Bags of Ideas

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July 2019

notes about totes

Notes about Totes: What’s your Bag?

Notes about Totes: What’s your Bag? Posted on July 26, 2019 at 11:30 PM What’s in a name? As far as bags go, quite a bit. This blog is going to try to cut through the confusion over the many different types of bags on offer at Bags of Ideas and help you to make a better informed choice for your next promotional giveaway. Just few weeks ago in an article on promotional conference bags, we highlighted the many variations of the names for the same promotional article, among them “messenger bag”, “document wallet” and “conference folder”. This diversity can cause confusion. You may know, or may not, that one of the UK’s biggest selling promotional carrier is the “cotton shopper”, but what does that actually mean? You may know it as a cotton shoulder bag, a “bag for life” or even a canvas tote, and the variations don’t end there. What would you expect for the country’s most popular printed promotional product? So we’re going to delve deep into the bag for life, clear out the unnecessary technical jargon, and make sure that whatever branded bag is over your shoulder, you’re confident about its name. Plus, we will look into why this style of bag is so popular, from small-scale projects, to mass marketing. Tot-ally Awesome Let’s start with the “tote”. The textbook description of a promotional tote is that it is an open top bag, with parallel handles, generally made from cloth/canvas material – most commonly associated with the reusable shopping bag. Its purpose, says the definition, is to carry “a ton of stuff”. Tote is actually a 17th word for “carry”, but the design first came to prominence in 40s America where outdoors store L.L. Bean introduced an “ice carrier” looking remarkably similar to the modern Tote. By the 50s, the iconic design had become a mainstay for housewives going about their daily chores, including the shopping. In the 1960s, L.L. Bean revisited their “ice carrier” and released a canvas fashion bag which they called the “Boat Bag”, and it’s still being produced today with its distinctive colour trim. The bottom line here is, there are numerous bags, all similar in purpose, with differing names. Understanding this diversity can help you find the right bag for your next promotional campaign. Making your Bag-for-Life Easier At Bags of Ideas, we understand that one person’s cotton shopper, is another’s shoulder tote – and for this reason, we have developed an intelligent product category structure, allowing buyers to find what they are looking for regardless of the name they know it by. We use multiple categories with product overlap. Take for example our Paka Cotton Shopper which can be found in our Cotton and Canvas, Eco and Shoppers and Totes sections. So no matter what you call it, you can find it. Shopping Wisely Now we all understand that totes are no different to shoppers, let’s look at what bags we should sling over our shoulders and why. Shoppers work for every budget, whether it’s high-quality, heavy-duty canvas, or strong, but lightweight and low cost non-woven polypropylene, we can get a bag worth of your brand! Previously we’ve focused on the uses of shoppers and totes as promotional marketing tools. This time we’ll focus on the budget elements, the idea being to showcase a range of products that can work to promote your company, despite financial constraints. Bags on a Budget To kick things off let’s look at a select few satchels that are well within even the smallest of marketing budgets. As a result of their popularity as promotional tools, stock items are mass-produced, leading to economies of scale – a good product for a low price, without the need to purchase large quantities. The bags featured here have numerous benefits; the first being a low price per unit, and a large, pantone matched screen print. On top of that, all are available with low MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities) of 50 to 100. The icing on the cake is the huge range of available colours for each bag from stock. In short, you can have your logo printed on to one of these stock totes with a complimentary base colour, delivered to your event in as little as 5 days. Non-Woven Tote Non-Woven Tote Value Non-Woven Shopper These can be described as simple, or basic shopper bags – long handles, large print area, and a durable material. The next step up in the range are similar in design, but have improvements such as heavier canvas, the addition of a gusset, or eco-friendly jute being used as the core material. Considering a “tote” by definition, these will hold more, and in some cases last for longer because of the more hardwearing materials used. The bags below also benefit from low MOQs but as a promo have more perceived value if given away, or guarantee a higher retail price if sold. 10oz Canvas Shopper Rainham Tote Bag Market Jute Shopper If you want to make a bigger impression, there are better featured styles which are still more than affordable but will promote an image of quality and luxury to the consumer. Our examples have that extra flare sought by the fashion-consciou, such as coloured handles or trims, side pockets, and more comfortable straps. The combination of canvas and jute is not only on-trend, but also hardwearing, guaranteeing re-use, and increasing brand visibility. Kuku Cotton Shopper Bag Funo Jute Shopper Bag Choroa Non-woven Shopper Bag All the bags in this blog are “off the shelf” tote bags, shoppers, bags for life. Different names aside, this style of bag has to be one of the most affordable branded marketing tools there is; whether you choose a mini tote, or a large canvas shoulder bag for your next trade show, what is guaranteed is value for money within this range. There is always a canvas or non-woven shopper bag that fits within your budget, and also passes on value to the end recipients far in excess of the cost.

