February 28, 2011
Montblanc is supporting the efforts of an organization dedicated to helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities by donating 11 percent of its March proceeds to Best Buddies International.
This initiative will start on March 1 and will last for 11 days. Montblanc will donate 11 percent of its proceeds from 11 of its U.S. stores.
“In our 104 years, we have supported a lot of organizations, particularly in the area of education and helping others,” said Jan-Patrick Schmitz, president and CEO of Montblanc, Murray Hill, NJ. “If you look at the products and what we are trying to do, it underlines the nature of our brand and it’s the value that it reconfirms that what we say is also what we do.
“So many companies claim that they support one field one week and then next week they do something else, we have [consistently] supported arts and education from the beginning of the company,” he said.
Montblanc is a brand most well-known for its writing utensils, but is also a producer of leather goods, fragrances, timepieces, jewelry and eyewear.
Best Buddies is a global non-profit organization whose volunteers help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure jobs and live on their own.
Eleven Montblanc boutiques from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando, Tampa, Chicago, Boston, New York, King of Prussia, Houston and Dallas, will be donating 11 percent of their profits for the month of March.
On March 18, the money will be presented to Best Buddies at the Best Buddies Gala in Palm Beach, FL.
Montblanc prides itself on its partnership with many national and international companies.
The company had a “Signature for Good” sponsorship with UNICEF, an internationally-recognized organization that helps less fortunate children in underdeveloped countries, where the brand raised $4.3 million for education and literacy programs .
Montblanc has played a role in the Urban Arts Partnership in New York, which teaches a variety of interdisciplinary arts programs in-classroom and after school, where students are instructed in various areas such as filmmaking, dance, writing and design.
The brand has also participated in Jewelers for Children, a charity where companies who manufacture jewelry donate to causes benefitting children who have been affected by illness, abuse or neglect.
“Montblanc generally has two areas, one is for education and to help particular in need, even in underprivileged countries, and we provide the necessary means for the ability to learn and to take their lives into their own hands,” Mr. Schmitz said. “The other is for arts education.”
Montblanc is promoting this initiative through public relations outreach, social media and local word-of-mouth.
Paying it forward
Many luxury brands are participating in charities' fundraising efforts, or simply giving back to those in need.
For example, Swarovski collaborated with Elle Magazine last month to raise money for The Heart Truth, an organization dedicated to raise awareness about women and heart disease (see story).
Additionally, The Trump Hotel Collection bolstered its credentials as a responsible corporate citizen this holiday season through its Thanks & Giving program that lets guests donate to the fight against pediatric cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Center (see story).
Brands tend to partner with charities that they can relate to. In Montblanc’s case, partnering with charities dedicated to education and literacy is a great way to gain brand awareness in a way that makes sense.
“Our partnerships have to do a lot with the roots of the business, we’re best known for writing instruments and art of writing, that’s what we’ve been established with,” Mr. Schmitz said. “It’s a natural linkage to the arts and art education because of literacy and writers.
“We have a strong commitment to the arts and commitment to education,” he said. “It’s not about what we do, but who we are.”
Montblanc's partnership with UNICEF raised $4.3 million toward education and literacy programs
Rachel Lamb is an editorial assistant at Luxury Daily. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.