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Today's consumers are pretty brand savvy. They can scrutinise every detail of your business: the colour of the walls, the smell of the store, promotional giveaways, the music being played and the way that staff speak to them. They then make assumptions before choosing whether to align themselves to your brand or not, whether they want to be seen carrying your promotional carrier bag.
Here's a story of one Wrapology client who designs products made from ostrich leather. He called our London office to get some prices on some promotional carrier bags for his flagship store opening in August.
During the phone call, he was vague about what he wanted .. promotional bags, carrier bags, gift bags, whatever .. and, in truth, he didn't seem particularly interested. But he described his product, his shop and the thoughtfulness that had gone into everything from the logo design, the floor, the shelving and window displays. We knew he had to come in and see us and eventually he and his assistant designer came to our showroom in west London a week later.
His products were beautiful; the smell, the detail and the finishing. They told us about the history, where the leather comes from, how everything is made and how much it sells for.
Listening to everything that he had to say, it became easier to put together a picture of what he needed .. this is the part when clients get excited about coming to see us; we make our promotional packaging work around the client. Everything possible, we can manufacture and incorporate into your packaging.
This client had no idea that we could make promotional carrier bags that look like ostrich leather. The embossed pattern, the rubbery feel of the leather and even the smell could be incorporated into his custom carrier bags.
We could re-create his wonderful brass metal eyelets that he had used on his wallets and purses and incorporate them into the carrier bag (where the handle threads through).
We could print his brand ethos onto tissue paper and supply it on rolls which could be used to pack and gift wrap his product.
We took into consideration his storage requirements, his pricing tickets, his dust bags and even his business cards.
In the end, he was more excited about the prospect of ordering printed carrier bags then the product itself.
Towards the end of the meeting it became clear to him that although he might not make money from his promotional carrier bags or packaging, it was a continuation of his brand and his service. When someone walks down the high street or sits on a train with one of his promotional bags it promotes his brand, and that could bring in that next big customer.
Even a company like Primark, known for producing incredibly cheap clothing, uses paper carrier bags even though plastic would be cheaper. Why? Paper is environmentally friendly and has more presence on the high street.
More luxurious shopping bags with rope or ribbon handles denote the quality of Gucci, Louis Vouitton, Burberry, Dior, and Versace who all invest incredible time and energy into their promotional carrier bags. Every detail is carefully considered to reflect the brand's perfectionist approach.
You may notice at sale time, the usual standard of carrier bag is often downgraded to a paper carrier bag or even a plastic carrier bag to make everyone aware that there is a sale on and things are cheaper.
Similarly, someone who purchases something more expensive or luxurious gets an upgraded carrier bag.
By making a re-usable carrier bag (eg. a conference bag or jute promotional bag) even the not-so-savvy consumer can be constantly reminded about your business, product or brand.
Any business that genuinely wants to build brand loyalty should take the opportunity to carefully consider what promotional bag they choose to represent their business.