linked in facebook twitter rss

  • Interbrand
  • Brandchannel

your chance!
your chance!
Parker Pen Brand

 

  Parker - scripted
Parker
scripted
May 16, 2005

Since 1892, Parker has been known for making quality fountain pens. George Safford Parker, a schoolteacher from Janesville, Wisconsin, founded the company as a reaction to the unreliable pens of the time. Already on February 10, 1899, a Parker Pen Jointless Lucky Curve was used to sign the Peace Treaty ending the Spanish-American War. Parker pens were to feature in many more official signings since then.
 
In 1933, Parker, which had at that point become a publicly traded company, introduced its most recognizable trademark: the arrow-style clip, designed by Joseph Platt of New York. Parker kept innovating, releasing its first ballpoint pens in 1954 and the roller ballpoint pen in 1975.

Parker became privately-held in the 1980s, and the Gillette Company took the company over in 1993. Eventually the pen brand landed in the portfolio of Sanford in 2000, alongside Waterman and Rotring.

 
 
Parker - scripted Parker's website puts the visitor in the right mood and adequately reinforces the brand. The splash page gives a choice between three connection speeds or an option to simply skip the intro. In terms of usability, the buttons are poorly located at the very bottom of the window; this can put visitors in a state of frustration if they don't open the window in full screen mode. On the other hand, the flash animation stresses that Parker goes beyond the ordinary. The whole innovative collection can surprise the casual visitor.

The warm color palette, based on wood and tobacco tones, provides the right connotations for an upscale product. Not all Parkers are expensive writing devices, but the aficionados that would surf the site are probably seeking to buy or repair high end products. In a competitive environment, the positioning seems perfectly consistent.

What is not as clear are the points of differentiation with sister brand Waterman, another highly respected provider of fine fountain pens. Even at the point of purchase in retail outlets, the brochures and promotions of both Parker and Waterman look and feel exactly the same, in terms of size, paper quality and finish.

With all its tiny imperfections, the Parker website unexpectedly reminds one of a family business rather than an international company. The website is a glossy online brochure, offering the opportunity to browse the collection of pens or to access information on the maintenance and warranty of the products.

Besides promoting its intrinsic beauty, the site is also a customer-service medium. Most Parker pens benefit indeed from an old-fashioned lifetime warranty. At the time of writing this review, a call to Parker's hotline was fast and efficient, with the representative promptly offering to send us a pre-addressing pouch to return a fountain pen for repair. In a time where marketing cynicism is widespread, Parker's warranty questionnaire is remarkably simple and truly refreshing. What’s more, the customer service experience perfectly reinforces the expectations set by the website.

Overall, Parker's marketing is not a case study of perfection. There is undoubtedly some unrealized potential. However, the brand owners clearly understand the brand positioning and manage it accordingly. There is a remarkable consistency between the product, the site and the service.

 
*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
 commenting closed Add Social Bookmark bookmark  print
 suggest topic  recommend ( 6 )  email

  brandchannel Digital Watch archive   2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  | 2005  |  2004  |  2003  |  2002  |  2001
 
 
Dec 19, 2005 Thomas the Tank Engine - all aboard -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Thomas the Tank Engine chugs along online.
   
 
Dec 12, 2005 Dragonair - flighty -- Ian Cocoran
  Is Dragonair.com just a load of hot air?
   
 
Dec 5, 2005 Astro.com - aligned -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  A visit to finds the stars in alignment for a good e-commerce site.
   
 
Nov 28, 2005 Best Buy - a deal
  Does BestBuy.com think outside the big box?
   
 
Nov 21, 2005 Peugeot - pedestrian
  Peugeot.com causes us to wonder what drives automotive brands to be so mediocre.
   
 
Nov 14, 2005 Kodak - well developed
  Kodak.com focuses on the online market with new innovations for an old brand.
   
 
Nov 7, 2005 The Gap - no browsing
  The Gap launches a new site after a publicly painful build. We gleefully search for flaws.
   
 
Oct 31, 2005 Stella Artois - sober
  Does class in a glass translate as well online?
   
 
Oct 24, 2005 Colette - pops -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Luxury retail brand Colette should stick to pop but avoid the pop-ups.
   
 
Oct 17, 2005 All Blacks - solid
  The focus and precision of New Zealand’s All Blacks brand is carried from the pitch to the Internet.
   
 
Oct 10, 2005 Motorola - picking up
  Motorola.com rings our bell.
   
 
Oct 3, 2005 Paul Frank - bananas -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  No monkey business at paulfrank.com
   
 
Sep 26, 2005 Alaska Air - plain -- Alycia de Mesa
  Alaska Airlines never warms up online.
   
 
Sep 19, 2005 Lucasfilm - online empire
  Starving for information, Lucasfilm.com becomes a feast for the eyes instead.
   
