article Image for 2021 – Year End Message from Our CEO

2021 – Year End Message from Our CEO

With 2021 coming to a close it’s a good time to reflect on the past twelve months and also shed some light on the plans we have for the year ahead.

The promotional merchandising sector has not been immune to the challenges wrought upon it by the Covid pandemic but despite these industry-wide headwinds The Pen Warehouse has achieved record-breaking restorative growth in sales over the past twelve months. 

These excellent results have only been made possible by the grit and determination of each and every team member at The Pen Warehouse and the core values in which we share in our work together. This year we welcomed an additional 39 staff members and we are delighted to have them onboard. Our team, and the values we foster, underpins all the good we do. It’s through our collective efforts that we make the greatest difference and I regard it as a privilege to be part of it. 

I’m really looking forward to 2022 as we have so many exhilarating projects in the pipeline. The acquisition of new brands, new printing technologies and new operating systems. For me, the most exciting of these will be the launch and development of systems to improve the employee experience. The Pandemic has brought about change for employers and employees alike, some of which will be irreversible, and our focus in 2022 will be to create a working environment that reflects these changes to everyone’s benefit. The business landscape is changing at a breathtaking pace, hard lessons have been learnt in 2021 and change is vital so our teams are equipped and supported to face the challenges ahead. As CEO of The Pen Warehouse I am completely aware of the importance of these changes.

Our success in 2021 is a credit to our wonderful staff that understand the need to support our loyal customer base and this will continue to be central to our culture and values as we enter 2022.

On behalf of the board of Directors I would like to thank our staff, customers and suppliers for their unwavering support in 2021 and we wish you all a very happy and successful 2022.

Neil Cleere

Managing Director

article Image for PAGE Partnership Visit Innovations House

PAGE Partnership Visit Innovations House

On Monday 8 November, Brian Hayward, Director at PAGE Partnership, visited The Pen Warehouse with a small group of catalogue members for their annual meet up. The day started with a tour of Innovations House including the factory, offices, studio and showroom.

The afternoon continued with a company update, outlining challenges, achievements and objectives for the future, followed by a presentation of brand-new products landing in 2022. The evening included a luxury private dining experience in a relaxed environment to catch up on both a business and personal level.

Monica Malfa, Marketing Programme Manager at The Pen Warehouse commented: “It was so good to welcome PAGE Partnership back and meet with familiar faces, sharing each others’ experiences and gaining invaluable feedback to help us build back better.”

The Pen Warehouse’s commitment to regain exceptional levels of customer experience and unrivalled service remains a core objective for 2022. Now out of survival mode and into recovery, the teams are rebuilding, processes updated and new structures implemented.

article Image for Spooky Bake Off / Face Off 👻

Spooky Bake Off / Face Off 👻

On Friday we celebrated all things spooky by hosting a spooky bake off, a spooky face off and a charity bake sale.

Winners included Beata and Angelika who both received a £20 Amazon voucher. Beata won Spookiest Cake and Angelika won Spookiest Face.

The bake sale raised over £100 for Frimley Health Charity – a huge thank you goes out to all our employees for participating and donating. It was a day filled with fun and delicious treats, and a fantastic way to support a charity close to our hearts.

For more information on Frimley Health Charity please click here.

article Image for The Pen Warehouse Supports Tree Planting Campaign

The Pen Warehouse Supports Tree Planting Campaign

The Pen Warehouse has introduced free fresh fruit for their employees via Fruitful Office, with every fruit basket contributing to one fruit tree planted in Malawi, Africa, helping Malawian families benefit from the trees to provide both fruit and firewood for consumption and income generation. The tree planting campaign, in collaboration with UK charity Ripple Africa, also helps mitigate the effects of deforestation and offset CO2 emissions. The project is one of the largest and most successful tree planting projects in Malawi and provides a long-term solution to combat deforestation in Africa. With three fruit baskets delivered per week, The Pen Warehouse will contribute around 156 fruit trees planted a year. All packaging for the fruit baskets is eco-friendly and zero-plastic. For more information about the Tree Planting Campaign, please click here.

article Image for Celebrating the Importance of Family Businesses

Celebrating the Importance of Family Businesses

Family Business United founder and champion of the family business sector, Paul Andrews explains, “There are over 5 million family firms across the UK and not only do they employ significant numbers of people, generate significant tax revenues and support local communities, they are the backbone of the UK economy. All too often the endeavours of the family business sector are dismissed in favour of their non-family counterparts and the aim of National Family Business Day is to champion the sector, put family firms on the map and help to dispel the myths surrounding the family business sector.”

The Pen Warehouse are trade-exclusive suppliers of promotional products and sell through a network of distributors – many of which are also family businesses. The promotional merchandise industry is very much a community of like-minded individuals with strong family values. Celebrating National Family Business Day is a fantastic way to help put the industry firmly on the map.

