Parker launches website to raise profile

BELLWOOD, IL: Sanford North America plans to unveil an integrated marketing program for its Parker brand pens in 2004. The company is talking to PR firms about working on that campaign.

BELLWOOD, IL: Sanford North America plans to unveil an integrated marketing program for its Parker brand pens in 2004. The company is talking to PR firms about working on that campaign.

Sanford just launched a website for the pens, a first step in raising the brand's profile among consumers.

"What Parker is trying to do is reposition itself based on the craftsmanship and quality that Parker is known for," said Michael Finn, PR manager with Sanford North America. "[The new site] really creates a portal to the world of Parker," he said.

The site, set to go live October 24, discusses the history and heritage of Parker pens while showing various pen series and gift sets available. It also discusses pen care and maintenance, and lists places where consumers can buy Parker products.

Finn said Parker defines its target market as "a pen lover who knows quality and is willing to look at the pen as an investment." One of the website's key messages to consumers will be to "reiterate that Parker is a statement about yourself," he said.

The slow economy hasn't hurt Parker sales, Finn added.

Sanford also makes Waterman pens and Sharpies. It is a division of Newell Rubbermaid which is scheduled to release third-quarter earnings on October 30. The company reported a 17% drop in second-quarter earnings because of restructuring charges.

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