products leaders have agreed for generations that the industry’s future is dependent on the strength of its supply chain. For the supply chain to be strong, both suppliers and distributors must have trust in a business partner’s ability to meet their obligations. On the supplier side, PPAI 100 uses SAGE Ratings to determine the industry’s faith in each company. For distributors, PPAI pulled the firms’ credit ratings via Experian.

Professional Development

Most companies are only as strong as their workforce will allow. Although businesses are made up of individuals from various educational backgrounds and experience levels, the best encourage their teams to continue to grow through industry-specific courses and engagement. A firm with a more specialized workforce is better positioned to handle the demands of our unique industry. Scoring for this category includes the total number of CAS, MAS and MAS+ certified employees on each company’s roster, with added credit given for the more advanced certificates.


Leaders in all industries agree that the companies that will attract top talent and increasingly discerning customers in the future are already making positive corporate citizenship a priority. This may be even more important to promo than most industries, in fact. In the survey used to assign points for the PPAI 100 program, questions ranged from companies’ adherence to sustainability progress and practices, DEI initiatives and product safety.


A business that doesn’t adapt to the times is soon to be left behind. A common challenge expressed by today’s promotional products pros is the friction caused by underutilized digital tools, and end buyer customers are even more likely to be frustrated by antiquated systems and practices. Likewise, cybersecurity threats pose a risk to every company. Digital transformation is on the mind of virtually every promo CEO on some level. The technology survey sent to PPAI 100 candidate companies addressed their approach to these modern issues.

Employee Happiness

Scoring for this portion of the program is devoted to average employee tenure and inclusion in PPAI’s Greatest Companies To Work For program (and similar workplace honors) over the past three years. The most admirable companies create results not only for their business purposes, but also find a meaningful and appreciated place in the lives of the people they employ.

Online Presence

Virtually everyone reading this will agree that promotional products are essential to every brand, but so too is the ability for customers to easily interact with a company online, access what they need and even engage with content that may enhance their regard for the promo industry as a whole. No leading company can afford to punt on its digital presence. For this category, PPAI partnered with leading online metrics platform Semrush to investigate and score promo firms for their web prowess.


While these categories and scoring methods are crucial to understanding the top companies in the industry for 2023, they may not all be as valuable in future years. PPAI Media will evaluate the categories and scoring system each year to make sure that they create the most relevant picture of the leaders in promotional products.

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