The Untold Story of Mitsubishi and its Flagship Brand of uni-ball
Hailed as one of the prime manufacturers and suppliers of innovative writing instruments, Linc Pen and Plastics Ltd. enjoys a special place in the heart of the Indian audience. This is not just attributed to the splendid quality of its pens alone. Rather, it is due to their products being preferred among families for generation after generation as a sign of solid trust.
Reflecting the same values, another similar name in the pen industry is Mitsubishi Pencil Co. Ltd. Not many will recognize the name without using the word ‘uni-ball’ beside it owing to its profound success across a variety of markets. Based in Tokyo, the ground-breaking creation of Mitsubishi’s renowned brand has taken its popularity to new heights!
Little do people know that Linc has actually been associated with Mitsubishi for years now:
1992: Distribution arrangement with Linc for uni-ball products in India
2011: Brand building for uni-ball India as Linc signs Katrina Kaif as the brand ambassador
2012: Linc and Mitsubishi get into a capital alliance with each other
Mr. Deepak Jalan, Managing Director of Linc Pen and Plastics Ltd. comments:
“We are proud to be the official marketing partners for Mitsubishi Pencil Co. Ltd. in India since the brand is one of the top players in the international spectrum.”
With exclusive rights of distribution and packaging of the uni-ball brand in India, Linc has been stocking and marketing Mitsubishi products for over two decades now.
As a part of the same collection, its uni-ball SA-R was the first of many to find its way into Indian soil. Upon its launch, it enjoyed great reception and still continues with decent sales even today. However, it was uni-ball Eye that stands as the most successful product in the Indian market that was launched over 20 years ago!
But are you really familiar with the brand?
Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Uni-ball and its Creators
Did you know that Mitsubishi Pencil started as a wooden pencil manufacturer in 1887? Initially called Masaki Yamato Pencil Co. Ltd.(until 1952), it was a small company in Tokyo with a workforce of 10 employees that were involved in making pencils. This may come across as a surprise due to the international popularity that it enjoys today due to its expertise as demonstrated through the company’s advanced writing instruments.
Of course, the most popular offering under their giant roof is the uni-ball brand beyond a doubt. It was only in 1979 that the brand was introduced as a roller pen model. From there, it expanded to the rest of Mitsubishi Pencil products and far exceeded expectations. It’s quality and writing performance was reciprocated overseas and it became a huge success in markets such as Japan and America.
Today, the company employs over 3500 people and uni-ball pens are sold in more than 100 countries across the world. Operating under the motto, ‘The finest quality is the best service’, Mitsubishi Pencil Co. Ltd. has worked tirelessly to upgrade and improve its products with time. Some of its products such as POSCA and Uni-ball Signo bear testament to its undying values of novelty and innovation.
Introduced in 1983, the charm of POSCA and its colourful, multipurpose tip pens found prevalence among all age groups. Held in high esteem by artists, the ‘magic’ effect of this pen can be attributed to its deep, matt and bright colours. Being a revolutionary paint marker, it garnered immediate success as it could mark most surfaces without penetration. Its super colour brightness, ultra-resistance to bad weather and total fade resistance only added to its widespread appeal.
With this, the first range of 3 tips and 22 colours is born, making it the cornerstone of the brand’s long line of success stories!
The year 1994 saw the release of uni-ball Signo and uni-ball Eye which featured an extraordinary water-based pigment ink. In fact, it is due to the latter that Uni-ball name is popularly reiterated. With uni-ball Signo Retractable (the world’s first retractable gel ink pen) and Uni-ball Signo Broad (capable of writing one of the world’s broadest lines in gel ink pen), it’s clear that innovation was an inherent part of each pen manufactured under their roof.
Fast-forward to 2015 with uni-ball TSI and you can even erase what you write!
It’s safe to say that the beauty of a uni-ball pen stems from technical expertise accumulated over a long period of time coupled with other considerations such as comfort and longevity. In fact, Mitsubishi Pencil can also be credited as one of the first writing instrument manufacturers to put emphasis on pressing environmental issues. As can be seen from 1992, products were actually launched using recycled materials.
Did you know that Mitsubishi Pencil’s ‘uni’ brand derives its name from the word ‘unique’? Keeping innovation at the forefront of all its operations, a pen crafted by these renowned pen manufacturers carries an indelible mark of novelty and trust that isn’t fading away anytime soon.
After all, both Linc and Mitsubishi agree that differentiation is key to success.