Curious about The Cerium Group? Here’s a little background.

Posted January 18th, 2016 by in Kiosk, Marketing, News

Buck Wade started working in the branded material and promotional products industry in 1982. Between 1982 and 1998 he successfully worked for 3 different promotional product distributorships as a sales representative, mainly in the Columbus area. In February of 1998 Buck decided to go out on his own, soon after he created a sole proprietorship named “The Wade Company”. A one man show operating out of the basement of his own home. In 2004, Buck’s son Landon Wade and Scott Winkle came on board as employees. Both of which contributed quite a bit to the company growth, so much so in 2009 Buck made them both partners. The brand of “the Wade Company” soon changed to “The Cerium Group” and reformed from a sole proprietorship to an LLC.

The Cerium Group originally began doing business only selling promotional products and customized apparel to their clients, without any real competitive advantage. That is until they started developing the online stores for their current customers. Scott Winkle, who is an accomplished code writer, gave The Cerium Group the capability to stand out from their competition. The original stores only offered on demand embroidered apparel. It didn’t take long for customers to start asking for more and more items to be put in their own company store. As The Cerium Group served more and more clients their request and demands grew as well. With Scott’s extensive coding knowledge The Cerium Group was able to respond to those requests.

The Cerium Group still does quite a bit of business accommodating the needs of our traditional customers. However today our greatest growth potential is in providing our clients with a complete system designed to manager their marketing collateral, promotional products and custom decorated apparel needs across their entire organization. We accomplish this by consolidating all of the sourcing, orders, budgets, and customer service into an online interface supported by a dedicated account manager. We provide our customers with buying points and a far more cost effective and time efficient way to manage their needs.

We have become a partner to our customers, combining a system to manage their marketing collateral, sources for almost anything they wish to put their logo on, and expertise and resources to deliver a first class result. Our highest and best use is when The Cerium Group becomes an extension of our client’s staff, enabling them to compress the transactions and making it possible for them to do more with less.

Giving new light to your image without altering your brand

Posted November 2nd, 2015 by in Marketing, Uncategorized

When you think about your brand, usually the first thing that comes to mind is logo’s, colors, employees and maybe even fonts. In reality your brand is it’s own personality. It’s all those elements and then some, all working together, defining who you are as a company. Occasionally we need to rejuvenate those elements, giving your brand a “face lift” so to speak. It’s a must in order to remain competitive in today’s market. Everyone want’s “the newest of new” on the market. So how do you achieve this face lift without changing the face?

When people think of a face lift for their business they automatically assume they need to “Re-Brand”, when in fact you might just need to do is re-evaluate those key pieces that make up your brand. Take inventory on the small things that have assisted in building your company. Things such as images on your website, the color’s of your logo, or even what promotional products you have stocked piled in your storage room. Are these items outdated, over used, or promoting the wrong image you and your company wish to portray? Some things you think are really effective marketing tools may actually be hindering growth.

What I recommend doing is making subtle changes, either brighten the colors of your logo a bit, update the outdated brochure, or maybe even change the corners of your business cards from square to round. It may not seem like a huge difference but sometimes just the subtle changes can have a huge impact. Think about all the things about your brand that do work, and incorporate them into your new look. If you have a large customer base, that should also be a consideration as well, so they don’t “lose you” in the process. Like any relationship between two people, a customer getting to know the brand is what drives a long-term relationship. A brand’s visual identity is a means to attract attention and quickly convey a brand’s personality as well as connect the market to advertising messages and remind current customers of previous experiences with the brand, so looks are important. A new look does not create a new brand, but it could attract a new consumer, increase company morale, and ultimately increase revenue.

Now with that in mind you need to get creative with how to launch your new found image. If you decided to make subtle changes you may not need to do an actual launch. However if you decided to do a color change or any changes to your logo you may need to “re-launch”, just to get people noticing and more involved with the changes. Discounting prices or special offers are just a few ways you can ease into your new look. If it’s cost you are worried about think about this: “A change in your company’s appearance could yield benefits well beyond the cost of the change.”

Things to remember when considering Promotional Products

Posted October 2nd, 2015 by in Marketing

Studies show that 39% of all people who received a promotional product within the last 6 months can remember where it came from. If you are considering purchasing some promotional products here are a few things to keep in mind.

Why should you invest in Promotional Products?