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laptop rucksack

Why a Laptop Rucksack is More Than Back to Basics

Why Laptop Rucksacks Are More Than Back to Basics Posted on July 16, 2019 at 2:30 PM Almost everyone has a laptop these days, so it’s no surprise that demand for suitable luggage has soared. Whether printed with a logo or plain, a good bag is essential to hold what is for the majority of us, their most valuable piece of tech, securely and comfortably. Whether it’s commuting to work, going to study, or travelling for the weekend, the personal computer tends to go with us. Historically, people have tended to use the shoulder style bag, made from water-resistant material and able to house a 15.6 inch laptop, plus essential accessories. Though a messenger-style branded laptop bag still has its place, consumer needs have changed a bit, and at Bags of Ideas we’ve noticed an uptick in demand for larger carriers, such as rucksacks and backpacks designed for laptops. While the appearance of a laptop bag is important – especially for a promotional product – comfort is also extremely important. And looks aren’t always skin deep: how tempting does it look to would-be thieves? We’re going to look at the reasons for the shift in demand towards rucksacks. We’ll also highlight some of the benefits of a larger backpack style, whether you’re supplying as a gift to your staff or pupils. Plus we’ll also delve into some of the features that now make rucksacks most people’s carrier of choice. From one Strap to Two Over time, not only are more and more people carrying a laptop around every day, they are carrying more and more personal items too, from cosmetics and comfort items to usb leads, chargers and accessories. Studies show that heavy single-strap shoulder style bags can cause physical damage to muscles and tendons, resulting in aches and pains and it’s clear this is one of the biggest reasons for the shift – especially for business travel. Backpack rucksacks are the logical alternative, allowing a safer balance and distribution of weight across both shoulders. For occasional use, a cross-body shoulder strap may not be an issue but for those regularly commuting with a heavy load, an ergonomic rucksack with adjustable padded straps and support ensures they remain without pain. Space requirements More items need more space. With business travel sometimes taking days at a time, the traditional shoulder laptop bag simply doesn’t have the necessary room for all your stuff. Laptop rucksacks are built with this in mind. The latest promotional backpacks not allow for a laptop, but also a laptop tablet such as an iPad pro, folders and clothes. The outside may also feature front pocket or a pouch for a water bottle to keep hydrated. “ If you really wanted to push the boat out with luxury features, some hi-spec rucksack laptop bags now come with built in power banks featuring usb charging ports for keeping phones topped up, and even built-in tablet bags. Below we’ve picked out some popular laptop backpack examples from our range, highlighting the features available. Berlin Rucksack Macau Laptop Bag Jaunt 15.6 Safety is Key Another reason for the shift to rucksacks is security. We’ve all heard the stories of someone having their phone taken while on public transport, despite it being zipped away. With many of the branded laptop carriers now available, feature anti-theft security as the norm, allowing peace of mind while squeezed on to busy trains or buses. From zipped pockets to hidden pouches – as well as anti-slash material – the possibilities are almost endless. We focused on secure bags in a previous blog, and listed bags that ensured contents are secure, whether on a busy Tube train, or at your local coffee shop, and below we’ve picked out a couple of our favourite laptop cases that ensure your belongings are safe. Milano Rucksack Bobby Ant-Theft i-Stay Rucksack Advertising Potential When branding any type of bag, one key objective is visibility. We believe that the impact of a rucksack – whether as a gift to top customers, students or employees – will be greater than any messenger-style bag, simply because of the way it’s worn. Messenger bags almost always display the brand on the side, at waist height. In some cases, if the bag is the wrong way round, it probably wouldn’t be visible at all. A laptop rucksack guarantees visibility at all times, and at around eye level. This makes the amount of impressions and brand awareness much higher than cross body options. Longevity Our research also shows that, despite build quality on the shoulder style bags being as good as rucksacks, their lifespan tends to be shorter. This is because of the way they’re worn, and the load distribution. Where a backpack has two straps to divide the weight, and has very little movement while in use, the cross-body bag bears all the weight on the single strap. Plus while being used, the shoulder bag itself suffers from movement – at a brisk walking pace the bag tends to swing, and bang against the user, putting increased stress on the seams. Of course, the value of any promotional product is directly connected to the life of the item. If it wears out, or if it creates a bad user experience, it’s days are numbered. Staff Research shows first impressions are everything when it comes to sales. For this reason many organisations now use branded laptop rucksacks as a sales tool for their marketing staff. A high-quality feature-packed backpack, bearing your company logo, sends strong signals to prospective clients. It suggests financial stability, sure, but it also stresses the importance of your brand image. There’s also the benefit of your brand travelling in high visibility, wherever your staff go. Advertising aside, it also promotes staff moral. Investing in your staff creates trust between employer and employee. That boosts morale and productivity. As a promotional Tool So what are the benefits of using a laptop rucksack as a marketing tool. Promotional bags rightly have the image of being a low-cost

