With over 100 years of experience in the promotional product writing instrument set, it’s safe to say we know the business. Our roots go back to 1908 when AC Stewart founded the Souvenir Lead Pencil Company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. By the 1940s, it would grow into a multi-million dollar international business specializing in promotional printing on writing instruments.
As sales skyrocketed in Iowa, a small company across the Atlantic called BIC took off. In 1950, Marcel Bich improved on the original ballpoint pen design and his company released the first of his soon to be iconic pens. By 1969, they had established a promotional products subsidiary, BIC Graphic, which flourished at its US headquarters in Clearwater, Florida.
Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, not new to the promotion industry, these two heavyweights would come together under one roof and are known today as the Koozie Group. And while we no longer use the BIC® name, we remain the exclusive supplier of BIC®-branded writing instrument promotional items in the United States and Canada. Our long history of bringing exceptional writing instruments to the promotional space is just one of the many reasons to write about! with the Koozie group. Let’s explore some more.
One of the best words in the English language is free! And we offer many free services on our writing instruments, including:
- Free configurations, even for multi-color prints.
- Free print color changes.
- Free writing ink color changes.
- Free virtual samples.
- Free color matches or mix & match.
- Free shipments in exact quantity.
- Free customizable digital flyers.
- Free samples (up to $10, shipping not included).
- Free High Ink Technologies (on select items).
There’s a lot of value in this list: tools to help you sell, and multiple ways to create the perfect pen for your customer. Coupled with Koozie Group’s proven history, it’s a tough combo to beat.
Speaking of our heritage, we’ve been making writing instruments in the USA since the beginning. Even today, our pen gurus assemble over 50 of our writing instruments in Florida, including all of our BIC® brand pens. If you have customers looking for Proud of America products, this assortment is a great place to start. For even more red, white and blue, pair a pen with its soulmate, a calendar printed in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. It’s another winning combination!
All of this tradition, however, doesn’t mean we’re stuck in the past. Today, consumers are concerned about the sustainability of products, and we are ready to take up the challenge. In December 2020, we launched our KG Factor designation, which identifies products with a high likelihood of being kept or gifted, as determined by an unbiased survey of end users. KG Factor products reduce environmental impact through their longevity. Because people find writing instruments useful, many of our writing instruments now carry the KG Factor designation, making them a good choice for anyone concerned about durability.
We also offer a growing range of pens made from more environmentally friendly materials. Many pens incorporate pre-consumer recycled plastic or plastic made from a renewable source. Taking things to a whole new level is the new Dart Pen made with 87% recycled PET plastic. Another standout product in the most eco-friendly category is the ECOL Retractable Pen, which features a wooden clip and a body made from 60% post-consumer recycled paper. In an effort to ensure that 75% of our new products have a proven sustainability stance, this sub-category of writing instruments will only grow.
There have also been many changes in inks over the years. As early as 3200 BCE, Egyptians created ink by burning wood or oil and mixing the result with water. They also concocted red ink using iron-based compounds like ocher and other natural earth pigments. Ink technology has come a long way and we are offering two upgraded ink options on select items for free. Ink Stream Technology™ is an improved ink formula that delivers smooth, consistent writing. Many of our Souvenir® pens feature InstaGlide® hybrid ink, a premium blend of gel ink and ballpoint pen that offers the best of both worlds: a smooth writing experience and longer drying time. quickly to minimize burrs. It’s a winning combination and don’t forget, free on some writing instruments.
Sometimes it’s the color of the ink that’s important. Many great moments in life require a signature: birth certificate, diploma, marriage certificate, mortgage. Lawyers encourage the use of blue ink when signing an important document to distinguish it as an original. The blue signature contrasts with the black type. To keep those finicky eaters happy, we offer nearly 100 pens that have blue as an ink option.
Any discussion of writing instruments should include a nod to pencils, back to where our story began with the Souvenir Lead Pencil Company. With the increasing use of technology, it looks like the pencil could soon become a mere artifact from the days before computers. Even anxiety-provoking tests with the #2 pencil went the way of keyboards.
For younger learners, however, a pencil is still an indispensable tool. In their hands, these early attempts at forming letters eventually allow them to create words and sentences. For them, writing, not typing, greatly improves their ability to memorize the letters they learn. It’s called “body memory,” and it’s also why adults use pen and paper to reconstruct their memory or physical movements during stroke recovery. And when young people make a mistake? It’s easy to erase and try again with this classic writing instrument.
There are so many compelling reasons to choose our writing instruments. Learn more about kooziegroup.com/writeon and watch for upcoming announcements on how to write! with the Koozie group.