Promotional products are one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising. They will outlast most any type of advertising, such as classified ads, radio, commercials and TV spots. Getting your brand in the hands of potential customers is what it’s all about, and nothing does the job better than promotional products. Put something they use on daily basis and they will constantly be reminded of your company and what you do.

Are these items useful?

To be more specific “Would these items be useful enough to increase business?” Brand recognition requires repeat exposure. The more an item is passed along, the greater total audience sees it, which in turn has the ability to increase business. In other words you are not just throwing your money into a bunch of branded merchandise and hoping for the best, you are making an investment in building your brand.

Do you have a budget?

When considering promotional items, you definitely shouldn’t be focusing on price; instead you should be choosing an item that matches your business. Don’t order a massive quantity of “totally awesome tumblers” just to get the higher quantity discount, when you have no idea if that item will have a positive result. Instead order a smaller quantity, and if it is successful then order more. You do not want to be stuck with 5000 tumblers when your community reach is 1500.

So which one should you choose?

First you need to pick an item that best represents your brand, and is useful to your target customer. Pens, sticky notes, and bags are some of the most popular items in the promotional marketing world, but are they enough to make your company stand out from the rest? Pick an item that they will use daily, we usually recommend items for the customer’s desk.
Say your company is a little more “Tech Savvy”, the USB’s, Tablet’s or PowerBanks might be the right choice for your company. If your company is environmental conscious, there are products that are made from recycled materials or that reduce the impact on the environment such as solar powered flash lights and re-usable bags. Perhaps your company is more health care related, hand sanitizer, spf lip balm, or a stress ball might appeal to your potential customer.
The types of promotional products that you can have customized with your company name and logo are nearly endless.

When should you place an order?

Ordering promotional products can be a little tricky sometimes. Through our experience here at The Cerium Group, we have learned what key questions to ask. Do you have a specific event, trade-show or “In-hand’s date”? What item are you considering ordering? How much of each item do you need? What is the location of the event/ship to address?” All of these questions play a very important role in the ordering process. Some products can be shipped your way in 24 hours where as others could take months for production. It’s always good to ask for an estimated turnaround time.

The Cerium Group Receives 2nd Nomination for Small Business of the Year

Posted January 16th, 2012 by in News

Wow, what a year 2011 turned out to be!  We are honored and excited to have been informed of our 2nd nomination for The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award!  This in addition to also being nominated for the Wittenberg Entrepeneurial Business Award for the 2nd time!

We have some awesome competition, including Oxiem Marketing & Technology, Wallace & Turner Insurance, MacRay’s and Arc Staffing.

The Small Business of the Year award will be presented at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting on February 16th, along with awards for Business of the Year and Minority Owned Business of the Year.

Thanks again to all of our customers and vendors as this recognition would not be possible without all of you!

The Cerium Group Receives 2nd Nomination for the Wittenberg Entrepreneurial Business Award

Posted January 16th, 2012 by in News

The Cerium Group is excited and honored to be nominated for the 2012 Entrepreneurial Business Award (EBA) through the Wittenberg Center for Applied Management (WittCAM). This is The Cerium Group’s second nomination in 3 years, having also been nominated in 2010.

The Entrepreneurial Business Award (EBA) recognizes and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit and practices of local-area companies by recognizing businesses that have implemented innovative ideas to better serve their customers, enhance the skills of their employees, improve their competitiveness or benefit the community. This award is a student directed and managed project through the WittCAM program. We are hopeful to be awarded this honor by WittCAM and will keep you all updated as the process unfolds.

The Proper Distribution of Promotional Materials at Trade Shows

Posted January 13th, 2012 by in Marketing

We have all received a pen or a chip clip from a trade show that we initially think is somewhat appealing, but quickly learn that we soon forget the name of the company or brand on the item and use the item anyways. According to Incomm Center for Trade Show Research and Sales Training, trade show attendees are 52% more likely to stop by your exhibit if you have some appealing promotional items to give them. Like many businesses, we cannot disagree with this statement. We not only want to give the customer or potential customer something that they want and can hopefully use, but also something that they will remember the company name. We feel it is how you distribute your promotional item that can increase or decrease its effectiveness, and hopefully make it more likely that your brand will be remembered. First of all, to avoid reducing the value of your “gift” to show attendees, do not just stack them on a table for just anyone to take. Rather, personally and selectively hand out your giveaways to the visitors who are representing potential clients. This way your brand and company will be more memorable to the visitors and hopefully encourage potential clients. Secondly, if you want to use a giveaway, have the potential client fill out a lead form BEFORE offering the giveaway. This will quantify prospects and assist with your follow-up efforts. Finally, make sure you thank the customer or potential customer for stopping by your both. By simply handing the customer an item and saying thank you, you will be more likely to be remembered. A personal touch is all you need to make giving away promotional items a business success!

