From Carrier to Luggage: Promotional Bags and Their Place in the Brand

Different promotions have different requirements – which are why multiple types of the same item can have completely unrelated promotional effects. Some are intended to deliver one-time use; others to provide assistance that keep the target audience happy for years. Some may have a purely practical function, while others are meant to make people feel an emotional connection with the brand that has supplied them.

Promotional bags are an excellent way to examine the different uses to which a single type of item may be put, promotionally speaking. At one end of the spectrum, we have the branded carrier; and at the other, high quality luggage items.

Carrier bags fit loosely into a group of promotional items we would normally think of as throwaway: packaging. Clearly modern sensibilities require that packaging is recycled, which is all to the good: but it must be remembered, for the purposes of this discussion, that he actual functional use of a carrier bag or a box, in its first intended incarnation, only happens once. As soon as the original products have been removed from their packaging or bags, the designed function of those bags ceases to be.

Carrier bags are potentially the most ubiquitous of the promotional bags, and are exemplified by a range of materials and styles. In each case, it may be assumed that choice of material says something about the effect the owning brand desires to have on its audience, and the world around it.

A see through plastic carrier bag, for example, has a clear function: to let other people see what is inside. This is a method of advertising as old as the hills, and a hood one to boot.

The act of buying a product is an endorsement of that product. So companies that allow others to see what the bag holder has bought are pointing out that the bag holder endorses them, by choosing to use their products. Anyone else in the vicinity who has been thinking about buying something similar takes a natural interest in the contents of such a bag – and if the packaging is good enough, or the reputation of the brand is good enough, another potential sale has already been made.

Carrier bags may be used as powerful marketing tools where a brad’s reputation is already in the ascendant. If a brand has created a desirable aura around itself, then anyone seeing a person walking around with one of its carrier bags will feel the twinge of shopping envy all brand swish their logos could engender.

At the other end of the spectrum, luggage-style promotional bags perform a quite different function. They may either be given away, to make clients feel particularly special; or they may be used as prizes in return for loyalty coupons. A set of travelling luggage, for instance, which can be yours if you send of a specific number of ring pulls from a favourite drink, both instils feelings of gratitude and joy at having something “free”; and aligns tae drinks brand with the concepts of adventure and travel.

About the author: Tom Brown is a shopping blogger,He is a journalism graduate who has written more than hundreds of articles on various aspects of travel and shopping.