Tapping potential for greater sales in stationery

Marc Pinner has worked at Bic for nearly eight years. He started out as the marketing manager for lighters and shavers and then moved to Paris to work for Bic Europe as senior product manager for writing instruments. Then it was on to head marketing for the Eastern Europe, Middle East and African division.

Pinner returned to Bic UK two years ago to take up his appointment as marketing director and is now responsible for marketing and strategy for lighters, shavers and stationery.
One of the challenges that Pinner says he is currently facing is to exploit the opportunity for growth that he believes exists in the stationery market.
“We are the number one brand in the UK for stationery and we are concentrating on bringing new products to the consumer,” he says.

“It’s an events-based market, but compared to other parts of Europe we are lagging behind. During our back-to-school event, we target mothers to develop sales in store, but the event is small-scale compared to that in France.”
Two thirds of Bic’s stationery is sold through retailers and Pinner says it is imperative that he gets them on board when it come to events and new product launches.

He says he loves to get involved in the launches and has enjoyed the past year as Bic has introduced two new shavers to the market.

“We brought out the Comfort 3 triple blade razor for men in 2003 and the Soleil triple blade shaver for women this year,” says Pinner.
“The Comfort 3 was launched with the former England rugby captain Martin Johnson and a few months later, England went on to win the World Cup.
“We can’t really claim to have been responsible for that but at least the captain was able to have a good shave after the win.”