IZEE DOES IT FOR PENTEL
Pentel has announced that January 2020 sees the launch of its first new product to be designed exclusively in Europe, to satisfy the requirements of the European market.
The new product is a ballpoint pen called Izee (pronounced ‘easy’), which is the result of three years’ planning, research and development to ensure the styling, features, quality and price are absolutely spot-on.
Wendy Vickery, Pentel UK marketing manager, says, “As a European team we identified a gap in the market for an affordable, but stylish ballpoint pen that would appeal especially to 15- 25-year olds, teenagers and young adults, the next generation of office products purchasers.
“But rather than go ahead and design what we thought would appeal to them, we undertook extensive focus group research to find out exactly what they were looking for in a pen.”
The results were quite surprising, with the research group participants eschewing some of the styling followed by manufacturers over recent years. Out of favour were chunky barrels and grips that sit proud of the main body of the pen. Likewise, over-fussy design features, in-your-face branding and ‘drab’, dark colours. Instead, the group expressed enthusiasm for slimline barrels, subtle branding, brighter, fashionable colours and grips that sit flush with the barrel of the pen.
The carefully curated feedback was fed into a design brief which has resulted in a pen designed by millennials for millennials.
Izee is available in two versions, a cap-style and a retractable format. In common with most new-generation ballpoint pens from Pentel, Izee benefits from low-viscosity ink, which delivers smooth flowing writing, without skipping or blobbing.
The key design feature is a honeycomb patterned integral finger grip that provides a comfortable and controllable writing experience appearing in relief of the slimline barrel. Another important feature is the strong, robust metal pocket clip that features a monogram letter ‘P’ for ‘Pentel’ at the end.
Available in popular 1.0mm medium tip size, Izee is supplied in eight colours, from practical black and blue, to fashionable pink and violet. Pentel takes its environmental responsibility seriously and each Izee pen is refillable.
The launch of Izee is being supported by a major social media campaign, primarily through Instagram, designed to reach the core target audience on their favoured platform. A teaser campaign in December sows the seeds of interest and include animated gifs and a teaser video, followed by the big reveal at the beginning of January, including more videos, planned influencer activity and advertising.
“The tone of voice of the campaign is especially important,” says Wendy Vickery. “We wanted to reflect and explain the name of the pen in our communications, so we’ve created a simple, fun and above all memorable theme: ‘This is Izee, This isn’t easy’. The visuals show a range of humorous situations juxtaposing an image of something that looks very difficult – for example, a large dog trying to get through a cat flap – next to a picture of the streamlined Izee pen.”
She adds. “Our activity will target our core audience and is designed to be amusing and memorable.”
Izee, however, will also appeal to users of all ages, thanks to its fresh appearance, quality features and competitive price. The retractable version will retail at £0.85 each, while the cap-style pen has a recommended price of just £0.74.
A range of high-impact merchandising is available for customers, including 48 and 96-piece displays, featuring the honeycomb motif on the header, plus an eight-piece wallet and mixed blister cards.
“It’s great to start 2020 with such an exciting new product launch,” says Wendy Vickery. “There’s a lot happening for Pentel in the new year and we’re looking forward to helping customers realise every opportunity to develop sales of Izee, which we’re sure will inspire the next generation of office products buyers to get writing with a pen designed by them.”