Promotional pens are valuable because they are regularly used, which results in high exposure of the advertised message on the writing instrument. The better the pen is tailored to the target market, the more it will be used, resulting in a better return on investment.
Customizing a Pen for a Promotional Message
A promotional pen is a customised pen that is branded with the purpose of promoting a brand, business or organisation. The pen will contain custom features that remind people of the brand or business. This may be a logo, brand/business name, slogan or even the promotional colours. One of the benefits of this is that it primes a person that is using the pen and keeps the brand/business fresh in that person’s mind.
The main thing to consider is to keep the print simple but provide enough information so that the pen user can find your business. If people will not recognise your logo, make sure you also include your business name. Providing contact details, such as a phone number or website, may not always be necessary if the target market has the internet readily accessible and the brand/business name can be searched easily to find your website.
Available Print Area
When selecting a promotional pen, remember to check the available print area. Some pens have greater print area capability than others, and depending on the size of your business name and promotional message, this may be a very important factor.
Multiple print areas are also available on some pens, which enable a print on the clip and one or both sides of the barrel. Additionally, consider the print colour required – some pens enable full colour prints on the entire barrel of the pen, whereas other pens may only be suitable for printing one or two colour prints in a small print area.
Some pen features are functional, where others deliver an aesthetic solution that suits personal preference. For example, someone with smaller hands will typically prefer a slim pen in contrast to someone with big hands (functionality). Whereas, a dimple grip and a standard grip deliver the same functionality therefore simply offer another choice in design (aesthetic).
Ballpoint pens use an oil-based ink, are more affordable compared with other options, can have a better grip on the page which is useful when not at a desk, and are hardier compared with other pen tips. They are less prone to drying out and there is a wide range of different quality standards available, depending on the budget. Ballpoint pens are great for most standard work and business applications.
Felt tip pens, also known as marker pens, include whiteboard markers and highlighters which have the flexibility of different felt tip sizes and inks, and can be used for many different applications. The tip, especially the finer tips, can be prone to damage from rougher surfaces like a cardboard box. If the lid is lost the pen will also dry out. Felt tip pens as a result, are designed for certain functions rather than general purpose. This can be used as an advantage for reaching certain markets at certain times, like illustrators that use fine tip felt pens.
Rollerball pens are effectively a ballpoint pen with a water-based gel. The ink flows more freely providing a ‘wet ink’ effect, which some people prefer. The inks are prone to smudging and so are not well-suited to left-hand writers.
Fountain pens use a water-based ink that runs through the tip when applied to the paper. They are less popular now due to the efficiency and affordability of the ballpoint pen. Some people like to write with fountain pens to achieve the ‘wet ink’ effect that the rollerball pen also achieves. Fountain pens are commonly used as a high end corporate gift for business executives or special events.
There are a variety of standard oil-based colours available, but the range can vary depending on the manufacturer. The standard ink colour is usually black however certain pens are available in other ink colours such as blue or red. Other ink colours may be available for custom made pens, such as green, light blue, pink, and orange.
Popular highlighter colours are yellow, orange, and pink though often blue and green are also available. Some highlighter styles feature a wax gel ink that does not dry out even if the lid is left off. This is useful for students that are studying and do not want to repeatedly remove the lid or to ensure longer life of the highlighter in the event the lid is lost.
Some manufacturers offer combined colours, inks, and pen tips. This may be a ballpoint pen with the option of black or red ink or a mechanical pencil. This is popular with teachers. Ballpoint pens with a highlighter on the other end are another combination which is popular for office use.
Concealing the tip of the pen prevents the pen from marking clothing, paper, or anything else when stored in a briefcase or pocket and also stops the tip drying out, which is mostly a concern for felt tip pens.
Pens with lids create a seal around the tip and so are ideal for felt tip pens that need to be kept moist. Felt tip pens run the risk of drying out so most have lids. Lids can be lost, which make twist or click pens a preferred choice where a seal is not necessary.
Push/Click pens are a great everyday pen. There is no lid that can be lost and the clicking function is quick and easy. Click pens can accidentally be clicked and so can run the risk of marking clothing. As a result, click pens are used in everyday situations but less in formal occasions.
