Using promotional bags as a branding and marketing tool for your business is an excellent strategy, and a cornerstone of advertising for many retail businesses. But it isn’t only retail stores that can use these long-lasting, high-quality advertising methods in their business. “But I don’t give my customers things in bags”, we often hear.
However, even businesses that are purely service-based have plenty of opportunity to use promotional bags as part of the marketing mix! We look at six strategies that non-retail businesses can use to promote themselves with green bags.
Sponsoring a sports team by providing their bags
Choose a local sports team, and you can both market yourself and help out the community by providing promotional bags for them to use as sports bags (with your design and logo), free of charge. This concept works with a huge range of different sports – just about every player needs to bring a uniform, shoes, a hat or other accessories with them to training or matches.
Leverage the cost effectiveness of buying bags in bulk – you may even be able to sponsor more than one team, further spreading the word about your business and building community credibility, for little more than the price of sponsoring one.
Donating them to a local library
Libraries and their patrons both have an interest in keeping books dry and clean – and you have an interest in building awareness of your business, using library bags! This is a win-win situation. While libraries are sponsored by local government, they are rarely well-funded, and would certainly appreciate a donation of library bags that they can give out to their patrons. If the target market for your business includes children, parents or students, this is an especially worthwhile exercise.
Donating them to a school
Kids will usually have their own school bags, but a local school should be able to make use of your promotional bags as in-school library bags. Be aware that some school in heavy rainfall areas require that library bags be waterproof – you may need to choose a waterproof fabric if this is the case. Again, if your target market includes children and their parents, this is a great branding strategy.
Give them away as literature holders at trade shows
If you’re in B2B operations, you probably spend a fair bit of time at trade shows. You probably also know what a pain it is to carry all those brochures around for hours, from stall to stall! You don’t need to make a huge investment in promotional bags if you’ll be giving them away for this purpose – thin, light fabric will be fine. However, being both on the bag, and in the bag could be a great way to break through the marketing noise and end up in front of your prospects’ minds.
Partner up with a local retail business
Your business might not put products in bags – but do you have a supplier, agent, or trade partner that does? See if you can partner up with a complementary, but not competing business in your local area. Collaborate on the design, and share the marketing space on the promotional bag. You may even be able to work with more than one business to create a shopping network.
Create a highly useable and desirable design, and sell the bags
In many ways, this can be better marketing than simply giving the environmental bags away. People value things that they have bought more than things which they have acquired for free, and are more likely to keep your bag long term. Of course, the downside is that people don’t usually buy products that are marketing-heavy, unless your brand is a status symbol in itself (think Roxy, Billabong, Cat, etc). You’ll need to keep the branding light, and hire a professional designer.