Survey: 100 Percent of People Steal Pens
Stationery company Paper Mate recently conducted a survey about office theft and came to a bold conclusion: 100 percent of respondents admitted to stealing pens from coworkers. Out of the 1,000 Americans interviewed as part of the telephone survey, every last one conceded that they had taken a pen from someone else in the office, with many (22 percent) admitting to stealing the pens deliberately.
In addition to being the most stolen product in the office world, according to a 2010 PPAI report, writing instruments are also the second largest category in the promotional product world, accounting for over 9 percent of that $16.9 billion pie. That’s roughly $1.5 billion spent annually on imprinted pens.
So why should businesses spend $1.5 billion trying to promote themselves with items that are so frequently stolen?
As promotions, pens are generally given out en masse with the intention of reaching the greatest number of people possible. Their effectiveness is in their ability to reach a large audience for a low cost. If Paper Mate’s survey is to be believed (and I see no reason it shouldn’t be) and if everyone steals pens, then it’s very likely that every promotional pen given out will change hands at least once. When that happens, its cost-per-impression value doubles.
In other words, your client’s next order of 500 pens may be worth as much as 1,000 pieces of anything else. And given the price of pens, they’ll spend much less to get that same level of exposure.
Those numbers are of course theoretical. 100 percent of people stealing is not the same as 100 percent of products being stolen. You can’t guarantee that every single items in a 500-piece order will see two sets of eyeballs, but the survey lets you make the argument that it is possible. At the very least it’s an impressive stat, and if nothing else, gives you one more tool to build a case for the powerful potential of pens.