Since the 19th Century, businesses have been advertising on matchbook covers. Though the matchbook advertising industry has shrunk over the years, it remains a popular niche, as advertisers continue to search for traditional, tangible items. Family business Admatch has been manufacturing custom matchbooks since 1969, and today is one of the top match suppliers in the United States.
Since its inception, Admatch has been manufacturing its products with a factory in Japan. Through the company’s long-term relationship with its Japanese partners, also a family-owned business, Admatch CEO Mark Nackman fell in love with Japanese culture and business practices. Prior to taking the helm after his father’s retirement in 1978, he noticed that his Japanese counterparts took a paternal responsibility for their employees, which he felt directly contributed to their success as a manufacturer. Incorporating what he learned from the factory owners into his own management style, Nackman credits this lesson with his own company’s longevity and employee retention.
Since the match advertising industry is extremely detail-oriented, employee longevity has been a priority for Admatch. By treating their employees like members of their own family with generous benefits and incentives, Admatch has been able to retain many of them for over 20-30 years of tenure. “Our employees feel like they can be themselves and that they’re appreciated,” said Nackman. “They’re not made to feel anxious about their job, which translates to superb customer service.”
With matchbooks still their number one product, Admatch has since branched into other areas of promotional items, including napkins, coasters, cups, tissues, towelettes, toothpicks and more. They also custom print and decorate some products in-house to provide 1-week turnaround. While continuing business with the original factory in Japan, they have also expanded their match and toothpick manufacturing operations to India to keep up with demand. Though Admatch itself is invested significantly in Internet marketing, Nackman still feels that ‘there’s something enduring about holding an advertising product and using it in real life.” In a time when much of people’s energy is spent online, the matchbook and other promotional products have maintained and even accelerated growth in recent years, a welcome sign that tradition is still valued.