Okay, folks. Show of hands: have you ever found yourself frustrated, annoyed, or even angry because your favorite writing utensil has mysteriously “disappeared?” I know I have experienced all of the above emotions throughout my time in the workforce, and according to a recent survey conducted by Paper Mate, 100 percent of respondents actually ‘fessed up to having swiped a pen from a coworker. Even Czech president Vaclac Klaus was caught “stealing” a promotional pen from a news conference in Chile last year (see our post from April 2011 for more information)!
Additional shocking results from Paper Mate’s study: out of the 1,000 Americans interviewed as part of the phone survey, 22% admitted to stealing pens deliberately!
So, why, with the extreme number of pen thefts, are writing instruments consistently ranked as the second largest category in the promotional product world?
One of the most logical explanations is the increased number of impressions garnered by promotional pens each time they change hands. Whether a pen is yanked out of the hands of its original owner intentionally, unknowingly left behind at a tradeshow and snapped up by a new owner (“Finders keepers, losers weepers!”), or borrowed and never returned, the chances are it will be enjoyed by a larger audience over the course of its lifetime than many other varieties of promotional items.
While neurotically guarding your favorite ballpoint custom promotional pen every minute of every day may seem like the only foolproof way to keep it in your possession, consider having it engraved with your name or initials to remind borrowers/stealers/admirers of your treasured pen of its rightful owner.