At the beginning of the year, The Pen Warehouse was shortlisted for the Family Business of the Year Awards 2021 and this was a huge achievement and great boost during such a challenging year.

Helen Dyl, Operations Director of The Pen Warehouse commented, “This company was founded by my father, and our MD, over 25 years ago and is now in its second generation. Through hard work, brilliant vision, and an amazing team we are still here today.”

If you’re a family business and want to get involved, simply use the hashtag #GBFamilyBizDay.

For more information on Family Business United please visit familybusinessunited.com.

article Image for The Pen Warehouse Hosts Self-Defence Class

The Pen Warehouse Hosts Self-Defence Class

Following the heart-breaking news earlier this year regarding Sarah Everard, The Pen Warehouse has taken several steps internally to provide guidance and assistance to their employees when walking alone as part of a ‘Walk safe initiative’, which included hosting a self-defence class to ensure all staff members are fully equipped with the latest defence techniques to help keep them safe. This went ahead as soon as COVID restrictions allowed.

The activity-filled afternoon was delivered by Streetwise Safety Training, a company founded by Martyn Bowie, an ex-police officer with a mission to connect working professionals to law enforcement. As well as excellent safety training, this was a considerable team-building opportunity, great for employee wellbeing and allowed staff members to socialise whilst respecting social distancing measures. Bringing together members of all different departments.

Participants were taught incidents where these techniques may be suitable as well as Common Law. They were then placed in pairs where they learnt a handful of easy-to-remember moves using soft pads.

Additional parts of the initiative included:

  • Police recommended personal attack alarms  offered to all employees for use both in and out of work
  • All work phones have now been installed with listed SOS contacts, which is mandatory for any work phone going forward. Walking safety tips have been shared from recommended sources including Personal Safety Advice from Ramblers.org and 5 Safety Tips For Walking at Night from My Fitness Pal.

Helen Dyl, Operations Director at The Pen Warehouse commented: “Our employees are our family, they are also mainly based in the local community and will walk to and from work. Their safety and wellbeing is our responsibility and after the tragic news of what happened to Sarah Everard, we knew we had to act. This will now be an annual offering for our teams. Martyn and his team were fantastic and we would recommend their service.”

article Image for The Pen Warehouse Celebrate their Employees

The Pen Warehouse Celebrate their Employees

To celebrate the relaxation of Covid restrictions, on Friday 23rd July The Pen Warehouse are having a socially distanced lunchtime party to thank their employees for their hard work and commitment during this time.

The last year has presented challenges and hard times, but the staff members’ determination and dedication have been unwavering. It is important to acknowledge and recognise this.

The Pen Warehouse’s company policy and health and safety measures surrounding Covid will remain in place as before but the 19th July milestone is a pivotal point worth celebrating. A marquee will be erected and staff members will have lunch outside in groups of six. There will be a stone-baked pizza and ice cream van to enjoy. The companies will also hold their annual charity sale with proceeds going to Frimley Health Charity.

blog Image for Invest in Colour: How Colour Psychology Can Help Your Business

Invest in Colour: How Colour Psychology Can Help Your Business

Reading time: 4 minutes 49 seconds.

How colour choices affect consumer behaviour and psychology. 

Your subconscious mind is continuously monitoring your environment and sending signals to your brain and so, prompting a response. But did you know, the way in which we perceive things even goes down to our choice in colour?

Without recognising it, you are (perhaps) more likely to opt for a dark purple taxi firm over a bright purple one. Similarly, if the price was the same, you may gravitate towards the green petrol station over the pink. As a customer, this may sound silly and unimaginable. However, as a business, this is well thought out and intentional, designed to influence your decisions.

It is said that the use of colour can trigger a psychological response that can alter the way in which we see things. Individuals don’t always react in the same way to colours due to previous experiences, however, there are a few generalities in which people do. So, if you like having bright orange walls and someone else doesn’t, don’t take it too personally.


Colour Psychology and Branding

Colour can be used as a powerful marketing tool – it already is, all around you brands have selected colours purposefully to impact the way in which we think and behave.

The infographic below shows the most popular colour choices by industry. This was created by Towergate Insurance by analysing over 500 logos from varying sectors. It’s interesting to take from the below that black is used most often in apparel and accessories industries to portray sophistication and power – things people are happy to put their money towards in order to be associated with. Red can be seen most commonly in restaurant branding, attracting people through bold and passionate advertisement.


With all that said, it’s no wonder branding and design can take companies years to master. Creating a logo, content and corporate identity that accurately reflects your offering is just as important to your business as anything else.


What can different colours insinuate to consumers? 

Colours, shades and hues can be powerful marketing tools – if used correctly. The way in which these are used and where, will play an important role in how your brand is perceived, whether you know it or not. This emotional cue can also help with attracting and retaining your ideal customer – helping you to speak to your target audience.

Red
Used intentionally to capture (positive or negative) attention, show power and express passion. A bold colour for a bold brand and purpose. Ever wondered why warnings, promotions and call-to-actions are always in red?

