A friend of mine came to me the other day, and asked me about cost-effective ways of promoting his offline clothes store. I asked him what he packed clothes into when a customer has bought something. “Just a plain carrier” was his answer. Well, my advice to him was this:

An exceptionally cost-effective way of promoting his shop’s brand was to get branded promotional bag with his shop’s logo and contact details printed on them. He looked at me as if I had just landed from Mars! “It’s simple.” I said. “Whenever someone buys a product from your shop, you pack the item into a promotional bag that has your identity printed on it, either on one or both sides. Then, as that customer continues to shop, they are advertising your business wherever they go.”

He smiled slyly at me, and asked me where he should look. Of course I pointed him to this blog here!

Promotional bags can be made of varying materials such as paper, plastic, nylon and cotton. They are just one of the ways that companies can increase their brand presence in an offline fashion. Other ideas include giving away rucksacks or laptop bags to staff or clients (with branding printed on of course). More and more companies are turning to using promotional giveaways to increase their brand’s identity. From spas to gyms, and pretty much every business in between.

Tesco’s (a large supermarket chain in the United Kingdom) and most other large stores have gone one step further, and introduced custom-branded cotton shopper bags, as well as printed carriers, insulated bags and other branded promotional bags.

Justthink what it would be like if every single one of your customers, or even your staff, became a walking advert for your brand. It’s exceptionally effective. Lots of “mini-ads” wondering the streets, promoting your brand without them even realising it.

But how effective are promotional items for marketing corporate identities? Just have a think to yourself about how many times you have seen a Fitness First rucksack, or a River Island paper shopping bag. Quite a few times I should imagine. And why do you remember them so well? Because they are constantly in view, wherever you may look – on the high street, in shopping centres, even on the train into work every single morning.

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