GET IT WRITE! – Promotional pens for small business
Pens, pens, pens. They’ve been a top seller in the promotional products business since 1993 and in the top 5 products of 2018. Everyone uses them and everyone loses them and so they need more. They’re light-weight and carried easily in a pocket, purse and sometimes tucked behind an ear. It makes sense that they’re the most commonly owned promotional product by all consumers. So, whether you’re buying them for your workspace, for an event or as a corporate gift to your employees and clients – promotional pens are a cost-effective, useful and high-impression product, perfect for small business.
By the numbers
Promotional pens are so common that it can be easy to write them off as just a cheap, easily-brandable thing. However, we all genuinely appreciate a well-made writing implement with a smooth ink flow and ergonomic design. That’s why we get a little upset when our favourite goes missing – more on that later. Whether it’s for jotting notes at work, taking down a new contact’s details or doodling while on a long business call, a pen is the conduit through which our thoughts are noted down.
In case you’re yet unconvinced, here are the real-world numbers
- 73% of people carry a pen with them at all times. Furthermore, 89% of consumers own a promotional pen. About 20% of them actually own 10 promotional pens!
- Promotional pens are kept for about nine months, mostly because of their quality, but also for their practicality and a little because of the way they look.
- Each of the 3000 impressions received over that nine months costs you less than a tenth of a cent. Talk about cost-effective!
- In a study conducted in Belgium last year, researchers found that participants using an unfamiliar brand’s promotional pen subconsciously looked more favourably on that brand when they next encountered it. They only discovered notable numbers when the brand was unfamiliar. From this we can surmise that as a first point of contact, a branded pen is great for brand awareness and getting a foot in a new client’s door.
They’re proven to work, then, but which ones are best pens for small business? Here are the most common types.
Plastic pens are the most simple and cost-effective of all pen types. They’re made, bought and shipped in bulk. They’ll have blue or black ink with a one or two-colour print on the side or clip. For you, they’d be great for intra-office use. Stock your workspace with these bad boys and you won’t need to worry for a while.
A survey taken by PaperMate gave some great insight into workplace pens. More specifically, why they go missing!
While we have all accidently stolen a pen from work, one in five employees surveyed admitted to stealing a pen on purpose. Half of these workplace thefts occurred because they could not resist the way the pen wrote – smooth and effortless, are the words used in the study. The next 36% of pilferings were blamed on how the pen looked. The remaining percentage of thefts were attributed to the outside colour of the pen. It seems a good office pen is very in demand. All the more reason to have your brand on it when it goes walkies.
Plastic pens are also great for expos, trade shows or any type of event where you’re giving something practical to people walking by. You don’t feel bad about giving them away because you know they’re great at building brand awareness, and you’ve hopefully still got boxes of them back at the office.
Metal pens are also good for expos. Their extra weight and ‘shininess’ give your brand a boost. They feel expensive and so feel like they’re worth more to the person you’re giving them to. While their dollar value is a little bit more than plastic, basic metal pens are still very reasonably priced.
For the more discerning small-business owner, you may like to explore the moderately priced pens. With a bit more heft and possibly a well-known manufacturer, you could have an effective corporate gift or ‘accidental’ giveaway.
We now know that a lot of pretty pens are pilfered on purpose. Promotional or plain, they are perpetually parted from their purchaser. However, pens are also often left behind by accident. Whether on a counter after signing out or under a clipboard clip somewhere. If a giveaway is too much or looks too desperate for you – try intentionally, accidentally leaving a pen. No one will mind, they’ve all done it too…by accident.
For those who would like to stand on ceremony and present a pen as a corporate or employee gift, there are designer, pen-maker-brand pens available for customisation. Fountain, Cross, Waterman, Parker, Balmain and Balenciaga – any you like. The name alone carries weight, then put your company name next to it and it definitely says something. In smaller volumes, these types of staff awards and corporate gifts are well within your reach. The practicality of such a gift combined with the power of the pen as a promotional product is an effective marketing move.
We live in a day when plastic and metal are not our only options when it comes to writing implement. Evolved from quills and reeds in the olden days – to pens made from recycled cardboard, cork, wood, bamboo and wheat today. Ethically and responsibly sourced materials like these are fantastic, environmentally friendly alternatives. Their natural and sustainable source means that they have a smaller impact on the environment when they’re manufactured. They will also leave less of a footprint when they are no longer in use as they break down in landfill.
Manufacturers around the world are innovating production methods to include practices that are better for the environment. One in Turkey has developed a bioplastic that dissolves in landfill within three years. They also use recycled waste plastics in their pens. This increases the plastic’s lifespan and lessens its impact. Furthermore, this manufacturer donates a portion of profits from their recycled plastic pens to marine and habitat conservation foundations.
There is so much variety in the promotional pen game. Like bottles and bags (add blog links) each are suited for the many purposes you put them to. They’re more than just something to write with. A promotional pen can help you make a sale or widen your marketing reach. At the very least, it’s an attractive, smooth-writing implement that a co-worker envies enough to pinch while you’re not looking.
PaperMate Inkjoy survey results – https://visual.ly/community/infographic/lifestyle/100-office-workers-admitted-stealing-pen