Giving away a branded ballpoint pen is not exactly an earth-shattering or revolutionary marketing strategy. It is far from it. People have been giving away pens at conventions, product demonstrations, product launches, corporate seminars and public open houses for a very long time. This is nothing new. People have seen it before. It’s too easy to believe that giving away ball point pen is not going to have much of an impact on your overall corporate branding campaign. People are more than welcome to think that but companies continue to give away ball point pens for a reason. There has to be a method to the madness.
The hows and whys of corporate pen giveaways
Somehow, someway it works. Otherwise, people will not engage in this type of behavior. Some giveaway programs get much better results than others because they’ve taken affirmative steps to turbocharge their ball point pen giveaways’ overall impact on their target audience. Many companies spend quite a pretty penny year after year giving out ballpoint pens with their logo on it. They’re not doing this because they have nothing else better to do or nothing else better to spend their precious corporate resources on. They are getting some sort of result.
If you want to achieve the same positive results, pay attention to the following seven tips. They’ll help you maximize the overall branding value you get from each and every ball point pen you give away as part of your corporate branding strategy.
Stand out color
The whole point of branding is to get your brand noticed. It’s going to be very hard for your company’s logo or marketing message to be noticed on the ball point pens you’re giving away if the pens have a very bland or easy forgettable color. You need to pick a ball point pen which has a color that stands out. This can be a solid color or it can be a combination of colors. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is when people look at the general direction of the pen, the pen is easy to spot.
One of the most successful corporate give away programs involving ball point pens launched recently is the one rolled out by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. As part of their Viagra marketing campaign, they give out pens that are a foot long and very thick. Those pens are very easy to remember and quite useful. Doctors and other recipients who receive those pens no longer have to worry about misplacing their pens because the pen stands out. Thanks to its massive size. You don’t have to go to this extreme but you need to be aware that the pen’s dimensions do play a big role in ensuring that the branding material the pen carries is noticed.
While it’s too easy to go overboard as far as color and size go, you also need to make sure that your branding decision remains tasteful. Your corporate brand carries with it all sorts of values. You don’t want to water down or destroy those values because you’re just trying to get eyeballs. There has to be a healthy balance between the ball point pen’s ability to attract eyeballs and the list of corporate values the item carries with it.
High functional quality
When you’re giving away ball point pens, make sure they’re useful. This probably strikes you as common sense but you’d be surprised as to how many corporations spend tons of dollars on pens that are only good for a few weeks. Those are worthless because once your recipient is no longer able to use the pen, its branding power goes down the toilet. In many cases, the pen is thrown away. Make sure that the pen not only works but can be used for a long period of time. Understand that every time your recipient uses the item, you are given a branding opportunity. Multiply this by thousands of times. Even if you convert a tiny fraction of those interactions, your company stands to gain quite a bit of money.
Long product life
Not only should you shoot for repeated use of the product but you should make sure that your ball point pen giveaway has a long life. The longer the life of the unit, the more branding interactions the recipient would have with your logo, slogan, model or website address. If you’ve given the pen to enough people and they use it enough times and each pen lasts a long time, whatever money your company spent on the corporate branding campaign is going to be eclipsed many times over by the amount of repeat or new orders your company gets from all the pens it has given out.
Low cost, high quality
This might seem like you’re asking for the moon and in some quarters it might be but the value of your ball point pen branding campaign rides primarily on the quality of the pen. People are going to throw away cheap pens. They’re not even going to look at them. They’ll just pick up the pen at the convention because they’re trying to be polite. Other than that, don’t expect much value from such cheap pens. This is why it’s really important for you to aim for the seemingly impossible combination of low cost and high quality. Thanks to global manufacturing in China and elsewhere, the old dream of finding low-cost, high-quality ball point pens is now a reality. Keep doing your research. Eventually, you’ll find a supplier that will enable you to get cheap pens you can distribute on a massive scale to maximize your corporate branding campaign’s effectiveness.
High perception of quality
Just because something is cheap doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be perceived as cheap. There are certain ball point pen designs that make the pen look very expensive. It turns out that you only paid a few cents for each unit. It doesn’t really matter how much you actually paid. What matters is the perception of value as well as the actual quality that the people enjoyed from the product. Make sure the ball point pen giveaway model has a high perceptional quality so the more of your recipients would use it for a much longer time.