The Unexpected Rise Of Traditional Products

Traditional stationery

It’s an undeniable fact that digital rules the roost in today’s world. Having a tablet or a smart phone is now more common than having a pen. After all these intelligent devices can easily do almost everything a pen and notebook could do right?

A smartphone or tablet not only offers us extra space, as it is much easier and far less cumbersome to carry around than a pen, notebook, and diary etc. Whilst the older generation may find themselves constantly reaching for their trusty diary or notebook, the younger generation is often seen as being far more at home with technology.

Those born between the mid 1980s to mid 1990s have grown up with the rapid advancement of technology, and their ascension into the workforce is also seen as a demand for modern technology. While true in some areas, what is surprising is to find out that this younger generation is actually not that different from their older counterparts.

Moleskine Sees Increases

With recent departure of Staples from the UK, it would be easy to assume that all stationery and office supplies areas are going into an unfortunate decline. But luxury notebook maker Moleskine is in fact bucking that trend.

In the last two years, Moleskine’s revenue has increased from €86.37 million by September 30th 2015 to €95.89 million by 30th September 2016. In a business that is thought to be seeing slow decline due to the increase in the use of digital technology, this increase can be seen as a welcome bonus.

Moleskine’s success can perhaps be attributed to their efforts to both re-invent their products while also retaining their current customer base and also appealing to new customers. 2016 saw the launch of many limited edition products including popular properties such as Toy Story, Game of Thrones and much more.

This curious co-existence of traditional and digital exists not just in the stationery world but can also be seen in the rise of vinyl in music coinciding with the surge in digital streaming. The British Phonographic Industry has reported that 2016 saw three million vinyl’s being sold, the most since 1991 and yet there was also 45 billion streams.

Traditional And Modern Can Coincide

So what does this news of Moleskine’s continued revenue increases along with the slow but steady rise of vinyl sales suggest? The most obvious answer is that while the younger generation are often seen as being obsessed with technology, there is more than enough room to embrace both traditional and modern forms.

So what are the advantages of using traditional stationery such as pens, notebooks and diaries for everyone? Well the clearest advantage is that there is a very low chance of your work or tasks being erased. With technology there is always the worry that your phone or tablet may break, or something may go wrong with your storage resulting in a loss of data.

With a physical product though, the only danger is you actually losing it or damaging it to the point it can’t be used again. It can also be kept for future purposes; a notebook is far more likely to still work in 30 year’s time than your smartphone.

For the younger generation it is clear that the sheer influx of technology available has meant that there is an appeal for something that is simpler to use, as well as often being much cheaper. It is important to remember though that Moleskine is a more of a luxury brand compared with those found at the lower end of the market, but it is still to be admired.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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