Frankfurt – the manufacturer of pens and pencils are returning to school and learning how to sell tools for writing in the age of smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Some, including the Crayola LLC American and German Staedtler are embracing the digital revolution with electronic products. The Crayola Digitools – a series of plastic rubber – tipped tools allow children to “seal”, “apply” with brush, or “paint” designs in a Tablet using an application.
STAEDTLER introduced the Digital Pen 990, which functions as a pen regularly at the same time that transforms everything that written in electronic files. A receiver clip hooked onto the paper to write copy and stored around 100 pages in up to 30 languages.
But not everyone in the industry are embracing this trend with open arms. The German Faber-Castell, the oldest manufacturer of pencils in the world, gave just this month their first step towards digital-oriented products. The company, which also sells erasers, pencil sharpeners and art utensils, has just launched a pencil with a rubber tip that can be used as a stylus on a tablet or smartphone.
Other companies, including France’s Bic and the German Schwan – Stabilo, outperform Faber-Castell in the fusion of the old and the new. Crystal Stylus of Bic and the Stabilo Smartball look and function as traditional pencils, but have a tip padded at the top that you can use on touch screens.
Faber-Castell anticipates that wooden pencils still generate around a third of their revenue in the foreseeable future.
“If you look at the digital revolution, then one is automatically our business that must be sinking”, said the count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber – Castell, CEO of the company that bears his name. The Executive describes the idea of offices and schools without paper or pencil as “illusory: has not occurred”.
Global sales of pens and pencils are on the rise, and he is expected the growth to continue for at least five years, according to Euromonitor International. Expected sales of pencils to increase 4 percent this year to reach about US$ 2,700 million, while sales of pens would rise 4.9% to $8,500 billion, according to data from market research firm.
However, the sources of this demand are changing. Emerging markets are becoming increasingly important for the manufacturer of pencils and pens due to the improvement in the levels of income and literacy.
The developing countries in Asia and Latin America are major engines of growth. In Asia, is projected an increase in sales of pencils of 5.4% to $1 billion this year and 7 percent in Latin America to $526 million, according to Euromonitor.
For Faber-Castell, those regions now generate about 65 percent of sales, and the company expects more growth there, despite strong competition from local rivals for lower prices.
BIC, the largest manufacturer of pens and pencils by sales worldwide, indicates that it has failed to repel producers prices in developing countries since he early entered emerging markets.
“We are going well in Africa and South America because we got about 50 years ago,” said Benoît Marotte, director of Bic stationery business.
The French company, which produces mechanical pencil and disposable pens, as well as razors and lighters, says that its stationery division grew last year at between 5% and 10% in developing countries.
“The people is rediscovering the feeling of a freshly sharpened pencil,” said Lori Booker, spokeswoman for Dixon Ticonderoga, US company known for their yellow pencils “number 2″.
The total value of sales is rising while the number of pencils and pens sold is not, since Western consumers are choosing products of best quality.
Faber-Castell is trying to take advantage of that trend. Its line of instruments of writing premium, called “Graf von Faber-Castell”, sold mainly in Germany, Italy and France. His “perfect pencil” has its own Pencil Sharpener and Eraser and costs 200 euros (US$ n/a A version with embedded diamonds have been sold at up to $ 10, n/a