Meet The Promo Group Team!
The story behind The Promo Group’s success
Bryan Peach, the ex CEO of PPPSA (Promotional Product Professionals of South Africa) and Bert Prevoo, the ex COO of PPPSA, are the owners and Directors of The Promo Group – importers and distributors of Promotional Products and Corporate Clothing.
“We have a passion for promotional products and a desire to ensure their acceptance and recognition as a powerful weapon in the marketing mix! And with over 60 years combined in the Promotional Product Industry in South Africa we will ensure that all your expectations are met.”
Bryan Peach – years in the Industry: 29
Bryan Peach left school at the age of seventeen and enlisted in the BSAP (Rhodesian police force) where he served for three and half years, much of this time spent in PATU (Police Anti-terrorist Unit), and finishing off as a detective in CID (Criminal Investigation Department).
Arriving in South Africa in January 1982 with a suitcase and R400.00 he spent the next four years working full time to pay his way through Wits Technikon where he obtained a Diploma in Organisation and Work Study (Industrial Engineering).
In 1986 Bryan left a secure and well paid job and began manufacturing and selling wall clocks from his garage at home. These clocks were predominantly sold to friends and family as well as at the Veldskoen Drive-In ‘flea-market’ on Sundays – the brand on the clocks was ‘Macbryan’.
His destiny in the Promotional Product Industry was determined one day towards the end of 1986 when a friend’s mother showed one of his clocks to her boss who ordered fifty to hand out to clients as ‘gifts’ in recognition of business received.
This was more product than he had sold in the previous four months – one major challenge however was that he didn’t know what a corporate logo was, let alone how to apply it to his clocks!
Twenty six years later Bryan sold one of the most successful companies in the Industry at the time – Macbryan (Pty) Ltd., as well as his company Gadg-it (Pty) Ltd., to pursue his dream of elevating the Industry he loves to the respectability it deserves and to assist others as he had been assisted over the years.
The Corporate Gifts Association of Southern Africa (CGASA) was born and was later converted into the Promotional Product Professionals of South Africa (PPPSA).
Prior to his involvement in the above associations Bryan was also a member of IGC Global Promotions, a global contract partner for multinational companies to buy promotional items and business gifts – he was elected to Vice President of the Board, a tenure he successfully fulfilled for 5 years.
Bert Prevoo – years in the Industry: 32
Bert Prevoo started his career at the then Rand Easter Show back in the late 1970s. A law student at the time, Bert worked for a new company called Verimark during his varsity holidays and to his surprise, he had a flair for sales.
“To my surprise, I found out I could sell, and I did quite well,” he says of the early days working for Verimark, a marketing company for innovative products that were sourced internationally and then demonstrated and sold at most fairs. “I don’t know if it was because I had a natural talent for it or simply a fear of how I was going to pay the next month’s varsity rent.”
Following the completion of his studies and a gap year in Europe, Bert returned and opened the first Verimark branch in Durban before being posted to head office in Johannesburg two years later.
“Our main focus then was to source really innovative products that had to be demonstrated,” he says. “It was the demonstration that sold the product and this all depended on how good the pitchmen were.”
After being appointed as Managing Director of Verimark Corporate Gifts in 1983, Bert and his team decided to try something different in the little-known promotional gifts industry.
“We were a marketing company, who decided to turn the industry on its head,” he says. “Instead of a little in-house brochure, we produced a catalogue showcasing innovative corporate gifts.
These catalogues were then posted or inserted into business magazines to targeted managers within South African companies.”
“Some 20 years later, with three PMR Magazine Golden Arrow Awards, the promotional division of Verimark was absorbed by AIG (Associated Industries Group) and traded as Supreme Gifts and Ideas – I then left to start up the company Premiums@Play.”
After nine years this successful business was bought out by Picto Busby and Bert, together with Bryan Peach, embarked on the challenge of setting up South Africa’s first and only promotional products association – the CGASA.