What should my company buy… Office Stationery or Promotional Stationery?

Posted on Nov 13 2014 - 5:35pm by Peter Millikin

Office-StationeryIn every workplace there is a need for office stationery to help and complete the day to day running of business activities. Pens, pencils, paper pads, mugs, mouse mats and many more office products are used for executing daily tasks and all will need replacing at some point in their life cycle.

Drawing into this issue we have been asking what is a better option for businesses, general office stationery or promotional stationery i.e. plain stationery or stationary branded with your artwork. Let’s take a look at the various factors which can influence decisions.

Weighing up the cost

Unbranded office stationery is cheaper than creating your own promotional stationery. On Amazon a box of 500 “Niceday Visible Ballpoint Pens” with delivery will cost you £30.44, this works out to 6p per pen. In comparison, 500 of our best selling White Curvy Ballpens with a one colour print are 18p each (excluding origination, delivery and VAT).
Yes, it works out far cheaper to purchase non-branded pens and this is a similar situation with the cost of all types of office stationery. So, with this in mind, why would a business consider promotional stationery?

Brand awareness

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”
Henry Ford (Ford Motor Company)

Recently I had double glazing put in my home. During the quote meeting I was asked for a pen by the salesman. Instantly, I gave him one of our own promotional pens with our logo and details. I explained what my company does and he seemed interested and promptly gave me the contact details of the department I needed to get in touch with in order to offer our services. That promotional pen I donated could lead to a new client for us to work with. The cost for advertising this was circa 18p! Would a plain plastic pen been as effective or achieve the same effect?

Printed stationery allows you to create the appearance of being a united business which cares about how others perceive its company image. It will advertise your company message to potential clients and if you present a free branded gift to visitors or prospects, they will take away a positive memory of your company. Creating a corporate image will win over clients wanting to work with a professional business, which is great advertising for any company. Unbranded stationery just isn’t as effective within this area; the opportunities for any business which can be gained from something as simple as a promotional pen are missed. Can your business afford to miss out?

Does quality and appearance matter?

When you get a visit from a web agency, nine times out of ten they will come armed with a Mac Book Air or an iPad. Do you ever ask why? Do Apple produce products that are just that much better than anything else out there? The answer is no, a laptop, Chrome Book, Tablet etc. can be used just as effectively to do any task a Mac Book Air can, (believe me I have used all of them), but the Mac Book Air just looks the best. It’s so clean and nicely designed, when it sits on your board room desk it gives the impression “these guys use the best technology out there, let’s hear what they’ve got to say”. You can give the same impression with the stationery that you use within an office workspace, giving your clients the impression that your business is conscious of quality.

You get what you pay for” is really the issue here, you wouldn’t be disappointed if your 6p pen only lasted a couple of months before breaking or running out. If you were using stationery for personal use, buying the cheapest available wouldn’t really be an issue, but you wouldn’t really want your biggest clients seeing you using it. Would they be asking the question “is there a reason why you have cheap equipment?”

Imagine walking into a board room where every participant is armed with pens, paper pads and drinking from mugs, branded with your company logo. It presents an image that your business is looking to impress and leave you with the sense of an organised company set out to achieve goals.

First impressions count and as a business you should be looking to stand out from your competitors. Take advantage of this opportunity.

In conclusion…

Office stationery is a necessity for any company. You need it to function as a business and complete daily tasks within your organisation. If you need the cheapest possible solution surrounding this issue, ordering plain stationery in bulk is the answer. However, if you have a little extra to spend within your stationery budget, promotional stationery opens up so many doors for your business. The more brand exposure your customers get from you, the more they are reminded of your products or services. If you supply them with good promotional stationery, they will constantly associate your company with quality.

Click HERE to jump to the comments section:

  • Does quality and appearance matter?
  • Is brand awareness really that important or is it price now?
  • Have you been given and used branded goods?
  • To print or not to print stationer, what do you think?
  • Do you think promotional goods gives a good impression of your company?

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Read about the Author

Peter has received many accreditation's including many from the Times Online. As founder of You Could Save (2005) and What Stationers (2007) Peter regularly helps consumers and national organisation ‘save money’. He believes that the only successful way to bring people together online is to provide an open marketplace where people can all work together in a friendly, unbiased environment. You can contact Peter Millikin either through his Google+ account or via his websites.

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