Orange
Orange tones are said to be inviting by providing a sense of adventure, comfort, creativity and success. Often used to target younger audiences or for DIY/home brands to create the feeling of freedom. 

Yellow
Ultimately anything yellow gives a sense of happiness and optimism and can be particularly motivating. For brands wanting to inspire and uplift – yellow will do just that.

Green
Calming and balancing. Let’s take Holland and Barrett – a health-food store ultimately wanting to present feelings of calm, trust, de-stress and wellbeing to its customers and attract those who want to feel just that.

Blue
Known for its connotations with trust, knowledge and responsibility, blue is a soothing colour whilst also inducing feelings of dependability and calm to those who notice it. As one of the most-liked colours globally, it’s no wonder 33% of top brands use it as well as in hospitals and spas. 

Purple
Purple is a great colour to create a feeling of mystery and nobility. Holding the power of red whilst also the responsibility of blue allows anyone who uses it to be seen as creative, but luxurious.

Pink
A soothing and sensitive colour creating feelings of unconditional love. However, different shades and tints can portray different meanings so should be used carefully. Too much can often be associated with immaturity and even, lack of power. When used appropriately, this colour can generate feelings of hope and be playful.

Monochromatic 
For those wanting to be seen as powerful, elegant and modern. The simplicity of black can create a huge sense of clarity and confidence. Often used by technology companies and designers to give customers confidence in the brand as knowledgeable and in control.

Whilst the opposite, creates feelings of trust and innovation. White is seen widely as a ‘clean’ colour, creating a brand that is pure and peaceful.

Brown
A strong colour to create feelings of structure, comfort and purity. Although not the most stimulating or eye-catching it is great for brands that do not want to be seen as bold and loud, but supportive and reliable instead.


Overall

Whilst individual colours can give your brand a sense of whatever it is you are trying to convey, it is important to remember that a mix of these colours can also help to achieve just that. For example, if you want to inject the idea that you are reliable and provide a high quality service, why not try blue and black?

In just 10 seconds, people have formed a judgement on your brand. Whilst obviously, 10 seconds is not enough to form a fair opinion, this is all you have. Colour is one of the first things noticed by a customer and so, if selected correctly can help boost your credit by 40% and is a marketing tool you cannot afford to overlook.


Our Top Picks

If red’s your thing, make your statement with the Mood® duo


The Mood® vacuum bottle in orange is perfect for targeting younger, adventurous customers.


Spread positivity and motivation with the Kingsbridge Tote Bag in yellow.


Build up a portfolio of trust and reliability using the Stress ball in green


Use the Contour® Eco Ballpen in blue to generate a rapport of high dependability and knowledge.


Build mystery through the unique and multi functional Spectrum® Hi-Max Ballpen


Highlight hope with the Oriel hand sanitiser in pink.


Be in control with the Milano Business Card Holder in black.


Resources

https://digitalsynopsis.com/design/logo-colour-branding-psychology-industry-specific/ https://coschedule.com/blog/color-psychology-marketing
https://www.oberlo.co.uk/blog/color-psychology-color-meanings
https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/successful-branding-for-entrepreneurs-statistics/
https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/ 

article Image for The Pen Warehouse Help Keep Britain Tidy

The Pen Warehouse Help Keep Britain Tidy

Yesterday was the final day of the Great British Spring Clean event held by independent charity, Keep Britain Tidy.

Teams The Pen Warehouse became #LitterHeroes and got involved with the Nationwide litter pick, contributing over 60 miles to the charity’s Million Mile Mission. Each team member that pledged and litter picked was given a #LitterHeroes pack which included eco-friendly goodies and litter picking equipment.

Join The Pen Warehouse for Eco Month to learn about greater personal responsibility, positive swaps, education and conscious buying. Start your journey by visiting pens.co.uk/news/blog.

Watch their latest TikTok video from their litter pick: pens.uk/T8X1yU. For more information about Keep Britain Tidy visit keepbritaintidy.org.

article Image for The Pen Warehouse make the finals of the Family Business of the Year Awards 2021

The Pen Warehouse make the finals of the Family Business of the Year Awards 2021

The Pen Warehouse have made it to the finals of the Family Business of the Year Awards 2021. Awards up for grabs are by sector, regional and national. National titles are awarded in respect of entrepreneurship, innovation, small family business and spirit of family business.

Making the finals is no mean feat and in itself is worth celebrating, especially given the challenges of the past year. The Pen Warehouse was founded by Managing Director, Neil Cleere, over 25 years ago and is now in its second generation. Through hard work, brilliant vision, and an amazing team, the family business is still here today.

Family Business United is a voice for the global family business community and an invaluable source of insight. It celebrates the contribution family firms make through the provision of employment, creation of income, as well as supporting local communities and charities.

For more information on Family Business United please visit familybusinessunited.com.