Your Favorite Brands: Trends In Pens 2021

Montegrappa Age of Discovery limited edition. Montegrappa The end of the year is the perfect time to present the ubiquitous review of the previous 12 months. In this case, I want to share a few trends I noticed in 2021 as they relate to retail buying in general and pens and stationery in particular. I asked a few of my industry friends to provide their own insights and backup.

Of course I’d be remiss in not mentioning the ongoing pandemic (and all the variant bugs) and its effect on spending, shopping and behavior. So let’s address that one first.

1. Online shopping continues to gain in importance, thanks to pent-up demand and the ease (and safety) of shopping from home.

I am a strong believer in brick-and-mortar commerce—especially when in comes to highly tactile products like pens. But these are strange times we are living in, and online pen retailers are thriving, as are traditional retailers who also have an online presence like Fahrney’s of Washington, D.C.

Chris Sullivan, president of Fahrney’s, says that high-touch, taste-driven objects like pens may be successfully purchased online, sight unseen. The key? Providing excellent customer service and keeping the interaction as personal as possible, whether the purchase is online, via its well-known catalog or in the store.

2. Limited Editions remain popular.

Such well-known luxury brands as Montblanc and Montegrappa continued to produce some interesting limited editions. Recent examples include Montblanc’s Great Characters Enzo Ferrari and Montegrappa’s Age of Discovery .

Bryan Hulser of Kenro Industries, distributor of Montegrappa (and other brands) in the U. S., says that this is in part because pen lovers today are generally more discerning.

“Pen collectors aren’t just hobbyists, they’re connoisseurs of design and craftsmanship,” he says. “At Kenro , we see a direct and immediate impact in the marketplace when a specialty pen is launched.”

Other brands, such as Caran d’Ache and Faber-Castell also understand the value of limited edition writing instruments. In my opinion, this is an example of the “small batch” phenomenon making its way to pens.

3. Color is in.

There have always been some great examples of colorful pens, whether in the vintage writing instruments sector or in contemporary designs. And these days we seem to be managing our collective mood with bright, happy hues in pens, paper and journals.

“A growing interest in colorful, exotic finishes has been a very welcome development,” says Giuseppe Aquila, CEO of Montegrappa . “The bleakness of 2020 was undoubtedly a catalyst, but momentum has been building strongly over the last 12 months—in watches as well as writing.” 4. Sustainability makes a difference. It does my heart good to see pen companies jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, with more joining the growing roster of brands with eco-friendly values. And while I’d like to think that this is purely driven by the consciences of the brands, I believe consumers are also at the wheel, seeking those companies whose ethos is in alignment with their own thoughts about our planet’s future.As examples, Caran d’Ache […]

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