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From pouch to pocket: inside guide to promotional bags

Posted on September 2, 2019 at 11:40 PM

A selection of promotional bags


Over the past few months at Bags of Ideas, we’ve blogged extensively and in detail about specific bag types, as well as marketing techniques and opportunities

Now we want to take a different approach. Rather than show just how a cooler bag sporting your Brand logo can be a winner in the summer, or how moving from plastic carriers to paper gift bags can improve your Brand image, we’re going to focus on the whole concept of branded bag marketing.

Why, where, when and how can you – a business or organisation that wants to promote itself – make best use of a promotional bag.

And we’ll answer the question: Are there real benefits to using promotional merchandise in your marketing strategy?

More importantly, why choose bags over the other options available?

At Bags of Ideas we know that promotional merchandise works, and that promo bags are by far the most effective tool to drive Brand-awareness and conversions.

If you’re going to put your Brand on something, the best thing you can do is to choose a bag to carry your message far and wide.

But we’re also going to cover the process involved for campaign planning. You may think you know the benefits of branded shoppers, but how do you move a concept to reality, efficiently?

Not only do we pride ourselves on our unrivalled product knowledge and affordable pricing, we also have the customer service and flexibility to adapt to each and every individual business need, because every customer is different.

Promo merchandise can be divided into two markets

1 Off-the-shelf products, after-printed with your logo
2 Bespoke bags, designed and made to measure.


Off-the-shelf is highly competitive among suppliers, because you, the customer, can buy the same printed cotton shopper from us as easily as anyone else. We hope to show that you can have the highest confidence in choosing Bags of Ideas for your off-the-shelf campaign bag – not necessarily because we provide a superior product (which we do), but because we deliver them well.

Bespoke bags are a whole other ball game, and for this reason we’re devoting a follow-on blog looking at the process of designing and producing a customised promotional bag, and the support and service we provide to ensure you get what you want, and what you need.

Back to Basics

Studies suggest there are five key reasons for using branded products (including bags).

1 Compared to other marketing tools, the unit cost is low, potentially giving a better Return on Investment.
2 They produce instant brand recognition. From the minute it’s in the hands of the consumer, it’s working.
3 There is opportunity for greater exposure, at no extra cost. Promotional products travel, and are seen by more than just the recipient
4 They can be your business card and be more effective in the process. Your web address on a mug might be seen multiple times daily, but how many times would a business card do likewise?
5 They promote customer loyalty. The recipient of promotional merchandise appreciates (if chosen well) the products they receive, sending positive signals about your business, increasing confidence, and helping to ensure repeat orders.


Promotional bags score particularly highly on point 3 – the opportunity for brand exposure is far greater than any other promotional item because they are reused and taken out of the confines of the workplace or home.

A bag bearing your logo could end up travelling the world, visible to everyone the user passes. In contrast, 99% of the time, a printed mug, pen or notebook (inside the bag) is only visible to the user.

For greater detail on the benefits of promotional bags, look back at our blog "Let's benefit from promotional bags".

Order Process

With any marketing campaign, planning is just as important as the concept you want to promote.

Bags of Ideas knows it’s imperative to have all elements in place for your launch date, be it for a one-off event, or an on-going campaign.

There are a number of procedures involved in the ordering process. They include design, proofing, and perhaps pre-productions samples to mitigate the risk of mistakes, all of which help make your campaign planning run smoothly.

These five steps should help you plan your next promotion most efficiently …

1 Product Selection – This can be done quickly but it’s important that you know exactly what you want to print on. Having your design ready helps us to help you select the best bag to accommodate your vision.
2 Quoting and Order Placement – Having chosen the right platform, and being assured that it works with your logo, you can choose your quantity. As with all products, economies of scale mean discounts for bulk orders – the higher the quantity, the lower the unit cost.
3 Visual Proofs – Once the order is finalised, we create artwork showing you how the finished bag will look. Sometimes this is done earlier, but we always send a final proof, and only proceed when you’re happy with the result.
4 Production – Times can vary depending on the final quantity of bags and the colours being printed, but we will always supply a reliable expected delivery date.
5 Delivery – Once production is complete, we provide a supply schedule and tracking details, meaning that you can actively monitor arrival.


Of course, times can vary, and late changes in design or product can send everything back to stage one, but BoI’s expert in-house team based in North London have the training and experience to make the process as painless as possible.

Remember, if you have a strict deadline, please make us aware to ensure we help you to choose a product that can be delivered on time.

Things to consider

Minimum Order Quantity – also known as MOQs – are in place on all product lines (depending on the unit cost) and vary from one to 1,000 units. Generally, the lower the cost of the bag, the higher the MOQ tends to be. Bags of Ideas will always be upfront and honest about the service we deliver. That means that if the fixed costs and production time of, for example, five printed cotton shoppers, is more affordable via high-street printing, we will tell you so, and even recommend a supplier.

Setup/Screen Charges – screen-printing always involves a set-up charge. As we explained in our blog All you Need to Know About Promo Prints, while the results are unmatched by almost any other process, creating a screen involves lengthy and skilled work. On a small order, this may push the overall unit cost beyond affordability; however, the benefits are that once the screen is made, it can be re-used to order the same bags again and again, with no further design costs.

Bags of Ideas are the specialists in delivering Branded promotional bags – be it paper “kraft” bags, plastic carriers or canvas totes; it’s what we do. And we also pride ourselves in offering the service needed to get your bags delivered in the most efficient way.

Whether you’re raring to go, with artwork ready to print, or need help with every aspect of the process, including product suggestions and design ideas, our experience and expertise ensures a hassle-free relationship.


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  • With over 40 years of experience within the promotional merchandise industry we realised that the sale of promotional bags made up the largest part of the market – whether it be Polythene carriers, or bespoke rucksacks...
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