A local marketing firm has merged with a Michigan-based advertising business, not because of similarities but because of their differences.
Springs-based The CSK Group announced today it has merged with Hanon McKendry in Grand Rapids to form the branding company: DOMOREGOOD. Each company has about 25 employees. Both offices will remain open and could increase staff in the future.
CSK specialized in market research, brand strategy and brand development, working with company officials to target audiences and the message brought to the market. Hanon McKendry specialized in advertising - producing print, radio, digital and television commercials and buying advertising time. CSK worked on previous campaigns with Hanon McKendry before the merger. Combining the two companies allows them to work on the same project from the start to create a better end result, said Bob Blanchard, who lead Hanon McKendry and is now chief executive officer of Do More Good.
"We are not trying to cut and slash overhead," he said. "This was a partnership fit we think will add very high total returns."
CSK was formed about four years ago by three friends - Cheryl Farr, Steve Maegdlin, and Keith Brock; all three will remain with the company. Maegdlin spent more than 20 years marketing software products for high tech firms before going to work for Focus on the Family in 2004. He worked with Farr and Brock while helping to extol the organization's image.
The three liked each other's work ethics, ideas and energy and decided to join forces and open CSK in the Hibbard building at 19 S. Tejon Street in November 2009. The company has helped market and re-brand and market organizations such as Focus on the Family, Kansas City-based DSI, and Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute. Maegdlin began working with Hannon McKendry while at Focus on the Family.
CSK worked on project with the Michegan firm begining in January.
After the merger, the companies changed their name to DOMOREGOOD to represent what officials at both companies feel is a coming change in media marketing and company branding. Maegdlin said consumers now want to spend money on products from companies that do environmental, social and other good, not just companies whose products make them feel happy or have the highest rating.
"People are increasingly demanding capitalism with a conscience," Maegdlin said.
He said companies, and especially nonprofits, often concentrate too much on one product or service, falling short of letting the public know their overall mission.
"They all have their purpose," he said, "and they need to make it known and stand out."
Hanon McKendry began nearly 20 years ago. The firm decided to merge with CSK after a nearly four-hour meeting between company founder Bill McKendry and Maegdlin. But the idea was solidified after a April trade show in Orange County, Calif., proved the two companies would be stronger if combined.
"There were three or four opportunities for each of us," Maegdlin said, "that we realized we would not have gotten if we were buy ourselves."
Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.