Linc Pen and Plastics Limited: Creating a Brand from a New Product
Linc Pen and Plastics Limited (LPPL) was a 40 year old Indian writing instruments company with a presence in over 50 countries through its sole brand Linc, a value brand that had a brand image of providing good quality products at a low price. Over the past year and half , LPPL had faced margin pressure due to a steep increase in the price of raw materials. In late 2019, Deepak Jalan, the managing director , decided not to disturb the brand equity of Linc but instead to move upmarket by developing a new ballpoint pen, Pentonic, for the premium segment. LPPL priced Pentonic ball pens at 10 -higher than Linc's original ball pens, which mostly sold at 5. The Pentonic ball pen was highly successful right from its launch, and within a year, Pentonic had become the company's second largest product in terms of volume and its largest product in terms of value. Pentonic had an independent identity in the market. In the last board meeting, Jalan had proposed building Pentonic as a separate brand for the premium market. The board had asked him to develop a detailed plan for developing the new product to target the premium market and balancing the marketing mix and positioning strategy for the specific target customers of the two brands, Linc and Pentonic. Atanu Adhikari is affiliated with Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode. Seema Lall is affiliated with J D Birla Institute Department of Management No. 1, Moira St.