Branded pens are one of the most commonly used forms of marketing by companies of all sizes. They are low cost, easy to design, easy to obtain and have a high value attached to them by users. Who would turn down a pen?! But time and time again, marketers and companies as a whole are not distributing their pens effectively and as such, these cheap forms of marketing are becoming a waste of money. Branded pens might be cheap, but if you are not distributing them effectively then you are essentially throwing money away.
So how should branded pens be distributed? If you find yourself with hundreds of excess pens and end up simply giving them out to friends and family then obviously you are doing something wrong. It is hard to measure the success of branded pens as marketing materials as people will rarely consciously chose a company because of a pen they have used. However they are an important way of making potential customers remember your company and are a great accompaniment to more expensive forms of marketing.
Trade fairs and similar events are one of the most common places for marketers to distribute branded pens. This is because people at these events have obviously come because they are interested in the subject of the fair. These are great places for you to distribute marketing materials such as pens, but you should try and engage each person in a small amount of conversation when handing over marketing material. This way the recipient has a company and person to associate the pen with and makes you much more memorable.
You should also have a selection of pens available in your company headquarters. This means that anyone who comes to visit you or someone within the company has an opportunity to pick up an item, and will thus have a pen to jog their memory of the event. This is a simple way to keep your brand in the minds of people who have clearly shown an interest in using the goods or services provided by your company so you would be silly not to attempt to distribute material here.
Handing out branded pens in a city centre or around a town is a good way of getting your company name out as well. One of the great things about pens is that they seem to have a large number of different owners over their lifetime. This means that you can afford to give your pens out to people who haven’t directly shown an interest in your company, and you can be quietly confident that they will eventually reach a recipient who is interested in your company. This is not a tactic that small to medium sized companies with small marketing budgets should use, however, as it can end up being an expensive way of distributing them.
Pens are a great form of marketing but only if they are given and offered to people who have a genuine interest in the company. Try and detect who is a potential customer, and engage them in conversation before giving them promotional material.