Marketing Marketing Marketing

August 2013

Montblanc

I must admit, Montblanc is right up there in terms of its marketing. When I look back and the rebirth of the fountain pen, as an possession of choice, Montblanc should hold special mention for the accomplishments of marketing.

At the beginning of August, when I was flipping through some of my social media news feeds on my iPad D'Marge, the Men's Style and Fashion Blog from Australia, ran a piece on the Montblanc fountain pen.

Calling the Montblanc an essential classic, the blog does not present anything new about Montblanc pens in terms of new models of approaches of the company. No, they just note this is an 107-year old company, provide a re-cap of the history of the company and include a couple of images files of a pen and one of the Montblanc boutiques.

Nothing too unique, other than I don't see much about fountain pens coming across the various social media sites. Yes the major pen companies have Facebook Pages. They like many other companies know there is a presence that is required. But not that much is pushed out to readers.

I get many of the news releases from the other major pen companies and while each company attempts to create it own profile, Montblanc has to have credit on overall media rank.

Who is Buying Pens?Who is buying pens? According to the euromonitor.com blog (April 2013) site it is people in Hong Kong, Turkey, Malaysia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, China, Romania, Argentina, Russia and Thailand leading the way. Did not see any reference to the United States of Canada on their list.

The bars on the left show how much a person is willing to pay. Spanning from almost $400 in South Korea to less than $50 in the United Arab Emirates. That information does not seem to sit right.

The blog piece notes younger generation prefer ball point pens. Fountain pens have had to re-define itself as a luxury product. The article notes the brands of Parker and Montblanc. That also does not seem to sit right.

While I accept the reference to Montblanc, walk through any pen store and it is hard to draw a conclusion that Parker is up there as a luxury line. Nothing against Parker, I have a number of their pens, but luxury item? Throws the whole article in question.

I have given up counting how often I am asked: Do you have a Mont blanc? That question is testament of how effective Montblanc marketing has been in establishing itself as a tradition.

Then in June when I was in Paris, I think I experienced a different type of marketing. I visited the special Louis Vuitton Cabinet d'Ecriture - a special store opened for one year (January 1 to December 31, 2013. I can remember the look I received when I asked if the store had a brochure. A hand gave a subtle wave to look through the store. Their marketing? Vuitton and what that means to an individual.

There are parallels to Montblanc with its expanded lifestyle of watches, jewelry, leather goods etc. A Montblanc pen is just one of the many Montblanc accessories.

Your pen, an expression of you.