Power Of The Pen: The Ubiquitous Huntington Pen
Nearly 32 million Huntington pens are out there they usually’re going beyond what’s anticipated of a promotional product.
When Huntington Financial institution “unchained” the pen in 2010, nobody at the Columbus-based bank imagined that they had been launching a promotional campaign that may carry the model world wide.
The corporate, which was rebranding to create a “welcoming” atmosphere in its branches, thought of giving free pens to its prospects a key part of the plan, says Mary Navarro, Huntington’s senior executive vice president and retail and business banking director.
Looking to set itself aside from different banks, Huntington focused on creating more customer-friendly policies and making prospects feel good about banking in its buildings. The company spent thousands and thousands of dollars renovating its branches, started selling its free checking accounts and unchained the pens.
Early in the branding course of, workers suggested removing the chains that connected pens to the counters. Navarro explains customers find it annoying when the pen they’re making an attempt to use is attached to the counter. The management staff decided “to take it a step additional and provides pens away,” she says. “We encourage our prospects to take a handful. It’s wonderful.”
When the campaign began, the company gave away about 331,000 pens every month. In the present day, it is greater than double that. So far, Huntington has given away practically 32 million pens.
“Taking the pens off the chain was a very distinctive factor,” says Cris Wise, who manages the Downtown branch at Broad and High streets. “I know it’s a small thing.”
However it doubtless resonated with customers, adds Debra Pack, president of the government board of the Columbus American Advertising and marketing Affiliation.
“It is really good to take the chain off,” says Pack, who serves because the advertising supervisor for the Columbus Metropolitan Library. “What you are saying is, ‘Go ahead and take it. We’re attempting to make it simpler for you.'”
Product giveaways work finest when the corporate finds a method to “weave it into the fabric of our world,” which Huntington has positively achieved, she says. She couldn’t consider another local company hair style with video that had organized a marketing campaign on the scope of the pens.
Promotional products continue to strike a chord with shoppers, adds Paul Bellantone, president and CEO of the Irving, Texas-based mostly Promotional Merchandise Affiliation International, the professional association for the promotional merchandise trade.
“PPAI research demonstrates the ability of promotional products as probably the most price-effective manner to succeed in a targeted audience in a tangible, lengthy-lasting and memorable method,” he says. “In reality, 88 percent of individuals can recall the corporate and model on their promotional product.”
Huntington leaders believe that the pens can play a task in attracting new clients. Sensible hopes that the pens spark prospects’ curiosity about the company and its model. “We want them to come back out and see that there is extra behind it,” he says. “It’s greater than the pen. That is the dialog starter.”
When Clever makes consumer visits, he is aware of to hold plenty of pens. “It’s the very first thing they ask about,” he says. “They anticipate it.” He and other bank managers like that when they name on new prospects, the pen permits them “to go away a piece of ourselves behind.”
A promotional merchandise may also help an organization make a robust impression, Bellantone says. “Consumers love promotional products. It may be subtle, but the power of persuasion by advertisers shows levels of success that show television, radio, cellular and digital can-and do-draw shoppers to their manufacturers. Nonetheless, they must compete not only with each other throughout conventional media for the hearts, minds and dollars of the consumer, but also with outdoors stimuli as soon as the buyer walks away from the television, shuts down the pc or drives past a billboard,” he says. “Promotional merchandise are different from these other types of advertising in that they leave a lasting impression.”
Huntington intended to flood the markets where the financial institution’s extra-than seven-hundred branches operate with the signature inexperienced and black retractable pens-and it succeeded. In the six states where Huntington has banks, the pens are routinely spotted in eating places, hair salons, medical buildings and a myriad of other locations. Huntington staff purposely leave them behind at their favourite companies.
But the pens’ reach extends past Huntington’s footprint. They have appeared in no less than one movie and on a tv show-without formal product placement. They’ve traveled overseas. Navarro has spotted them in Spain and Costa Rica. Other staff and prospects have additionally reported seeing them around the world. The sightings have grown sufficient that the company has began accumulating pen stories.
The pens usually make their way into opponents’ lobbies and drive-thru tubes, permitting Huntington to advertise to those clients.
“We expect it’s type of funny,” Navarro says. Obviously, different banks would not allow them to grasp an indication and even “publish a sticky word” in their branches, she says. But the pens slip through.
She wouldn’t speculate on what the bank’s return on funding is for the promotional campaign and says the bank has no plans to end the marketing campaign.
“It’s been very positive,” she says. “We’re not disappointed with the results of the pen.”
Karin Gosnell awoke with a racing coronary heart a number of years in the past, and her husband rushed her to a neighborhood urgent care heart. When medical doctors there could not tackle the problem, they referred to as an ambulance to take Gosnell to the hospital.
As soon as she was settled within the ambulance, the paramedic started taking her medical hair style with video historical past. Gosnell, a Huntington Financial institution employee, couldn’t help herself; she began to chuckle.
The medic was using a Huntington pen to file her information. “I informed him I referred to as in sick today and now you are pulling out a Huntington pen,” says the Cleveland-space resident.
The sight of the pen and the connection it created with the medic lessened her anxiety. “It positively did,” she said. “We both started laughing. We even talked about how they only seem to be in all places.”
When Gosnell returned to work, she shared the story of the pen with colleagues. Her story is one among many the bank’s advertising and marketing workforce has collected. Here are others:
A member of the American navy stationed in Afghanistan acquired a field of goodies from Ohio, which included Huntington pens. He gave a pair away within his troop and days later met with Afghan Nationals who were writing with them.