 
Sep 12, 2005 La Sorbonne - misérable
  The effects of bureaucracy can be seen at La Sorbonne's website.
   
 
Sep 5, 2005 Petsmart - needs fixing
  Petsmart scores high in the pet supply battle but it doesn’t exactly win our hearts.
   
 
Aug 29, 2005 Cialis - a turn on
  Does Cialis.com deliver a good time?
   
 
Aug 22, 2005 Stride Rite - fits -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Is Stride Rite's website in step with its offline brand?
   
 
Aug 15, 2005 Herman Miller - sitting pretty
  Herman Miller goes beyond the Aeron chair.
   
 
Aug 8, 2005 Beretta - unloaded
  The website of gunsmith Beretta doesn’t blow us away.
   
 
Aug 1, 2005 Gibson - picked apart -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Adding the online equivalent of a screaming axe solo to the workmanlike Gibson.com wouldn’t go amiss.
   
 
Jul 25, 2005 CIA - exposed
  The CIA tries to protect identities from being revealed… apparently this includes its own.
   
 
Jul 18, 2005 Fortis - unaccountable
  Financial institution Fortis lacks strength in its online corporate identity.
   
 
Jul 11, 2005 Miracle-Gro - green thumbs up
  MiracleGro.com tends a bountiful site but there are serious landscaping issues in the architecture.
   
 
Jul 4, 2005 Duchy Originals - crumby -- Alicia Clegg
  Duchy Originals from the Prince of Wales brand portfolio doesn't exactly rule the web.
   
 
Jun 27, 2005 Yellow Tail - leaps and bounds
  Does Yellow Tail succeed online as well as it does in the market?
   
 
Jun 20, 2005 Philips - unfulfilled
  Philips.com makes a good connection with the customer but loses the deal when it comes time to purchase online.
   
 
Jun 13, 2005 Subaru - performs -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Like its automobiles, Subaru.com forges an emotional connection with the user by performing well.
   
 
Jun 6, 2005 The World Bank - withdrawn
  The World Bank’s website has a world of information but a weak bond.
   
 
May 30, 2005 Hasselblad - focused
  Hasselblad may have conquered the moon, but how’s it doing on the web?
   
 
May 23, 2005 TUI - escapes
  How does the world leader in tourism navigate the web?
   
 
May 9, 2005 Carnival Cruises - seaworthy?
  Carnival.com saves the fun for the cruise ship.
   
 
May 2, 2005 The Knot and WeddingChannel - the perfect couple -- Evelyn Hafferty
  Wedding planning sites, the Knot and WeddingChannel, vie hard for a bride’s affection.
   
 
Apr 25, 2005 Barilla - chow bella -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Barilla uses its noodle to produce a great website.
   
 
Apr 18, 2005 Danier - worn out -- Mark Nicholson
  The website of Danier Leather is not wearing well.
   
 
Apr 11, 2005 J Records - beat
  J Records may have the hottest new artists, but what it really needs is a good webmaster.
   
 
Apr 4, 2005 Tarot - answers -- Alycia de Mesa
  We gaze into the crystal ether at Tarot.com.
   
 
Mar 28, 2005 Zenith - low point
  Zenith needs to reboot its online branding initiative.
   
 
Mar 21, 2005 Nivea - radiant -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Does Nivea.com spread a good impression of its skincare products?
   
 
Mar 14, 2005 U2 - 4 sale -- Alycia de Mesa
  U2 combines merchandise with music to make sure its strong fan base finds what it’s looking for.
   
 
Mar 7, 2005 Charity Navigator - giving directions -- Evelyn Hafferty
  Non-profit comparison site Charity Navigator gives donors an overview of needy causes.
   
 
Feb 28, 2005 Christian Dior - j'adore -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Christian Dior is as perfectly suited to the web as it is to the catwalk.
   
 
Feb 21, 2005 Rugby 6 Nations Tournament - trying
  The 6 Nations Tournament supports none.
   
 
Feb 14, 2005 FAO Schwarz - adulterated -- Alycia de Mesa
  FAO Schwarz’s online endeavor is not child’s play.
   
 
Feb 7, 2005 Victoria's Secret - red hot
  Victoria’s Secret wakes the dead.
   
 
Jan 31, 2005 Ladbrokes - bet on it
  We’re betting Ladbrokes.com doesn’t attract casual browsers.
   
 
Jan 24, 2005 Ghirardelli - bitter -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Ghirardelli’s website lacks the richness of its product.
   
 
Jan 17, 2005 Indigo Nation - wardrobe malfunction
  Indigo Nation’s website is consistent with its offline brand: Lacking positioning and a clear identity.
   
 
Jan 10, 2005 NASCAR - on track
  Does NASCAR.com have us going round in circles?
   
 
Jan 3, 2005 Rossignol - ski mogul -- Vivian Manning Schaffel
  Rossignol knows snow, but does it know websites?