Keep Calm and Write On
Writing instruments have come a long way from cavemen chiseling into stone to communicate. We can choose from pens, styluses, highlighters—the list goes on. Print+Promo spoke to two leading writing instrument suppliers to help explain how the business of promotional pens makes sense in the digital world.
SELLING IN A TECHNOLOGY-BASED WORLD
Sales have proven that electronic devices have not replaced pens. “As we all know, the world is definitely going digital,” Andy Arruda, MAS, national sales manager for Hub Pen Company, Braintree, Mass, said. “Ironically, our [pen] sales continue to climb at double-digit rates. The writing instrument is such a utilitarian product. That is what gives it staying power.”
A rise in technology means a market for different types of writing instruments—many with dual purposes. “We have added many new pens with stylus functionality,” Arruda said. “They have been a huge success. The customer gets the best of both worlds. Whether they are using their iPad or hand-writing a note, they can achieve both with one instrument.”
Gwen Brey, marketing coordinator for New Ulm, Minnesota-based Beacon Promotions, noted that more companies are buying instruments that combine a pen with another feature, such as flashlights, screen cleaners and highlighters. “Combining writing instruments with digital items [such as a stylus, a laser pointer or a screen cleaner] is working very well for Beacon Promotions,” she said. “Pens are used five to 10 times a day, even with the digital items available to us.”
CLASSIC AND TIMELESS
There’s a reason writing instruments are one of the most popular promotional products out there. They work for different types of businesses. Brey explained that pens, often being “inexpensive, small and easy to give out,” adds to the popularity. “Everyone uses them and personalization on metal pens is very popular,” she said.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.