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Cooler Bags are a Hot Item at the Festival

Cooler Bags are a Hot Item at the Festival

Cooler Bags are a Hot Item at the Festival Posted on July 10, 2019 at 12:30 PM With the summer season in full swing , we thought we should highlight a promotional product that will help you keep your cool. We’ve covered summer bags before and while cooler bags may seem to have seasonal restrictions, they can still effectively promote your brand all year round. Insulated cooler bags differ from a lot of promotional carriers in the way that they offer opportunity. Where a standard shopper might be given away at trade fairs and shows, cooler bags lend themselves to other forms of distribution. At your next trade show, why not hand out a branded cool bag with a shoulder strap to customers and prospects, and maybe throw in a printed bottle opener. . A soft cooler bag is best used for “in-the-moment” marketing – giving the customer an insulated lunch cooler bag, when and where they need it. If you’re a festival organiser, or even a retailer at a festival bar or ice cream stand, there is huge opportunity. Why not add a tote cooler bag bearing your logo to your festival kit, in place of the normal cotton or canvas shopper bag. This way festival-goers not only get a bag to help them keep their stuff together through the day, they also have somewhere to keep their food and drink cool in the heat of the day. The perceived value of such a gift – and thereby the boost to the visibility your brand – is huge. A Multi-Purpose Giveaway And when it’s all over, you can then benefit from the hundreds or thousands of people leaving the site with your cooler bag in hand carrying your brand far and wide. Not only will the festival-goer feel they have been given a great gift, others will think the same: “What a great idea – a free cool bag at a festival?” It’s also worth remembering that while we’re talking about cooler bags, what we actually mean are insulated lunch bags – they can be used to keep hot food warm too The If budget doesn’t allow for handing out cooler bags to all and sundry, why not incentivise attendees by offering a free bag with the purchase of a festival program? This way, the cost of the programme could cover the cool bag too. The festival-goer will reckon they’ve bagged a great deal, you won’t overspend your marketing budget, and your message gets a boost. Alternatively, you could offer something like a wine cooler bag when someone buys a certain number of drinks at the bar. For example, purchase six beers, get a free promotional cooler bag. If you’re selling your drinks in cans, this will go down particularly well because it means they can keep their purchases cooler for that bit longer. Especially important if there’s a hefty queue for the next round. Ultimately, you can simply sell branded cooler bags to attendees alongside other branded goods, perhaps featuring more elaborate high quality full colour designs, for customers to use on the day and take away as a souvenir. At Bags of Ideas, we have dozens of styles of insulated bags, of different styles, qualities and specifications. Some will keep wine cool for after-work picnics in the park, or keep sausages safe for breakfast on day three of the family camping trip to the New Forest. Meeting all Requirements There’s also size. We range from the “I need a lunch box that will keep my pie warm until midday” to the “I want all our beers to be cold at midnight on day one of the festival”. Not least is the question of comfort. Will it be carried a long way? And is it comfortable to carry fully loaded? We have a range of styles for that too. All these features have cost implications, which you need to consider. As always, our expert customer service team are here to help. Why not drop us a line to discuss your requirements? Away from the festival sites, there are still plenty of opportunities to utilise promo cooler bags in your marketing campaigns, such as branded cooler tote bags, which almost everyone has to enable them to bring frozen food back from the local supermarket.Why not offer a free branded cooler with a purchase of chilled or frozen foods such as bottled water, ice creams or pizza. For example, an end-of-isle stack of your product – lets say soft drinks – announces that buying 12 cans gets the customer a free cooler bag. This not only encourages an above-average purchase, but also add value to your brand as you’re being seen to offer a useful item to the consumer. As a general retailer you might extend the offer beyond a single product, perhaps giving an insulated shopping bag to customers who spend above a certain threshold. You might ever do it in tiers – £50 gets a small 6 can leak-proof cooler, £100 gets a large 12 can cooler, £150 gets a massive 50 can cooler. Bags like this are used all year round for the weekly shop. Going further still, you could add the incentive to your customer loyalty scheme. Budget Non-Woven Cooler Bag Rainham 12 Can Cooler Bag 50 Can Cooler Bag A Wider Offering An offer like this doesn’t have to be limited to food retail either – there’s no reason why high street stores couldn’t encourage consumer spending by offering a free branded cooler bag. The gift will be well received, and is perfect for use on a sunny day for picnics in the country or trips to the beach, all the time promoting your company. Offering branded lunch coolers, or picnic kits as gifts to customers can go far in maintaining customer loyalty. Firstly, a gift like this helps your organization to be remembered. Secondly, the usefulness and value of the product ensures you’re seen in good sun light. The bottom line is, though cooler bags are a

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Why are UK businesses drawn to Drawstring Bags?

