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Make the Perfect Gift Basket with a Reusable Bag

If you run a business, you know that you’re not alone in its success. Your business depends on a huge range of people, from clients and customers to business partners and employees. Each prospect you speak with, vendor you work with or family member who supports you along the way is a tiny (or huge) piece of the puzzle.

Naturally, that means you should make sure they feel special if you want that support to continue. How, you’re wondering? Excellent question.

Gift baskets are pretty much everyone’s favorite. Turns out, you can kill two birds with one stone by creating the world’s best thank you and getting more brand impressions at the same time. Sound mercenary? We don’t think so. Your special people want you to succeed just as much as you want to, which is why they’ve done so much already. So keep that good juju going with branded bags full of goodies, which in turn build your biz and allow you to give even more gift baskets.

Now that’s what we call a virtuous cycle. Here’s how it’s done.

Why Reusable Bags as Gift Baskets?

So why use a reusable bag as your gift vehicle? First and foremost, unlike a basket, bags have obvious reuse applications. Baskets may be useful, if your client wants to, say, stack blankets in them or use them for Easter. If you head to your nearest Good Will, though, you’re bound to see a lot of baskets – many of them left over from holiday or anniversary gifting.

That’s because baskets have lots of factors working against them. They don’t fold up small. They don’t work for groceries. They have to be stored somewhere, or take up space in a room. Hence, even the small ones eventually make their way to donation centers, or worse, landfills.

Bags, on the other hand, are super eco-friendly. Not only do you avoid The Basket Conundrum, bags help to keep other wasteful products out of the world.

As you can see, plastic is extremely problematic, while paper isn’t as green as we might like to think [link to paper bag post I just wrote if you want to]. Reusable bags not only avoid adding to the waste clogging up our planet, they help reduce it by providing an excellent option.

What Role Does Branding Play?

Branding is a close second when it comes to reason to choose reusable bags over baskets. Believe it or not, branded bags are among the most-viewed advertising vehicles. They outrank a number of supposedly effective approaches by a good bit. For instance, billboards receive 500 brand impressions per dollar, while primetime cable generates 200 and radio generates a mere 17. Others include:

  • Magazines: 22
  • Newspapers: 34
  • Shirts: 200
  • Calendars: 333
  • Writing utensils: 500

Reusable bags? A full 1,000 impressions per dollar, probably owing to their extremely portable nature. Not only that, bags receive almost 6,000 impressions in their lifetimes. Their long-lasting durability and aesthetic appeal lend a hand in putting them on people’s radar, and their pure usefulness ensures they travel considerably: from stores to schools, homes to home games, picnics to parks.

What Should You Put in Your Bag?

What you put in your bag depends on what kind of business you run. If you’re a winemaker or brew master, for instance, the contents should definitely involve at least a few bottles of your house finest. Beer and wine bags are a perfect way to transport those gifts, with partititions that keep bottles separate from one another.

If you want to get creative, stuff a baguette into one of the compartments and a tall tin of cookies in another. Winter? Branded umbrellas are a fun item that take well to a narrow compartment as well.

If you work for a grocery store or artisanal food shop, you might want to opt for a custom grocery bag instead. Place some of your best dry goods in them, keeping in mind cost. Large-batch items such as bakery goods make excellent filler, because you can keep costs low by baking in bulk – yet everyone loves sweets, so they’ll be a crowd-pleaser. Sprinkle in a few other items, such as pretzels or cookies, popcorn or cheeses, cured meats or nuts.

Don’t forget the tinsel: To make your gift bag truly special, you should dress it up with cards and ribbons, bows and paper grass, and anything else you think will improve the effect. Keep in mind that filling up a decent number of bags, say a dozen or more, is a great opportunity to buy in bulk. If you have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership, now is the time to break it out.

To Whom Should You Give Bags?

A huge range of people are important to your business. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to function. But who exactly are they? Here’s a complete list so you don’t accidentally leave anyone out.

  • Clients: The people who return to you again and again for services are always important.
  • Customers: From one-time buyers to loyal devotees, your customers run your business, and this is a good way to encourage their return.
  • Business Partners: Maybe you’re profit-sharing or working hard side by side, but that doesn’t mean you can’t thank someone who does so much for you.
  • Prospects: Reel them in with a fancy gift bag!
  • Trade Show Raffle Winners: Keeping a packed-to-the-gills bag on your table at a trade show is a great way to earn glances.
  • Building Supers: Why not thank them for keeping your workspace awesome?
  • Vendors: They supply the goods you need to keep running; now it’s your turn to supply a little fun.
  • Family and Friends: They’re there for you, so say thanks!
  • Employees: Duh. They’re crucial to what you do, and they deserve just as much recognition as the next guy – if not more.

If you’re making gift baskets for the first time, we recommend you choose a small group so you don’t get overwhelmed. For instance, you might want to thank employees for a holiday or after a big sales quarter. Once you get proficient at the art, expand to other stakeholders and VIPs.

How Should You Style Your Bag?

Styling your bag is one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole process. If you personally aren’t a huge fan, go look up someone in the company who is, or hire a stylist to help you get the job done. If you’re making numerous baskets and already spending out, it’s worth bringing in a professional to help you make everything look just perfect. Or you could get ideas yourself by watching a sample process:

Hopefully that gives you some ideas, but again, if you need help don’t be afraid to ask for it. That begins with the bags themselves. We are happy to guide you through the process of picking colors, logos, bag types, shapes and more. Your bags should not only complement your business; they should make you look good as well.

We can help, so feel free to get in touch for a free quote or consultation today. In the meantime, we wish you great success!

Douglas Lober

Author: Douglas Lober

Douglas Lober grew up in Southern California and is an environmentalist at heart. He donates his time and finances to helping children better understand how they can become fine stewards of the Earth. He is he co-Founder and Chief Sales Professional at Reusethisbag.com with over 15 years experience as an overseas importer and exporter of fine eco-friendly promotional items.

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