Posts by mycerium

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.

Choosing the Right Promotional Product

Posted July 19th, 2010 by in Marketing

When choosing promotional items, you want to make sure that you’ve chosen the right product for your business’ needs. There are several factors you should consider when doing so.

We recommend taking the following items into consideration:

Cost: Make a budget and stick to it. Promotional products can be as inexpensive or expensive as you want them to be. When you have a budget, you can make better buying decisions. Keep in mind some logowear brands, like a Nike Golf polo, for example, might be more expensive than an alternative brand. We will work with you to make sure you get the most for your money.

Quantity: On some promotional items, there can be quantity restrictions. In most instances, when you order more, you can typically save more money. However, if you aren’t going to use 10,000 hats, there is no use in ordering 10,000 hats. You might be better off ordering 5,000 t-shirts that you know people will wear, especially if you have had luck with certain items in the past. A good way to test quantity is to order a small amount first. If USB flash drives go over well with your target audience, you might want to stay with USB flash drives as a promotional giveaway in the future.

Convenience: When you choose an item, you want it to be convenient. If people are attending trade shows, no one wants to carry around bulky, awkward items. Opt for something that is convenient for the location and event. Your customers will thank you when they don’t have to make a special trip to Fed-Ex something home.

Use: If you are giving away travel coffee mugs, do you know if your customer is a coffee drinker? If they are at a computer all day, will a mousepad come more in handy? Knowing your customers will help you choose the right product. You want them to receive a useful item so you can help keep your business top of mind when they go to use it. If you aren’t sure about what product would work best for you, we can help.

Advantages of Using a Print Broker

Posted July 8th, 2010 by in News

In addition to the promotional products we sell, printing is another segment of our business that many of our customers can benefit in more ways than one. As a print broker, The Cerium Group offers a variety of print materials for all of your business needs, that sometimes, other printing companies can’t offer.

The printing industry has changed over the last decade. There is more of a presence with larger printing companies that are well-capitalized and have good equipment, and can produce high-volume print jobs. It’s a benefit for the consumer because now you have more options, more competition which makes price more competitive and as a result, over time because of this phenomenon, print jobs have reduced significantly in cost.

As a print broker, we have increased access to the best pricing for printed items. When using a traditional printer, sometimes they can’t offer specific products or services, or they have to outsource them which increases the cost for you, the customer. The Cerium Group can get you the best price on envelopes with one company, but that company might not have the best pricing in business cards. We will look to find another company that offers the best pricing for business cards. Our ability to use multiple printers saves you money because we do the comparison shopping. Our overhead is low, so we keep staffing costs down, which helps make prices lower. With a broker, we also cut out the work for businesses by eliminating the need to request dozens of price quotes for an item that needs printed. At the click of a button or through a simple phone call, we take care of this for you. As the customer, you save time and money because we will work to make sure you get the best price with the least amount of hassle.

When using a broker the turnaround time, or the time in which is needed to produce a printed item from start to finish, isn’t that of a “quick print” place.  Normally, there needs to be some lead time to plan, especially when a printed proof, or example of the printed copy, needs approved. Planning for lead time is important when using a broker. However, some print jobs can be rushed, but that can drive up the cost for the customer. By giving the broker lead time, you help keep your costs down. As with most printers or brokers, if you want paper samples, specific inks or other specified items and want samples, there can be a time constraint as well.

Go Green When You Print

Posted June 28th, 2010 by in News

Environmental concern and impact on business is on the forefront of many business owners’ minds. When it comes to implementing “green” practices in an organization, one of the easiest ways to get started is by using eco-friendly printing options for everyday business needs.

Eco-friendly printing involves the use of alternative inks, including soy-based inks in lieu of petroleum-based inks, and replacing traditional chlorine-bleached paper with recycled paper. Many recycled papers are now available in similar varieties to their chlorine-bleached counterpart.

Printing on recycled paper and using alternative inks reduces the overall impact on the environment. It reduces the impact on our nation’s forestry resources, and reduces air and water pollution.  According to the United Nations, industrialized nations, including the U.S., make up roughly 20 percent of the world’s population, yet we consume 87 percent of the world’s printing and writing papers.

Moving your business in a “greener” printing direction doesn’t have to be expensive. Many business owners avoid eco-friendly printing options because they think it can be more expensive than traditional print methods. Depending on a variety of factors, like the type of print project and quantity, it can be cheaper in some instances.

When looking for ways to “green” your next print job, consider the following:

1) Paper: Ask about post-consumer recycled paper or tree-free alternatives. Look for bleach-free or chlorine-free paper.
2) Inks: Ask about soy-based inks or vegetable inks. These are easier to remove when recycling paper. They also use less energy to produce.
3) Design: Maximize the use of space on your print job design. You don’t want it to be cluttered, but you also want to get the most information on the least amount of paper and ink as possible.

To learn more about eco-friendly print practices, contact The Cerium Group.