The Humble Pen
When it comes to promotional products the pen has been the longest standing essential item for most businesses, and still an industry best selling item and with good reason too!
Pens offer a great brand placement right in the hands of your clients and prospects, low cost options are available in abundance which often is the main reason for their success however as we all know... cheap and cheerful isn't the way to go in most circumstances (I will touch on this a little more shortly). There are many different colour options available for the most popular pens as well as different functionality to service different industry's and clientele meaning you can really drill down on your target audience to ensure that your pen is used as intended. A few examples for you here, a business in the tech industry may opt for something that shows both sophistication and style but also additional functionality and give out pens that have a built in usb stick, a lanyard clip, stylus or screen cleaning pad. A construction company may opt for a multi functional pen that comes with an inbuilt level, miniature screwdrivers and laser pointer which are all things that will assist the user in their day to day and encourage them to keep it with their everyday tools. The list goes on and for that reason it makes perfect sense that the humble pen is such a successful promo item from an industry sales point of view...
ROI of a Pen
The return on investment for a promotional pen depends highly on the usage, back to the cheap and cheerful budget pens we find that businesses often opt for a budget pen as they are low cost however this type of pen should only be used in the right circumstances. A great example of where to use a budget pen would be at a conference, in a hotel or other places where your receiver will get immediate use of the pen and then likely keep it in their bag and use over and over again until it is lost or out of ink! But this is much harder to do than you may think. Take a look in your own bag, desk pen pot or randoms draws (we all have them) you are likely to find a few branded pens you have acquired and thrown out of site out of mind?
Its hard to gauge wither or not these back of the draw pens are doing anything for the brand at all, they may get a second lease of life or they may live there in darkness for a very long time. The initial use may well have served its purpose as a low cost pen to ensure they attendees of the event have the brand in mind at that time. If so this is great however to get the best out of a promotional pen we need to be smarter than mass printing budget pens.
A great quality metal pen may seem much more expensive to be giving out however is you were to target where the pens go and who you give them to you will find that they are appreciated and used frequently. Everyone likes a descent pen which is why the budget option gets demoted to the pen pot or the back of a draw.
For better results it makes complete sense to order mid range pens that have relevant functionality and non distracting branding,