Before you even begin a marketing campaign to promote your pen brand, you need to know your target audience. A disposable pen that targets students will need to be promoted very differently from a high-end pen aimed at collectors or wealthy clients. Once you know your market, it's easier to choose a campaign direction.
If you want to sell your pen brand into the collectors market, it helps to know what collectors value the most. Fountain pens tend to be the most sought-after type of pen in this market. No matter the type of pen, it's important to offer a high-quality product with parts that will last over time. Since you're marketing a new pen, you won't be able to sell based on age or reputation. Instead, focus on rarity. Advertise your pen in magazines aimed at collectors -- not only of pens but other collectibles such as coins or stamps. Creating limited editions will increase the value of your pen for those looking to invest in a high-quality pen that may appreciate in value over time. The added prestige of limited editions can also help boost the pen brand's reputation, making it more appealing for wealthy clients.
There are a few ways to promote a pen brand when your target is businesses. Your first step should be ensuring that your pen appears in catalogs and retail fliers for business supply companies. Many companies have an account with a certain business supplier and will buy only from that supplier so they can take advantage of the corporate discount. If your budget permits, consider sending out free samples to area businesses or appearing at trade shows with pen samples as well as coupons for discounts on first-time purchases.
Students are an obvious market for pens since they have a continual demand for the product. One good way to promote your pen brand is to partner with a paper company. Have a coupon printed on the branded top sheet of a package of lined paper to increase your exposure to students. It's also worthwhile to offer discounts to retailers during the late summer months as students are heading back to school. Under these arrangements, you typically keep all the profits from your sales but pay an advertising cost to the retailer or paper company. If you're interested in partnering with a paper company, contact its marketing manager to discuss the specifics. If you want to work with a retailer, contact the purchasing manager to work out details for special pricing or flyer advertising space. If you're targeting university students, consider setting up a kiosk on campuses and offering free samples. Videotape students trying your pen and post positive reactions on your business' social media accounts. This is a way to get your brand out there, win new customers and build customer loyalty.
If you sell promotional pens used by businesses as advertising tools, the easiest promotional strategy is to give the pens away at trade shows or to mail them to potential customers. Engrave the pens with your business name and phone number, along with a message like, "You just proved promotional pens work." Free giveaways are a great way to promote the beneficial features of your pens. You might consider a message like, "A pen so smooth you won't want to give it away," or "A pen as distinct as your business." Include a coupon with the pen offering sales discounts to businesses that want to order your pens in bulk. This is a way to boost sales quickly, especially if your deal is time sensitive. Promotional pens typically include a business' name and contact information and are often given away to customers. Potential buyers of promotional pens include real estate agents, banks, lawyers and other businesses that require their customers to sign paperwork.
Darlene Peer has been writing, editing and proofreading for more than 10 years. Peer has written for magazines and contributed to a number of books. She has worked in various fields, from marketing to business analysis. Peer received her Bachelor of Arts in English from York University.