Branding for pens and other products

August 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Product names and brands, if effective, can be one of the most powerful and long-lived tools in the marketing tool box.  In the pen market we all know of the established brands, Parker, Waterman and Sheaffer, all named after their founders and etched into branding history through longevity. 

Richard Cross founded his business in 1846 but named it after his son, Alonzo Townsend, A T Cross.  This also lead to product brands of A T X (x=Cross – took me a while to tumble this one!) and Townsend.  While George Parker developed a quick drying ink and branded it Quink.  Sheaffer developed a filling system which draws ink into it and called it the Snorkel. 

In the UK, Ronseal, a DIY product company, has had a long-running TV advertising campaign using the brand and the various products’ descriptive titles as a feature, with the strap line of ‘does exactly what is says on the tin’.  This slogan has now found its way into everyday parlance.  This strategy has proved to be very effective in building the Ronseal brand.

Where is this leading?  During one of my regular trips to the local post office despatching PenFountain.com parcels, I saw another parcel packed in a box branded ‘Start Ya Bastard’,  with ‘Proudly Australian’ and a URL www.startyabastard.com  The product is used to help start unwilling cars on cold mornings.  I suppose it does exactly what it says on the tin!

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