Magazine B Issue 80 (Montblanc) is available now on loremnotipsum.com. Every generation sees popular words and expressions wax and wane with the passage of time. One of these expressions is “taste,” which has crept into conversations and articles, now inspiring scores of readers to obsess over tastes. In an age in which self- expression is highly valued, the word “taste” neatly expresses the unique and differentiating personality of an individual—the element that categorically sets them apart from the crowd. If left ambiguously defined, it may feel as though that person has no particular penchant for anything. According to the general definition, however, taste could be seen as something that captivates one’s attention. Things that win over the heart right away, things that seem decent and proper, or things for which appreciation is acquired with exposure—all of these are things “taste” could connote.
Montblanc, a German brand that started as a luxury writing instrument manufacturer in the city of Hamburg, is case in point. While it seems to have secured a place in the luxury segment in the ranges of pens, watches, and leather goods, Montblanc has managed to remain an unassuming, unpretentious brand that refrains from ostentatious or provocative images. One interesting fact is that those who encounter Montblanc directly or indirectly are likely to strongly recommend the brand to their family or friends. Recommending a product is slightly different from falling within an individual’s taste parameters. People make 2 recommendations when something is proven to be authentic, or when you see it like an investment whose value won’t depreciate over time. In that sense, Montblanc products can create a “guaranteed” taste in that they are products that weather the test of time.
Luck plays a pivotal role in determining if a product will ultimately rise to “it” item status each season, but the earning the title of “safe asset” requires much more beyond sheer luck. With its invincible top-quality and carefully crafted business strategies, Montblanc is firmly established in the risky contemporary luxury goods industry. Notably, the brand’s pricing and lineup expansion strategies are extremely flexible and reasonable. It’s rare for a luxury brand to capitalize on its “entry-level” models in multiple areas of writing instruments, leather products, and watches, as much as this German brand does. Montblanc fully utilizes its most affordable low-end items to outdo competitors. And the success of this strategy is clearly seen in must-have business item sales like trolleys, wallets, and leather backpacks. In this sense, Montblanc actively lowers the entry barrier burden for first-time buyers, which, in turn, creates loyal customers. It could be said that these results are possible thanks to the brand’s confidence in its products.
The same goes for its lineup expansion. Rather than betting products on superficial sensibility and taste, Montblanc has gradually diversified its product offering to stay appealing to loyal and new customers alike. Starting as a brand of writing instruments, Montblanc transcends the limits its competitors face because it has not settled on a single value like keeping tradition or being analog. From fountain pens that function as objets d’art or literary symbols to accessible and user-friendly ballpoint pens, all Montblanc products emanate the same spirit— a departure from other brands that excogitate images of upmarket value through increasingly high-end and limited-edition products. Montblanc is truly a testament to the idea that a brand can thrive even more when it is defined not by its producers, but by its users.
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Magazine B is an ad-less monthly publication that introduces one well-balanced brand unearthed from around the globe in each issue. Between its covers, Magazine B not only shares untold stories behind the brand but also its sentiment and culture that any readers interested in brand marketing and management can leaf through with ease. Magazine B attempts to discover truly good brands from today’s market where countless brand-named products are overflowing. Magazine B pursues its quest for true value of a printed medium by becoming a magazine that would be worth possessing, not affected by advertisements since it receives no financial support from the brand, and maintains a unique and independent perspective which is increasingly disappearing due to overflowing information mingled among different media outlets.
Magazine B dedicates each issue to the story of one specific brand, which is one of the well-balanced brands that JOH. discovers from around the world based on four standards: beauty, practicality, price, and philosophy. And each issue is packed with B’s unique insights and in-depth analysis. Magazine B will continue to search brands that it pursues to introduce cover-to-cover, such as Swiss recycled bag manufacturer Freitag and Japanese camping gear maker Snow Peak.
Details: Magazine B – Issue 80 (Montblanc)
240 x 170 mm, 148 pages