With the festive season pretty much upon us, and the Christmas isles appearing a supermarket near you, it's time to focus again on a bag that defines the holiday – the Jute tote.
Seriously? Yes. No doubt at the end of every isle and by each cashier there'll be a selection of jute shoppers on sale, printed with Festive themes.
While we've looked at the benefits of Jute bags before, we're going to touch on the seasonal pros of choosing jute bags, even when the tinsel is packed away again for another year and sprouts are just a fond memory.
Plus, we're going to look at why we think the jute shopper is a favourite for supermarkets and shoppers at this time of year, and how companies running seasonal events could benefit from using them.
As we've been looking at the green side the promotional marketing recently, we thought we should touch on this. As with all totes, such as canvas, cotton and non-woven, jute shoppers can add eco credential to your business.
In terms of carbon offsets, Jute is up there with cotton and canvas carriers, simply because they require the most amount of re-use to become green.
But Jute bags are generally the most robust style, and most suited to day-to-day use – trips to the shops, etc., meaning they're most likely to reach that eco-friendly milestone.
Jute for Christmas
Jute carriers are a Christmas favourite for two reasons. One is their robustness – as just mentioned. Their rigid nature makes them easy to pack, and their strong build and solid rope handles makes them ideal for heavy loads, such as the wine and beer selection. Well, Christmas is not just for kids.
And doesn't the rustic look of the jute material scream Christmas? They have a hamper-esque aura about them that signifies the Season to be Jolly.
But what if you don't work in retail? Fear not, simply because you are not selling festive food, doesn't mean you cannot take advantage of consumer behaviour.
If you have events planned – trade shows or conferences in the lead up to Christmas – choosing a Jute shopper over a more traditionial promotional bag might help you get a better return from your marketing investment, especially during the festive season.
At this time of year, consumers generally spend huge amounts on Jute bags from retail stores – these bags are printed with a Christmassy design, most often incorporating the store's logo. In essence, consumers are paying to advertise where they shop – similar to plastic bags – which now are subject to the bag tax.
If you have an event planned, where you will be providing a bag to the attendees with your logo printed, you are in a strong position. Offering a bag for free, that consumers would generally be purchasing around this time of year, guarantees a better chance of re-use, leading to brand visibility and increased awareness.
Of course, to get the best from your tote at this time of year it's not just as simple as choosing a cheapest Jute bag you can find. It's also about the design.
Size is Everything
In the run up to Christmas, people will not only be shopping a lot, they'll be buying much more than normal. For this reason, you need to choose a bag style that's suitable for the "Big Shop".
Of course, you shouldn't go over the top, a Santa satchel may not be necessary, but think about how it will be used during this period. For a start, you should immediately rule out anything without a gusset.
The build is also important: you need to be giving away something built for the Christmas mayhem. Solid handles that will not only take the weight but won't cut into the fingers. At Christmas time there's not much benefit in long handled bags, which make it difficult to carry a second – or fifth – bag. Opt for short handles.
The best test of durability is to get a sample. At Bags of Ideas, we are more than happy to send out totes in the post so you can check if they're up to the job.
We also believe, that to get the best from a bag – and to exploit the festive season to its fullest extent – the design you print on the bag is essential. You certainly need to promote your brand – the logo needs to be noticeable in normal use, but over the festive season you must also appeal to consumer sentiment, which is focussed on the Christmas spirit. Lastly, remember also that you really want this bag to be used after the holiday season.
With these three points in mind, we recommend creating a design incorporating your logo that firstly stands out but does not include typical Christmas images, such as trees, Santa etc. Instead, go for a more neutral design, using the colours of Christmas – Red and Green. Keeping the colours will encourage people to use the bag during and after the festivities.
Studies of consumer behaviour show items of clothing and accessories – including bags –with clear Christmas messages, fall out of use immediately after December 25. Therefore, to get the best from your promotional campaign, your design should be something people see suitable to use after Christmas Day, essentially non-season specific.
This process may seem straightforward, but it can be a tricky concept to finalise. At Bags of Ideas, we not only like to provide information to assist, but we have a team that can also help create a concept based on strategies we believe in.
If you need help choosing the right jute shopper, or designing the artwork that will ensure your brand is on show all year round, we're here to help.