How to Provide Promotional Writing Instruments End Users Will Love


Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will fight its way to your door.” Well, he said something like that, anyhow. As with most idioms, the original quote is a bit different. But the meaning is the same. It is an ode to progress, to continuous improvement. And boy does it apply to the world of promotional writing instruments.

Yes, sometimes the classics are what people want. But new features that come with advances in technology keep appearing on items like ballpoint pens. Consider stylus tricks for smartphones. Think of an ink that glides more easily. Heck, think mechanical pencils! Can you imagine someone from the 1920s seeing that?

In the world of promotional products, distributors can continue to grow by finding new customers they might not have thought of when thinking of pens and pencils. They can also turn to companies that create pens that look like these tried-and-true models, but feature new design elements or eco-friendly construction.

Melissa Bettua, Director of Sales for HPG, Braintree, Mass., said his company recently expanded eco-sustainable product models to meet consumer demand for greener products. Specifically, she said the Javalina Revive has been a favorite among end-buyers lately. “[It has] all the key features of our iconic staple, made from 40% recycled materials,” she said.

Rhonda Reilly, MAS, Director of Promotional Products Sales at pilot penJacksonville, Florida, also said they have noticed an increase in demand for sustainably produced products, and that Pilot has been creating environmentally friendly products for over 20 years with now nine different styles of pens made from recycled materials. .

But what Reilly has noticed most is that when people find a pen they love, they want to keep it forever. Or, at least, they want that same pattern again when the first one dries up or disappears. In Pilot’s case, she’s found that people really bond with the G2 gel pen, which comes in a variety of colors and tip sizes.

“I’ve spoken to others who have said, ‘Oh, I only write with an accurate tip,'” she said.

Bettua compared your favorite pen to your favorite jeans. They feel the most comfortable and you know exactly what you are going to get from them. They just feel good. And, believe it or not, physical comfort is something she and HPG also consider when working with distributors looking for writing instruments.

“Customers love a soft-touch grip, like our Cache Touch stylus,” she said. “And that’s why we factored this attribute into every product launch. It’s a feature that adds that extra panache and elegance, and gives any logo a boost, perfect for rebranding opportunities! »

Cache Touch Stylus by HPG

Find your audience

Like jeans, pens are universal. A quality pen never goes out of style. Of course, silhouettes can change and some colors are starting to trend a little more than others. But, at the end of the day, everyone needs a good pen. For this reason, some customer vertical distributors may not think of pens, but they need writing instruments like the rest of the world, if not more.

“People typically think more of pens for trade shows, events, product launches, things like that,” Reilly said. “But I really find that a lot of our pens, like our permanent markers, are very good for the optical market. Anyone who writes on glass, like a petri dish or something. We have a permanent marker that is doing well in this segmented market. Title companies are huge. Schools are really offering our erasable pens for orientation.

And, once you have a customer hooked on their new favorite pen, they’ll come back.

“I often hear when I’m at meetings, ‘Oh, I don’t sell pens,’ and it’s like pens are an annuity,” Reilly added. “Once you get them into a program, they stay there forever. A pen goes in every market. It just depends on the price your customer is willing to pay for it.

In an increasingly digital world, where we have apps to track our progress on just about everything, people find comfort in writing things down on paper.

“While pens might not be an item anyone would consider personal care, think again,” Bettua said. “When we put words to paper, it helps us crystallize our thoughts and ideas. Also, when we make a list of actions, our goals become clear. Crossing things out once they’re done is the perfect way to release dopamine. Writing instruments can be a great addition to a self-care kit, encouraging people to break away from the screen and take old-school notes.

Pilot Pen Promotional Writing Instruments

B2P Colors Gel Rollerball Pen by Pilot Pen

put it all together

Speaking of kitting, a pen is the perfect item to throw in an onboarding package, care package, etc. They are small, light and available in a wide variety of prices. And they’re surprisingly versatile as a marketing medium.

“Pens are an easy way to make sure your new team member has their employer in mind with a bonus: encouraging good note taking,” Bettua says. “You don’t have to limit yourself to a logo or a name. Pair pens together as companion sets, using affirmation words—[e.g.] ‘taking good notes’—on logos is another way to use the brand as a message in a bottle. If you don’t want to sound too “branded”, taglines are a sweet subtlety that gains notoriety without being overstated. »

You can always embed a pen into the social media world with things like calls to action or other links. Bettua suggested things like a special hashtag instead of just a logo.

Unfortunately, no matter how attached we are to our favorite pens, sometimes they disappear on us. Maybe we lent them to a classmate and never got them back. Maybe they fell out of our pocket on the subway. Although it’s sad for us, it’s good for a brand, because their logo is about to reach a new audience.

“A pen has 10 lives – at least 10 lives,” Reilly said. “Ten people are going to touch a pen. That’s the extra publicity you get from a pen. If you put it on a T-shirt, yes you get that visual as well, but [with] the pen, you get the experience of writing with a nice and fine writing instrument as well as promoting your brand and business.

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