I still do a lot of work with a pen and paper. I’m not sure why, but there’s something much more tactile to me about a notepad and a pen than a keyboard and a monitor. I have a decent typing speed, but when the ideas are flowing and i try to PUSH it, I make typing errors. When I’m using a pen, it just gets a bit sloppier.
I use a fountain pen because I like the way that it writes, but I also get a lot of comments on it from people who see me using it. My other favorite pen is one that I picked up from a local ad agency. What I find interesting about the ad agency pen is that it writes very smoothly, looks good, and has a bit of weight to it. You’ll never mistake it for a Mont Blanc, but that’s not really the point. In the world of hand-out pens, most people look for the cheapest – “how many pens can I get for $200?” This agency knows that by spending a bit more, they will have a pen that people will actually hang on to, keep in their pocket, and USE. When people use the pen, they see the agency logo, and they’re reminded of the company, and they’re reminded of the quality of the pen. There is a subtle connection between quality and company.
When I pick up a cheap pen, I use it and throw it out. I’m not going to hang on to a crappy pen just because it has someone’s logo on it. And isn’t the point of a give-away pen to have people hang on to it and use it?
Here’s the thing: the good pens cost more money, but there is absolutely no way (at least that I can figure out), of determining the ROI on this investment. It’s simply a decision in quality that the agency has made. Remember that the next time you’re making a decision on things for your office. Sit in the chairs you want to buy for your waiting room. Are they sturdy? Are they comfortable? A stacking office chair costs about $40, while a Hayley Burnt Orange Leather Club Chair costs $324.90. Which one will your customers think is more comfortable? Which one will they remember you for?
This theory can be applied to everything in your office – business cards, wall clocks, carpet, toilet paper, hand soap – the list is endless. I’m not suggesting that you buy the most expensive products that you can. But, if you buy everything thoughtfully, the difference is noticeable.