Designing the perfect branded reusable bag is a great move for your company, but how much does it really help you if you don’t buy quality in the first place?
If you guessed “not much,” gold star! You’re awesome and you just won yourself … well, you didn’t really win anything, actually. But we’re impressed with your guessing abilities, and that should make you feel good.
The trouble is, it’s hard to spot quality and easy to be duped by products that look like they’ll withstand the test of time, but instead fall apart the first time you try to carry a few wine bottles or pickle jars. And that’s no good, because when your bags fall apart on customers, you do them – and your brand – a disservice.
There’s one obvious solution, and if you guessed that it’s “don’t buy crummy bags,” you’re awesome. Again, you don’t win anything, other than this opportunity to spot and steer clear of products that won’t improve your bottom line.
Congratulations. Let’s get started.
Pay Attention to Materials
Materials are big. Many bags on the market today confine you to only a few materials. While there’s nothing wrong with Kraft paper or polyester, these shouldn’t be your only choices. If they are, that should indicate to you that the company doesn’t take its work very seriously.
What do you want to see? A wide range of materials, indicating that the bag manufacturer is a serious enough company to purchase the best fabrics and papers for the job. Look for paper bags, laminated bags, non-woven bags, insulated coolers and bags, vinyl bags, woven poly bags, post-consumer recycled content and more.
Each of these has its own selling points, which a good company will be able to explain to you if you ask.
How annoying is a product that doesn’t work as intended? Answer: very annoying. If you want to avoid this problem, you should vet products carefully before you buy them. Look for companies in general, and bags specifically, that have good reviews. That should tell you whether or not the bag accomplishes its intended purpose.
Screen Printing and Foil Stamping
Screen printing and foil stamping are among the printing processes with the nicest results. Companies that offer a cheap sticker-esque printing process just make you look bad. If you want to impress your customers now and, more importantly, in the future as they continue to use your bag, don’t skimp on this step.
What’s the difference between foil stamping and screen printing? Foil stamping uses the application of a hot implement to adhere foil to a surface. It ensures that the stamp stays on for the long haul. On the other hand, screen printing uses a stencil to apply color through a screen. The result is a very neat, precise pattern. If your prospective bag company doesn’t use top-quality processes such as these, that’s not a good sign.
Check Handle Strength
Before you opt for a bag, ask about the handles. We probably don’t need to tell you that the handles … wait for it … are how people hold the bag up. If they’re structurally weak, you are compromising the entire bag experience for your clients and customers.
Before you purchase, therefore, it’s critical that you ask about the handles. What are they made of? How are they attached? Can the company explain their process to you? Do they bristle at the questions? How much weight can it bear, say in bottles? You shouldn’t have a problem getting answers to these questions, and if you do, walk away.
It’s not always enough to print a single color on a monochrome background. Sometimes you want a bright and vibrant logo to really help your business stand out. When that’s the case, you need a company that can help you out.
Quality bag manufacturers will offer full-color printing to make your logo shine. In addition to enabling multicolor printing, they should help you assess the quality of your logo design beforehand, offering advice about how it will look when it comes out.
A quality reusable bag is not the cheapest on the market. While there’s nothing wrong with a good deal, rock-bottom prices are more indicative of shoddy work than they are of a good business model. Talk to your bag supplier to find out how much they charge, then compare to a few other companies. You want to find prices that are somewhere in the middle.
Do note that quality reusable bag purveyors should offer a range of prices to accommodate all needs. If you’re just starting out and want a good product at a price you can afford, they should be able to work with you. On the other hand, if you want a Cadillac bag, they should have some high-end options as well. The secret is to talk to them and find out more.
Any company that immediately okays your artwork should cause immediate suspicion. Unless you’re a professional designer, it’s possible you could make a mistake with the file size, resolution or other aspects of the artwork. Even the pros sometimes make mistakes, or create files that don’t match up with the bag company’s printing process. That’s no good.
You’ll know you’re working with a quality supplier if they proof your artwork. While it might be annoying to get questions from an in-house artwork proofer or designer, take that as a good sign. That’s a company that cares about your final product, and isn’t just here to take the money and run. (There’s a song about that, isn’t there?)
Good Customer Service
It doesn’t matter how nice the materials are; if a company won’t pick up the phone, then you’re putting yourself and your brand in jeopardy. Let’s say you place the wrong order or select the wrong color for your logo. If you can’t get ahold of a customer service representative to explain the problem, you’re stuck with that purchase, even though it might not serve you.
Before you buy, call the company a few times. Even if they don’t pick up right away, they should call you back within a few hours – a day at most. If they don’t respond quickly via phone or email, don’t take the chance. That’s just asking to make an expensive mistake that could be avoided by working with a responsive and honorable company.
Once you have those quality reusable grocery bags, it’s time to make the most of them. Obviously the best thing to do is to use them to promote your brand. Perhaps that means bringing them to a conference or trade show, or maybe it means serving up wine and beer to your favorite shoppers.
Whatever the case, we invite you to get in touch with us today and learn more, or get a free quote so you can start the process right away. It’s time to brand, friend, and nothing will do that more effectively than a quality bag with a beautifully printed logo that makes your business shine.