Blue or black ink doesn’t make the cut. Give me purple, pink, green or even orange, please. I’m the consultant who buys the “Caribbean Collection” of Sharpie markers in the dead of winter to liven up a client’s brand planning session. It’s just my thing, and I don’t much care if it costs a few bucks more. It makes me happy to be colorful.
So when it comes to what to write on, I’m pretty picky as well. I tend to opt for a trip to Utrecht Art Supplies for Strathmore notebooks, with no lines, and acid free 30% post consumer fiber paper with the bright blue covers. I’m serious about saving my notebooks, and have them dated so I can go back to conference notes, idea sessions, and major project notes.
I’ve never been a Moleskine girl, until last week when I happened across this back-to-school display at Target.
I had recently read a few articles on Moleskine’s upcoming launch of business cases and bags, which had heightened my interest in the brand. Even though I only saw sketches, there was a bag I began to covet. I browsed, which involved more feeling than looking, and bought my first Moleskine notebook at $17.95. I hesitated at the price, but felt a desire that won out over budget. I bought the blank page notebook with the cool orange graphic. I’ve now traveled with it and because it’s different, have had to turn it over for examination by at least eight or nine other marketing/communication/consulting business friends, each who carries some kind of notebook all the time.
From the comments I’ve heard, I’ve drawn a few shopper marketing conclusions. First off, Moleskine brand has a definite cache, sort of akin to Apple. I felt my stock rise in a familiar sort of way you can feel but that is hard to explain. Secondly, the product performs beautifully. How the pen and paper interact is essential to those who write notes, it has to be smooth and fast, period. Thirdly, its partnership with Target feels like a perfect fit to even the long-time Moleskine elite. Easy availability is a plus and the colorful collection makes the partnership feel very appropriate for both brands.
As happy as I am with my purchase, it’s hard not to sniff out an opportunity. Which one of the writing brands could pair up a perfect pen with Moleskine at Target for the fashionable bundle that could be sold as a set all year long? Now that I found a great notebook, I’m already worried I’ll never see it again at Target until August of 2012!
In fact, I’m changing my shopping trip for groceries to Target today just so I can try to get another one before they are gone!
FOLLOW UP NOTE – I did go back to Target, and indeed the notebooks I love were sold out. I did, however find and bought a lined Moleskine with a red cover that was marked down from $17.95 to $8.97. In the meantime, Target gained a trip and a basket ring of about $55 that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten from ShopperAnnie, thanks to the unique, albeit limited product strategy they’re so good at!