Now Hiring: Account Manager (Junior)

Posted January 13th, 2012 by in News

The Cerium Group LLC is expanding and we are in the market for a Junior Account Manager to help us handle the day to day needs of our growing customer base.  If you are interested, details can be found at the link below:

http://home.theceriumgroup.com/employment.php

Please feel free to contact us if interested.

Now Hiring: Part-Time Production Graphic Design Position

Posted August 23rd, 2010 by in News

Hours: 15-20 hrs per week
Pay: Negotiable
Location: 14 N. Lowry Ave., Ste D, Spfld, 45504
Description: Must be familiar with Adobe programs – PhotoShop, Illustrator etc.  Will work on-site, 4 days per week.  Working primarily in a production graphic design position working with template files to setup customizable items such as business cards, fliers, brochures and other items for production.  Will be doing specific tasks such as adding bleeds to full bleed print files, setting type etc.  Other projects may come up as necessary.

If interested, e-mail cover letter and resume to Landon Wade at landon.wade@theceriumgroup.com.

Trends in Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

Posted August 5th, 2010 by in News

Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a change in the products our customers want. We’ve noticed a lot of you are trying to make “greener” business decisions. Whether your business is already green or you’re trying to get there, we can help you become more environmentally conscious by helping you select products that are better for Earth.

Not too long ago, we wrote a blog on eco-friendly printing products. In addition to printing products, there are hundreds of eco-friendly promotional products available for you to choose from. Most products are made with organic, recycled or other natural materials that benefit the environment. By selecting eco-friendly products, you tell customers you care about the environment in a functional way while reminding them your business rocks.

Check out these green promotional items:

Reusable tote bags: Reusable lightweight totes cut down on the plastic bags you see at many trade shows. They are designed to be use again at the grocery store or the library. The bags come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

USB drives: USB drives cut down on CD waste and often hold more information than traditional CDs. These can be reused over and over.

Coffee tumblers: Coffee tumblers help eliminate additional paper waste. By using the same tumbler everyday, you help save thousands of pounds of paper from ending up in our nation’s landfills.

Logowear Options: We carry logowear products like American Apparel, which is produced in the United States in an eco-friendly building. They recycle fabric scraps and use organic cotton in their manufacturing processes. Anvil Organic shirts are made with 100 percent organic cotton. Alternative Apparel makes eco-friendly shirts of all varieties too.

If you’re interested in integrating eco-friendly promotional products into your business, contact us and we will help you choose the right items.

Once Upon a Time… A Promotional Products Tale – Buck Wade

Posted July 27th, 2010 by in News

About ten years ago, one of my clients received a call from an upset customer complaining the lid on his branded tumbler leaked coffee onto his tie. Then, I received a call from the client that distributed the tumbler demanding I get him replacement lids.

I immediately arranged to get him lids. A week later, when I stopped in to ensure I still had a customer, he asked if I had any new ideas for promotional products.

The first item I recommended was the travel tumbler. He thought I was joking, but I wasn’t!

I explained he had made a great promotional item choice for his clients – the $1.98 he spent on that tumbler had bought him an entire year of exposure to that customer. In addition, his customer cared so much to continue using the tumbler that he requested a new tumbler or lid (which he got, by the way).

That tumbler accomplished its mission. Can you name another advertising vehicle from which you can get that kind of exposure, for that long, for $1.98?

In case you’re wondering, my client didn’t buy more tumblers, but he did select two different items to give to customers and planned on using the
 tumbler again at a later time.

We counsel our clients on promotional product selection and our recommendations are not often unusual or unique. Our goal is to help you get your name in front of existing or prospective customers by using common sense to select items. You want your clients and prospects to use what you give them regularly. If they use your item up, break it, or wear it out- pat yourself on the back — YOU WIN.