Archive for July, 2010

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.