You can’t go wrong with writing instruments. Perhaps this is why this product category has long been the second-most popular segment in the industry, taking second place to wearables. In 2010, it generated $1.49 billion in sales and captured 9.04 percent of the market, according to PPAI’s 2010 Sales Volume Study. (Watch for the results of the 2011 study in next month’s issue of PPB.)
Grab some paper—we’ve rounded up some writing instruments with function and flair.
Maximize your message with the full-wrap, 360-degree laser coverage offered by the Marina pen, an eye-catching, aluminum ballpoint pen. Spector & Co. (The Spector Image) UPIC: SPEC0038 888-377-7732 www.spectorandco.com
Create glittery, temporary masterpieces with the Tattoo Gel Pen, which uses non-toxic ink that washes off with soap and water. Choose from five colors. Aakron Rule Corp. UPIC: AAKRON 800-828-1570 www.aakronline.com
Whether your clients select blue or red, the ballpoint Paint Brush Pen adds creative flair to a campaign. Alpi International, Ltd. UPIC: ALPI0002 800-678-ALPI www.alpi.net
Bring some energy to a promotion with the High-Five Hand Pen. It features a wide-body design, rubber grip and twist-action mechanism. Bay State Specialty Co. UPIC: BAYSTATE 866-947-6708 www.baystate.com
Add some sparkle with the Kennedy, a metal pen that boasts an upscale look at a low price point. Engravings on the metal casing are white. Beacon Promotions, Inc. UPIC: BEACONP 800-628-9979 www.beaconpromotions.com
For 25 years, the BIC® Clic Stic® has been a trusted choice for promotions. Mix and match barrel and trim colors for more than 400 combinations. UPIC: BIC 888-446-5242 www.bicgraphic.com
Truly innovative, the Tech 4 allows writers to switch between red, black and blue ink, or a pencil. An auto-propel eraser pops up when the pencil is selected. A.T. Cross Company – Corporate Writing Solutions UPIC: ATCR0001 401-333-1200 www.mycrossbiz.com
You get three-in-one with the Triplex Pen Highlighter—it’s a pen with two highlighters in blue and yellow. Crown Products, Inc. UPIC: CROWNPRO 800-367-2769 www.crownprod.com
Ideal for wellness programs, the Antibac Pen features an antibacterial additive molded directly into the plastic body, allowing it to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria. Dart Business Accessories UPIC: DART 800-446-1154 senatorpen.com
Offered in a wash of tropical colors, Fiji is a ballpoint pen with staying power. It boasts a generous grip and a sleek black trim. Hub Pen Company UPIC: HUBPEN 800-388-2323 www.hubpen.com
A clear clip and fresh colors make the Borzoi ballpoint pen a particularly modern take on the classic pen. iClick UPIC: IClic342 800-456-9177 www.iclick.com
The Intexur is a richly appointed twist-action pen complete with a soft, rubber-tip stylus that’s compatible with touch-screen devices. I-Mark UPIC: IMARK 817-385-0306 www.imark-pen.com
Capture all the colors of the rainbow with the MoMA Spectrum Ballpoint, a twist-action, miniature pen with an enamel finish. International Merchandise Concepts UPIC: IMC1 800-331-6624 www.imc-miracles.com
The Colored Pencil Set includes 12 colored pencils packaged in a cardboard tube that’s capped with a sharpener. Try it for an art-focused promotion. Jornik Manufacturing Corp. UPIC: JORNIK 800-656-7645 www.jornik.com
The Wide-Body Bamboo Ballpoint Pen is made from sustainable bamboo and biodegradable corn plastic, making it the perfect eco-friendly pick. Logomark, Inc. UPIC: logomark 800-789-4438 www.logomark.com
Look for a black lacquer finish on the iPad®/Touchscreen Stylus Ballpoint Pen. This twist-action copper pen doubles as a silicone rubber stylus for use with touch-screen devices. Prime Resources Corp. UPIC: PRIME 800-873-7746 www.primeline.com
Pencils Help Prime New Relationships
Objective: Wayland, Massachusetts-based distributor iPROMOTEu (UPIC: IPRO9320) needed a low-cost, individually branded product that affiliates could use to open doors with prospects. It aimed to get 12 affiliates to participate at 25 pieces each.
Strategy: iPROMOTEu created a 3-D marketing piece that addressed the value of time. Inside a custom box, prospects found a pencil and sticky notes along with a message that an affiliate would call them soon. Each piece featured the affiliate’s full-color logo, and when the box was opened, a foam die-cut tray slid out to reveal the message: “Thanks for penciling me in.”
Result: The goal was exceeded by 105 percent, with 625 pieces used in the campaign. Some affiliates reported an 80-percent appointment rate.