The humble and unassuming pen. It can be used to create magical tales and stories that could topple kings. It’s used to draw towering blueprints, sketch beautiful images and list what to buy in the grocery store. Documents are signed, notes are left and handwritten letters are made.
If that opening line was overly dramatic, we apologize. It’s just that we’re huge fans of the ultimate underdog. The pen is a remarkable workhorse both at home and in the office, and is still the best tangible marketing product you can give to your customers and potential clients.
Here are 7 reasons why:
- Pens are cost effective – You’ll get the most bang for promotional buck with pens. Pens are the least expensive promotional product and they’re sold in bulk, making the cost to put your name on a pen very affordable. How affordable? The cost per impression on a pen in the US is less than a 1/10th of a cent, or $0.000436.
- High Usability – On average, promotional pens are used 18.2 times per month, making it the most frequently used tangible marketing product. Pens are used at home, at work or in the office, so aside from getting used a lot, your brand on a pen will get a lot of exposure. A study conducted by the PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) found that a whopping 79% of people use promotional pens they received from a business, while 83% are most likely to keep the pen if it’s a ballpoint.
- Pens are like Business Cards – You can place all your information on a pen – your company name, logo, address, telephone number, email and website – turning a simple pen into a powerful marketing tool that your prospective clients will have on them. 73% of people in the PPAI study carry a pen with them at all times, more than any other promotional product. 92% of car owners have at least two pens in the car, while 82% of people who carry a handbag or purse have at least one pen.
- Pens are always Shared – Pens get passed around and lent a lot, so you’re getting extra exposure to other people for free. In fact, 60% of people in the study use a pen 5- 10 times a day, which is a lot in the digital age.
- Longer advertising shelf life – Unlike traditional forms of advertising such as TV, radio and print ads, pens can last for more than 6 months, giving your brand serious exposure for longer periods. 56% of the people who responded said that they would keep the promotional pen as long as it writes.
- It’s easy to remember getting a pen – According to a 2008 study conducted by ASI, writing instruments are the most recalled specialty items (54% of respondents recall owning them) followed by shirts, caps and bags. You can read the updated study here. It’s a fun to read infographic.
- It’s Old School – If every other company is trying to give away the hottest new promotional item, nobody is really standing out. Try to break free from the norm and hand out memorable pens. Nothing beats a classic.
You can’t go wrong with choosing a pen as your next promotional product. Since 1993, the pen has held the number 2 spot (behind wearables) as one of the top promotional products simply because they’re affordable to make and people just love them. The next time you’re in the market for a tangible branding product, kick it old school and use a pen.