Twist pens, while easily twisted, cannot be accidentally twisted and so provide the added security from accidentally marking clothing. Twist pens are used in more formal settings and by professionals that need to take care of their clothing and appearance.
Pen grips provide more comfort and are especially useful for pen users who will be writing for an extended period of time, such as office and management staff or students.
Grips can also add aesthetic value to a pen by also incorporating a colour or design, such as a dimple grip pen, which provides the same additional usability with a checker appearance. A standard rubberised grip is a popular choice as the size suits the widest range of people.
A comfort grip sometimes gives a pen a wide shape and is usually popular with people with larger hands.
Pen Body Shape
Pen shape provides aesthetic value to a pen and is usually a personal preference.
Slim body pens are better suited to small hands and so can be useful if trying to target women (who generally have smaller hands). Standard sized pens are the preferred choice for the majority of the population. A wide body shape, usually accompanied by a comfort grip, is mostly preferred by people with larger hands. Ordering a variety of sizes can insure you can have the right pen for each preference.
The pen length is a determining factor. Shorter pens are cheaper but have less ink and so do not last as long. This can be quite suitable for short campaigns or when promoting an event.
Pen bodies can also come in novelty shapes like racing cars. This can be an effective, long-lasting tactic as these novelty pens will often be kept on someone’s desk. As the pen captures the eye of others, the promotional message reaches more people.
The pen body material can determine the perceived quality, weight, decoration method, and environmental message.
Plastic pens are a cost-effective option suitable for most everyday applications.
Metal promotional pens and pens such as carbon fibre or stainless steel pens, have a perceived higher value and can be laser engraved, providing greater longevity of the promotional message.
Eco-friendly pens, such as bamboo pens or biodegradable plastic pens use a sustainable, recycled material which can be useful in targeting people in environmentally focused movements.
The pen body colour offers a great opportunity for promoting the campaign by using the campaign colours. Manufacturers usually provide a lot of flexibility. The standard pen body colours are black, grey, blue, red, green, and orange. Pen colours can also be customised for larger orders to match corporate colours.
Some colour can be useful in preventing pens from being lost such as fluoro or bright coloured pens. This can be useful for mechanics, truck drivers or anyone that may be working and writing at a work bench.
The natural colour of the material used can offer a rustic, high quality, unique look. This can be either stainless steel, wood or carbon fibre.
A semi translucent plastic provides practicality as it easily displays how much ink is available in the pen.
Lanyards are useful for staff members who are running an event and want a pen to attach to their ID to hang around their neck. They can also be useful for students that need a pen attached to a backpack or folder. Lanyards pair well with a shorter pen so the pen isn’t in the way when it dangles.
Torches on pens provide light for people who need to see, read or write in low-light conditions. This can be useful for tradesmen, workers, mining staff, uni students in lectures or anyone who needs to write where the lighting is poor. Pens that incorporate a light are often highly regarded as they have greater usefulness.
Clips are excellent, very practical and provide added functionality at minimal cost. They provide a means to attach pens to pockets, folders and books to help prevent the writing instrument from being lost.
A stylus on the end of a pen provides the practical benefits of having both a pen and a stylus in one item. These are useful for anyone with a device that features touch-technology, such as a smart phone or tablet.
Pens with refillable ink capability are usually higher quality metal pens. It gives longer life to your promotional product and a higher perceived value.
Chrome fittings, packaging sheaths, and packaging boxes offer aesthetic and deluxe value to promotional pens. Packaging is often used for pens which are to be presented as gifts.
Banners can provide a quirky yet practical functionality to a pen, however are only available on a limited number of pen styles. Banner pens include a printed paper roll in the barrel of the pen that can be pulled in and out when desired. This offers a larger print area and greater print colour opportunities, which is excellent to communicate more information to the target market. The banner can be a map for new staff or students, a schedule of the performing acts at a festival, or the weekly specials at the local cafeteria.
Promotional companies can be a great help in assisting in the design and manufacturing of promotional pens. Talk with Hunter Promotional Products for assistance with your promotional pen advertising strategy.