铭记 | branding | 브랜드 마케팅

Montblanc pens – black precious resin: an authenticity FAIL

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I had a short haul flight and went over the duty free catalogue on Swiss Airlines. This section on Montblanc pens stuck out at me because of its wording. Each pen was described as being made of ‘black precious resin’. Click on the image if you want to see a larger version.

Precious Resin Montblanc spiel

So what does black precious resin actually mean? One would presume some form of black shiny plastic, which doesn’t seem quite so precious. Now the use of plastic isn’t a bad thing in pen manufacture. For instance fellow German writing instrument manufacturers Pelikan and Kaweco both make writing instruments out of plastic, but they also don’t charge over 300 pounds for a ballpoint pen.

What the explanation misses is the real elements at the heart of Montblanc’s authenticity:

  • History: Montblanc is actually over a century old as a firm
  • Country brand: It’s pens are still made in Germany, so it can take advantage of the German country brand: precision manufacturing excellence and craftsmanship
  • Craftsmanship: making a pen write smoothly is an art, too much ink and you will get splodges. A badly designed nib or ballpoint mechanism will scratch the paper, deliver the ink unevenly and even stain the writer
  • Design: One of the reasons why Montblanc managed to upset A.T. Cross in the market for luxury pens because their pen design feels much better in the hand because of its fuller barrel size

But none of these factors are reflected in the description of the Montblanc pens featured in the duty-free catalogue, instead we get smoke-and-mirrors which engenders distrust and makes for an authenticity FAIL.

艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인

I like: eBay’s Black Friday heat map

Reading Time: < 1 minute

eBay has developed a special siteas part of its efforts to gain more of the retail spend. I particularly liked their Black Friday heat map that shows how transactions took place over the day in the continental states of the US.

Black Friday

Its a really nice example of a well designed infographic. Go and get the full experience over the at the eBay holiday site.

初 | hygiene | 기본

Links of the day

Reading Time: < 1 minute

“The Unmissable”. BBC iPlayers Success In Numbers – great data points

Portuguese Internet Users Reached Nearly 4 Million in September | WebProNews – low average number for the amount of time spent online, particularly compared to Northern European, North American or many Asian markets

Advertising Recession Shows Signs Of Recovery – key question now is what level will advertising recover to?

ReputationOnline » Blog Archive » Pluck pushes ‘Social Bridging’ – good stuff in here, particularly with social media atomising. ***Declaration: Pluck is a client***

Sleep success: How to make ZZZs = memory – life – 26 November 2009 – New Scientist