Branding is, like, totally a big deal these days.
Kidding. All Valley Girl-inspired joking aside, branding has taken its place on an ever-higher pedestal. From the largest car manufacturers to the smallest artisanal vintner, success requires creating and maintaining a strongly branded presence across platforms, online and in person, in digital and physical collateral.
One of the strongest types of marketing collateral available today is the reusable bag. Bags receive almost 6,000 individual impressions in their lifetimes, last for months or even years, and outperform traditional marketing media by tee shirts or billboards by a long shot.
So the obvious question is: How can you use bags to support your own brand? The answer: It all starts with artwork. Branding is an inherently visual process, with secondary attributes such as messaging and jingles. If you want to nail that branded bag, therefore, you’ve got to nail the artwork first.
1. Create Contrast
Black on white, cream on dark blue, silver on green … these are classic color combinations that rely on chiaroscuro, the play of light on dark. This approach never fails to catch attention. Check out this simple but beautiful 6 Bottle Great American Tote, in a variety of muted and earth-tone colors, with a sharp white logo standing out against the background.
2. Let Your Logo Do the Work
Logos are a branding mainstay – arguably the most critical visual cue of all.
Just think of McDonald’s or Mercedes, and you know everything you need to know about the importance of a logo. It’s critical you work with a good designer to develop a logo that fits your brand, then stick to it like white on rice.
That logo is the focal point of your message from here on out, and one of the best ways to use it well is to let it do the talking on your custom imprinted reusable bags with logo.
These Dual grommet tote examples show exactly what we mean, stamping the logo front and center so that it takes up at least half of the visual space.
3. Match the Bag to the Brand
For obvious reasons, some bags work better for some brands. Partitioned totes work well for wine companies and brewers, helping keep bottles separate and safe during transport. On the other hand, grocery stores or small antique shops do best with a sturdy carryall that can be repurposed later, such as cotton totes.
4. Broadcast Your Name
Your business name is who you are. Whether blunt or whimsical, long or short, in English or another language, your name is everything. If you want customers to build associations with you, make sure your name stands out. Or you could make like this Econo Cotton Tote and put your logo out there instead.
5. Opt for Color
Color is always eye-catching. If you want to draw those eyeballs to your bags as your clients and customers carry them around the world, using color is a great way to do it. The Simple Sak w/Stitched Seams + Gussets comes in a range of colors, from lime green to bright red to butter yellow.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to use a bright color. Black is also impressive, which is why the Little Black Dress still has such a time-honored place in our society, why classic and modern cars alike make use of the midnight hue, and even why black is one of the most common colors to use on book covers and spines. In the end, you should choose the color that seems to complement your brand best.
Keep in mind that when you work with a reputable reusable bag supplier, you don’t have to restrict your logos to just one color. Instead, you can print your logo in a variety of colors, keeping a rich, saturated look that matches the rest of your branding.
6. Employ Monochrome for Drama
Color is great, but monochrome can also be dramatic. The pure white of the logo on our 4 Bottle Wine Tote Bag stands out well from the background of black, although it would work equally well on turquoise, purple or deep red. If you prefer, you can always choose a lighter background – yellow, baby pink or white – and print your logo in a dark color. Either way, monochromatic logos are some of the most recognizable and memorable in the world, and you would do well to consider leveraging this truth for your own brand.
7. Experiment with Placement
Your logo doesn’t necessarily need to be right in the middle, carefully aligned vertically and horizontally. Experiment with putting at the bottom or top of the bag, in a corner or slightly off-center. You can even run words sideways to stand out from the crowd.
8. Play Up the Green
If you’re using RPET bags to save the environment, why not play that piece up a bit? You can either choose bags in the color green, which studies show is associated with a perception of eco-friendliness. Although interestingly, studies also show that customers associate blue more strongly with “being green” than they do the color green itself. It’s food for thought.
Your logo can also communication environmental friendliness to your customers. Anything with leaves, branches, squirrels, birds, the sun, the wind and other outdoor, nature-inspired symbols can do the trick.
9. Go Casual
Casual styles are perfect for home businesses, artists and small breweries. Your artwork should reflect this: looser lines, more hand-drawn patterns. You should also choose bags that play up the laidback nature of your biz, for instance with a Rip Stop Reusable Tee Shirt Bag.
10. Class It Up
Your choice of bag can also indicate a high level of class or luxury, perfect for law firms or tech startups. Think clean lines, simple logos and clear, sans serif fonts. Then choose a structured bag that complements the look, such as the Gloss Laminated Bag.
11. Brand More Than Once
Who would say no to branding your bag in more than one place? For instance, you might want to print your logo on the front and back of your bag. Keep in mind that your clients and customers, when using your bags out in the world, probably aren’t being careful to make sure your logo is facing outward – this approach solves that, and if it’s a little spendier, it’s worth it in the increased number of brand impressions.
You can also print the logo on the bag and the bag holder. For instance, this Ripstop Nylon Fabric w/Drawstring Closure has the logo on both the bag itself and on the smaller storage pouch, ensuring it’s generating brand awareness whether or not it’s currently in use.
12. A/B Test
Just for emails? No, way! You can totally split test bags as well. Put two choices out by your register and see which one sells better. Then use that for all your branding, gifting it to customers and using it at tradeshows.
Reusable bags, as you can see, offer endless options for generating brand awareness. The above are just suggestions, whether you care to use them alone or together, but they can offer a significantly greater level of awareness than foregoing bags or using a poorly branded product. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch today!