Tote bags are experiencing an explosion in popularity at the moment, as their flexibility, robustness, and eco-friendliness drives a spike in demand among consumers. They’re also great for businesses, as branded tote bags become walking billboards and advertisements for your brand. Carried around during daily activities, they offer a longevity that is the envy of other forms of marketing.
What are the reasons that your business should invest in the creation and distribution of tote bags?
1. They’re cool and boost your customers’ status
Tote bags, much like handbags and other forms of fashion, are a status symbol, and if you come up with something cool and stylish, people are going to want to use them. Your choice of tote bag reflects who you are as a person; it indicates to the world a brand you support, an aesthetic that you find pleasing, or a way of seeing the world.
Carry around the New Yorker tote bag, and people know you’re a subscriber to one of the most prestigious, intellectual publications in America. Carry around a tote bag for your favourite bakery, and people know you have great taste in pastries. Lush Cosmetics here in Australia sold a “fighting animal testing” tote bag – use it and you show the world that you’re opposed to the inhumane treatment of animals in the development of cosmetics.
For businesses; if your brand stands for something, then by creating a tote bag that people want to use, you’re helping to deepen that brand perception every time they take the bag out.
2. They’re environmentally-friendly and used a lot
In Australia, the two main supermarkets – Coles and Woolworths – recently got rid of single use plastic bags. You can still get plastic bags at those outlets, but they’re now designed to be reused and cost a couple of coins – money that Australians would rather not spend. As a result, the tote bag has also become the shopping bag for many Australian families.
This is good for businesses for a couple of reasons. Firstly, by being associated with an environmental cause (you’re providing a bag that helps to get rid of plastic bags), your brand represents a growing social conscience around environmentalism and sustainability.
Equally importantly, everyone needs to shop, and they do so frequently. If your bag is carted down to the supermarket every week, that means that every week dozens of people – not just the bag’s owner – will see the logo and brand.
3. They’re durable
Tote bags are made of robust material (canvas) that’s designed to last and see everyday use. So much of marketing spend goes towards digital advertising, or advertising on television or inside newspapers and magazines. These forms of advertising are all seen once and then discarded (or removed from the screen). Tote bags, manufactured of the thick, robust material that they are, have a much longer shelf life than almost anything else you might stick your brand onto.
For brands, this has obvious benefits in that for every tote bag produced, the potential marketing reach of that bag is vastly larger, over a longer period of time, than the reach of a single instance of digital or television marketing.
4. They’re large
Tote bags need to be big enough to hold a fair share of things – be that papers, groceries, clothing, or whatever else the person wants to carry around. A small tote bag doesn’t store much at all, so it’s rare to have tote bags that aren’t of a significant minimum size.
That size benefits brands in a couple of ways; firstly, it allows the messaging to be seen from a longer distance. A booklet or leaflet is only visible to a person when they’re holding it. A tote bag is noticeable from a significant distance.
Secondly, it allows brands to fit a lot on the bag. Obviously, it’s important not to compromise the aesthetics or design of the bag, but you’re not restricted to a simple printing of a logo and some basic contact information that you generally will be with small format marketing.
5. They’re bags!
Stating the obvious to finish up, but tote bags are indeed bags, and that function, all in itself, is a big marketing opportunity. In other words, when you first give a person a tote bag, you can make sure there’s plenty of marketing material within it.
The tote bag becomes the marketing incentive, in other words. Say you’re at an event; with an attractive, aesthetically pleasing tote bag, you can better encourage people to take the bag, and if you’ve got plenty of information inside (product catalogue, contact details), the person in question is more likely to at least flick through it.
Another alternative is to put gifts inside the bag when sending off the end of year Christmas “thank you” to clients. The bottle of wine in the bag will be drunk and then (mostly) forgotten, but the bag will be used throughout the year as a nice gesture from your business.
All it takes to have a successful tote bag is to create something that people like carrying around. Hire a good designer to come up with a killer design that incorporates your brand and logo in some way, and you’ll have marketing collateral that will continue to prove its worth for years into the future.
Canvas tote bags are all the rage at the moment and are the perfect opportunity for you to promote your business without doing any work at all. Check out Dark Horse Print and Design for all your tote bag needs! For further information, contact us today.