WIG: Sharpie

by baltringer

In The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belford’s sales pitch involves trying to sell a pen. Everyone tries to sell the pen by saying how the pen is useful and how it has great technical capabilities – none of them are actually convincing. How would you sell a pen? The Stanford Ink Company did it by creating a cultural icon: the Sharpie. Sure, the technology behind the Sharpie is quite impressive, it writes on wood, glass, metal, paper – and almost every other type of surface, with its classic bold and strong colors. However, what makes it so desirable is that the Sharpie was socially adopted via the media: NBC’s Jonny Carson endorsed it on TV and every autograph from every celebrity all throughout the 80s and 90s was written with a Sharpie – that, and its quality product – made it so desirable. How to sell the pen? Sharpie says it on their website: “Made to write on, stand out on, and stay on practically any surface, it’s The Permanent Marker born for unique, unruly, courageous, outrageous self-expression that never, ever fades from glory. We are THE BOLD ORIGINAL, genuine article, and cultural icon of Permanent Markers.”

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