CASE STUDY

Custom Pen Promotes Brand,
Drives Branch Traffic for
Regional Retail Bank

4.5 Million Pens Efficiently Sourced In Less Than One Year

Situation 

A large regional bank holding company with more than a million customers recently embarked on a major rebranding effort, which included updating its branches with new signage, improved lighting and remodeled entryways. Millions of dollars were spent to create an enhanced customer experience as part of a larger strategy to expand market share. About 70% of the bank’s customers visit one of its branches at least monthly, so they wanted to provide a pen that clients could take with them. By eliminating the old-fashioned pens chained to desks, the bank sought to encourage promotion of its brand outside the branch and demonstrate trust in its customers.

Solution 

Curtis 1000 has been a supplier to this regional bank for many years. Although the bank had not yet finalized its new branding strategy, the Curtis team recommended a customized ink pen that would be unique and easily recognizable. We started the ideation process by providing over 200 pen samples for review. It was very important that any pen chosen could meet the bank’s new rebranding guidelines for logo placement, fonts and colors. The final recommendation went through an elaborate approval process that included sign-off by the bank’s CEO.

Once the design was approved, an initial order was placed for 500,000 pens. Based on experience, we were concerned that this quantity was too small and had its vendor on notice that another order could be coming soon. The initial order was gone within a week and the bank placed a subsequent order for 2 million pens.

By leveraging our purchasing power and global sourcing capabilities, the bank was able to secure this quantity at the lowest cost possible.

Since the custom pen is manufactured specifically for the bank, lead times can be lengthy. But by constantly monitoring orders and usage reports, we are able to keep a supply available at all times. 

Outcomes 

A custom pen has proven to be a cost-effective way for this large regional bank to promote its new brand identity and provide something of value to every customer who walks into a branch. To date, nearly 3 million pens have been distributed, which equates to 30 million new brand impressions presented in the bank’s key markets.

Throughout restaurants and retail establishments in the bank’s key markets, servers and clerks can be seen using the bank’s pen and providing it to their customers to sign invoices and charge slips. The pens have even been featured on television commercials promoting the bank’s new image.

The high-quality pens have proven to be very popular with customers, who are returning to bank branches more frequently to pick up additional supplies, which opens the door for more cross-selling opportunities by the bank.