Why are UK businesses drawn to Drawstring Bags?

Why UK businesses drawn to Drawstring Bags? Posted on July 2, 2019 at 2:30 PM At Bags of Ideas we pride ourselves on our expertise and knowledge Our blogs aim to provide customers and readers with up-to-date information to make sure they choose the right branded tote. But the other day, it dawned on us that while seeking to focus on the latest market trends, we’ve neglected the timeless classics that are guaranteed winners at trade shows and beyond and, hands down, still remain the most popular promotional items. So today we’re looking at a sure fire promo merch winner – cheap drawstring bags. Why are drawstring backpacks still one of the best-selling designs, year after year? And why do so many brands opt for them over other bags such as canvas totes? We’ll also show how the product has evolved over time, from a simple, low cost and very effective polyester plastic drawstring bags to a more feature-packed package, including eco-friendly and bespoke options. In most cases, promotional drawstring bags are simple rucksack with cord or string shoulder straps which also double up as the closing mechanism at the top. The simple reason for their popularity is practicality and versatility, which stretches beyond the use as a promo giveaway. Walk into any sports or luggage shop and you’ll see tons of them on the racks, just like 25 years ago. The simple design and construction makes them cheap compared to other promo items, and very popular for large advertising campaigns, where huge numbers of printed backpacks are required. The flat construction, with a large promotional blank area also makes them perfect for printing, allowing big, bold designs with great results. The polyester construction also allows for great colour choice with little or no difference in unit price, meaning that you can match your brand Pantone with relative ease. More importantly, they can be used effectively in lots of situations and industries. Where a beach bag might have its limitations, the drawstring rucksack does not. Whether you are in the education or construction industry, it is a bag that can be utilised. We thought the best way to show the wide range of uses is to give examples of where they’re employed, and how they’re used in each case. Charities Charities are among the biggest uses of drawstring rucksacks, particularly at large open-air events such as sponsored runs, festivals, sporting events, and the rest. Of course, cost is a major factor for charities and drawstring rucksacks always allow non-profits to stay within their budgets. On top of that, they are ideal to hold other promotional products like travel mugs without spillage. But the biggest benefit is mobility: in a 5K run or half marathon participants can run with the bag on the back as though it wasn’t there, whether it is holding a sweat towel, or a bottle of water. Rucksacks are unobtrusive, carrying the essentials – as well as your brand. Schools Many schools now enhance their local image with branding beyond uniforms. Drawstring rucksacks are great for this. For primary school kids, they can hold all that’s needed for the school day, while in secondary schools they are a great choice as a gym bag or a lunch carrier. Trade shows We’ve looked at trade shows in earlier blogs, where we drew conclusions regarding the bag of choice (large, strong shoppers). Essentially, everyone at a trade show is vying to have the best bag for the day, so at the very least it goes home with the consumer and is reused. But this competition is based on consumers only using their hands. The printed drawstring bag is the exception to this rule. Offering a drawstring rucksack can prove to be a winner; as on the day, it can be worn with ease, and if you have provided a high quality printed bag, it will certainly be taken home. Trade shows are actually one of the places where polyester backpacks with their large print area are not widely used, so it could be a tactical advantage to improve visibility on the day as well as beyond. Construction/Onsite Another area where drawstring bags have proven popular is construction or warehouses, where they are employed by staff to carry personal items and lunch. All these scenarios have the added benefit of usage away from the workplace: they get used in day-to-day life, be it as a canvas drawstring gym sack, or a tote bag for a day at the park, raising your brand visibility. Product Evolution Over time, the drawstring rucksack has evolved in many ways, ensuring its popularity in the promotional market remains. Today the options available stretch further than choice of colour, to the material – for example cotton canvas or the better quality 100 cotton. In the case of a bag, size can be important, as can the eco credentials and the branding possibilities. Below we’ve selected some product variations to highlight why this drawstring rucksacks remain one of the best selling promotional bags out there. Eco-Drawstring In previous blogs we have looked at why businesses need to make the shift away from disposable plastic bags, wholesale. To meet a growing demand from Eco-conscious organisations, the classic cotton drawstring bag is an obvious and ideal choice. Punda Cotton Drawstring Bag Rpet Drawstring Backpack Increased Practicallity Times change, so do demands. The simple plastic drawstring may still be effective but some marketing campaigns need that little bit extra. The addition of extra features like pockets & pouches, multi-colour designs and transparent materials has increased appeal. With more on-trend designs now readily available “off the shelf” you main now have to go down the bespoke route to find the perfect option. The way they’re made has also advanced in such a way that 100% full colour design can achieved without having to venture to the Far East, and that means you don’t have to plan six to nine months to be as creative as you want. Shoop Draw String Peek Drawstring Rucksack Daffy Non-Woven

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