Importance Of The Pen In Daily Life
Overall 76 percent of people surveyed consider the pen an important/very important/extremely
important part of their daily personal activities. Age and education makes a difference when rating
the importance of pens in people’s daily lives. Respondents 35 years or younger rated the
importance of pens much greater than those over 65. The higher the education level, the higher
the importance of pens became.
The study was conducted by PPAI’s Research Department and fielded through panel provider
MarketTools Inc. in California. An electronic survey was sent to a panel of 1,114 people
representing the general population of the U.S. The electronic survey link was provided to
MarketTools who then sent the survey to their panelists. The margin of error for the survey is +/‐
2.94% at the 95% confidence level.
Purpose Of The Research
The study takes a first look at the importance of writing instruments in the average person’s life.
It examines demographic characteristics of writing instrument users, the extent to which they use
writing instruments in their daily lives, their preferences, purchase habits and clarifies price
points for writing instruments they buy. An important focus of the study is to identify how
recipients of free promotional pens or writing instruments react to them, as well as to measure
the effectiveness of the promotional writing instrument as an advertising medium. While we ask
about writing instruments in general for a few questions, most often the focus is primarily on the
pen. The general thrust of the study is to focus on the effectiveness of writing instruments as an
advertising medium but the predominant focus is on the pen as it is the most common of all
writing instruments given out as a promotional product. An attempt is also made to measure the
recipient’s recall of the advertiser and the message on the promotional pen. Further, the study
seeks to answer the question of whether writing instruments are becoming face obsolescence with
the advent of new technologies.Types Of Writing Instruments Used
Ballpoint pens are the most popular type of writing instrument. They are used on a daily basis by
those in every age and income group. Highlighters and markers are used occasionally to do task‐
specific jobs. Pencils garner a love‐hate relationship, with 40 percent of respondents using them
frequently while another 40 percent never using them at all.
Attributes Considered When Choosing A Pen
When asked to provide detail about their preferences when choosing a pen, users ranked the
following in order of preference: (1) Smooth ink flow, (2) Smudge proof ink, (3) Functionality, (4)
Waterproof ink, (5) Made in the USA, (6) Retractable, (7) Meets safety standards, (8) Utility value,
(9) Eco‐friendly, (10) Writes upside down, (11) Comes with refills, and (12) exclusiveness.
Purchase Of Pens
Regarding actual number of purchases, six out of 10 people described purchasing pens between
two and 50 times. Thirty‐one percent of those surveyed purchased pens more than 50 times.
When asked to identify where they purchased pens, 60 percent of the respondents identified an
office supply store. Slightly less than a third purchased a pen from a grocery store or a department
Pen Ownership, Preferences and Purchase Practices
Seven out of 10 people report that once they have the type of pen they like, they tend to want to
keep it to themselves without sharing it with others. Also, seven out of 10 people have a preferred
pen. Almost eight out of 10 users state that they use pens with advertising or company logos on
them. Regarding purchasing practices, 14% of those surveyed will try out the pen before making a
purchase. About a fifth were brand loyal and tended to buy the same brand of pen every time.
Seven percent of those surveyed used free advertising pens exclusively and never ever purchased
a pen. Sixty percent of those surveyed spent between $1 and $3 when buying a pen.
Number Of Writing Instruments Present On The Person
Pens are everywhere. Almost three‐quarters of those surveyed report actually carrying a pen on
their person at all times. Only about half the men carry pens on themselves while almost 90
percent of women carry them. Nearly 92 percent of those surveyed who owned a car, carry a pen
in their car. The second most likely place to find a pen is in a purse or handbag.
to keep promotional writing instruments. Their favorites are ranked as follows: (1)
ballpoint (2) roller ball (3) gel (4) highlighter and (5) permanent marker.