Multi-function writing instruments stand out from the crowd
Writing instruments are the second best-selling promotional product, comprising nine percent of total promotional product sales, according to PPAI’s 2014 Annual Estimate of Distributor Sales. What makes them so popular as promotional products? Pens and pencils are necessary and useful—and visible. They’re small enough to fit in a purse or briefcase and carry with you. Additionally, PPAI’s Study of Writing Instruments in U.S. Households, published in 2012 and available at www.ppai.org, found that even with increased smartphone and tablet usage, 87 percent of respondents still use a pen at least once per day. These reasons and more are why writing instruments provide a perfect branding opportunity.
As technology has become increasingly integrated into our lives, more and more companies are offering writing instruments that have multiple features and functions. Pens include highlighters, styluses, USB connectors, laser pointers and flashlights—the opportunities for additional functions are seemingly endless. And coming up with creative campaigns including these multi-function pens and can make you and your customers stand out from the crowd. Here’s a sampling of writing instruments that do more than just write.
Write your to-do list and then scroll through your emails on your smartphone with this two-in-one stylus Classic Click pen. Choose from 10 bold colors and blue or black ink options.
With a polished barrel, comfort grip pads, retractable action and stylus and ballpoint in one convenient package, this pen is sure to stand out.
ADG Promotional Products UPIC:ADGPROMO www.adgpromo.com
Any company in the medical industry will love the Syringe pen, a customized syringe-shaped, black-ink pen filled with blue or red liquid. Click on the plunger to use the pen and retract it with the tab on the side. It’s ideal for the medical industry or even educational fields, and fluid measurements on the side serve as a handy reference.
Essef Distributors Upic:7414140 www.lincolnline.com
Success On Campus
A large university needed a useful tool to promote its school app to students and faculty because it wanted to use the app to communicate important college news and upcoming events. Since most students are using a device of some kind, they wanted a pen with a stylus. The Hopkins Stylus Pen & Screen Cleaner, a three-in-one stylus, screen cleaner and pen, fit the bill. The pen was handed out at school registrations and at all events during the first week of school. By the end of the first month of the new school year, 96 percent of the students had downloaded the app.
Source: Beacon Promotions
The Janus stylus pen is a two-in-one writing instrument with capacitive touch stylus and click-action black ink ballpoint. With its comfort rubber grip, bright plastic barrel and matching accent, this pen is a stylish way to communicate on both paper and screen.
Sweda UPIC: SWEDA www.swedausa.com
When you need to highlight important information and take notes, the marker/highlighter is the go-to choice. The Gotham Line’s Duo DeluXe Twinner features a silver metal Florentine barrel with a yellow highlighter on one end and a black inkball ballpoint pen on the other.
The Gotham Line UPIC: GOTHAM www.gothamline.com
Sensory marketing combines with utility in this Scent-Sational pencil, perfect for promoting food brands and events centered around food products or other aroma-filled events.
AAkron UPIC: AAKRON www.aakrononline.com
Two of the most useful tools come together in the Screwdriver Pen Combo. This functional pen comes with four interchangeable screwdrivers, two Phillips and two flat.
ALPI International Ltd. UPIC: ALPI0002 www.alpi.net
Perfect for a pocket or purse, the Combination Stylus includes an LED flashlight, black pen and stylus. It comes individually boxed with a one-color imprint included. Additional colors are also available.
K & R Precision Corp. UPIC: K-AND-R www.K-and-r.com
Creativity meets fun with this Light Up Bouncy pen. What better way to bounce around new ideas than with a bouncy ball light up pen? When the pen is tapped on a hard surface, LED lights in the ball are activated, instantly livening up any brainstorming session.
Clegg Promo UPIC: CLEGG www.cleggpromo.com
Stay calm and cool with the Stress Ball pen. The stress ball plunger at the end of the pen can be pressed in all directions to retract the ballpoint tip, releasing built-up tension and increasing your focus.
Pro Innovative UPIC: PROINNOV www.proinnovative.com
As executive gifts go, you can’t get much better than the Power Pen. Besides the black ink tip, this product includes a stylus, micro USB, 650 mAh power bank and USB connector.
Gordon Sinclair UPIC: GORDON66 www.gordonsinclair.com
What if you need two colors—and paper to write on at the same time? A dual pen with sticky notes has you covered with this handy all-in-one package. Choose from black, blue or red ink. Includes a one-color, one-position imprint.
Fields Manufacturing UPIC: FIELDS www.fieldsmfg.com
One pen is all you need when you have this multi-function 4-Color™ pen. A click of a color-coded button lets you choose from blue, black, red and green ink.
BIC Graphic UPIC: BIC www.bicgraphic.com
The ultimate in multi-function, the SwissCard Quattro features a letter opener, four-headed screwdriver bit, tweezers, toothpick and ruler along with a pressurized ballpoint pen. Pocket-sized, this pen combo is so versatile it can be used in almost any industry.
Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc. UPIC: swisarmy www.vsacorporate.com
Creative Packaging for Unique Self-Promotion
Thinking outside the box comes naturally to Cliff Quicksell, MAS+, a marketing consultant for distributor iPROMOTEu (UPIC: IPRO9320). “Most people think about the product. I think about the results,” he says. He makes it his mission to create synergy from all the marketing and sales tools in his repertoire to offer distributers unique marketing solutions that they will never find in a catalog. And he makes sure the effectiveness of his ideas can be measured.
To help iPROMOTEu’s affiliates make initial connections, Quicksell came up with a dimensional marketing piece. Using pencils from Norwood (UPIC: NORWOOD), a sticky note pad from 3M™ (UPIC: POST-IT) and packaging from Bentcil (UPIC: BENTCIL), he created a pull-out tray with a die cut-out for a pencil, note pad and business card. The message on the front of the packaging read: “Just a moment of your time will make a big difference.” On the back, a mock daily calendar included an appointment for the salesperson already scheduled into a time slot, subliminally encouraging the recipient to agree to an initial meeting. The pencil and notepad included the message: Thanks for penciling me in.
Quicksell suggested offering the marketing piece to affiliates at low cost, with a low minimum purchase. With their order, affiliates also received a detailed protocol for how to use the piece, the best days to send the piece, how to follow up with prospective customers, a list of FAQs with answers, and suggestions for how to deal with any negative response to the piece. For example, he told affiliates to send the pieces out five at a time and then follow up a few days later to ask the recipients their thoughts about the piece and introduce themselves. According to Quicksell, the piece is a natural ice breaker because it’s different.
While affiliate interest was lukewarm at first, with only two to three affiliates placing orders, now the company has produced 7,500 pieces. Quicksell said that he got a call from one affiliate who recently sent out 10 pieces, made 10 connections, got six face-to-face appointments and landed a $6,000 order in one of those meetings. Quicksell calculates an overall 60- to 100-percent success rate for meaningful connections. Plus, 10 to 15 affiliates have customers who loved the concept so much they asked if they could use it.
Packaging Makes Perfect
Special environmentally friendly packaging with more messaging opportunity gives Lamone, Switzerland-based Prodir SA (UPIC: PRODIR ) something extra to offer its customers with the DS8 Writer’s Box. With a focus on innovation, top-notch quality and sustainability, the minimalist shell case is made of cellulose fibers and houses a premium low-viscosity blue- or black-ink writing system available in either high-gloss Natural Touch, made of 100-percent biodegradable cellulose acetate, or finger-friendly matte-black Soft Touch.