Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

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 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!

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.

It’s Not Always Black and White: An Explanation of 4-Color Printing

Posted June 15th, 2010 by in Marketing

The 4-color print process is exactly what its name entails: there are four colors used in the process. More commonly referred to as CMYK-printing, this type of printing uses colors including cyan, magenta, yellow and key black. The process involves the initial separation of four colors and the eventual combination of the four different colored images on a printing press.

You may find that the 4-color printing process is significantly more beneficial for your product if you are interested in having access to a vast color spectrum. Since this particular process offers four colors, the different types of color combinations are endless.  With the 2-color process, your color choices remain minimal due to the fact that typically only black and one other color can be used.

Accuracy is another benefit that comes with the 4-color print process. If the press is used correctly and print files are accurate, this almost guarantees that your finished product will be exactly like the initial drafted concept. Graphics are necessary for a printed product instead of just words. The 4-color printing process makes the use of graphics more flexible and gives you better detail on the final product than other processes

In the past, photographers had to separate colors with colored filters for their pictures when printing. Now, there are desktop publishing systems that offer the capability to separate colors like Adobe Creative Suite. It’s easier now more than ever with today’s technology to create great looking, quality printed pieces for a fraction of the cost compared to the past.

For more information on the print process, visit

How We Use Social Media…

Posted January 27th, 2010 by in Marketing

I am often asked, because I have gotten to a little over 1200 followers on Twitter (@ceriumgroup if interested), how we use Twitter…and social media in general.

First, I have to give credit to David Zak, Vice President of Economic Development at the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, for much of what drives our philosophy on using social media for our business.  He has been and remains a bit of a pioneer in our community on using these types of communication mediums.

We seek to accomplish a few primary things through social media:

1.  Be generous – promote things our customers want people to be aware of or significant development or happenings with them.

2.  Deliver value – provide useful content about the use of promotional products, printing and apparel or marketing in general.

3.  Keep people up to date – distribute the blog or links to our Elements email about new developments, Kiosk updates, award nominations, staff happenings or anything else happening at Cerium.

4.  Get personal – mix in who we are as people to allow you to get to know us on a deeper level.

Using these 4 main objectives, we have developed an editorial calendar that dictates we will distribute “Elements from The Cerium Group” monthly to deliver offers to our customers as well as a weekly blog entry and ongoing updates based on what’s going on to our accounts on Twitter, Facebook etc.

Our market is changing, getting younger every day and it will continue to change from here to eternity.  Most folks are transitioning from getting their news, content on topics that interest them etc. from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN and the like.  As a result of this, when you develop content, you need to distribute it into those places because there are groups of people that prefer one over the other.  You need to be sure you have the content where people are looking.

While our plan on the use of these communication platforms will continue to evolve, it will always be derived out of our foundational desire to deliver value to our customers.

The “New” New Launched Today!

Posted October 9th, 2009 by in Marketing

Really excited about our “new” new site, we feel this site provides a much better framework for us to grow into as well a superior structure for our soon to be launched MyCerium system.

Check out the new site at:

Or see the screen shot of our new home page below:

Cerium Unveils 12 Weeks of Christmas Promotion!

Posted October 8th, 2009 by in Marketing

We are proud to be in the 4th week of our 12 Weeks of Christmas promotion!  The topics for each week are below:

Week 1 -Holiday (Halloween & Christmas)

Week 2 – Calendars

Week 3 – Clocks & Watches

Week 4 – Tools, Knives & Flashlights

Week 5 – Padfolios, Journals & Jotters

Week 6 – Technology

Week 7 – Writing Instruments

Week 8 – Drinkware

Week 9 – Health & Personal Care

Week 10 – Apparel

Week 11 – Home & Kitchen / Food Gifts

Week 12 – RUSH Items!

This promotion is designed to help our customers consider the entire spectrum of gift options available to them for their customers and/or employees.  We are so pleased to be able to offer quality brands such as Cutter & Buck, Wenger/Swiss Army, High Sierra, NIKE, Adidas, Skagen and many many more.