A Tote Bag Primer
Bags have been around for pretty much all of recorded human history. As promotional items, there are a couple of reasons they are among the most popular products. First of all, they are extremely functional. Everybody has stuff to carry. Secondly, they offer one of the largest areas for advertising of all promotional products. But we all know that there are bags, and then there are bags. Some are meant for just a short-term purpose, while others are intended to stick around for years. If you want to keep your customers advertising your company for a long time, a good place to start is by getting to know the available fabrics used to manufacture bags. Bags today are most commonly made from natural fibers, petroleum-based raw content, and recycled or repurposed materials. Their durability, strength, and feel are based on a number of factors. Consider first what the bag will be used to carry, and who will be carrying it. Decorating preferences also determine the type of bag — some materials are more suited to screen printing; others, embroidery or appliqué.
There’s a lot more to consider besides material. A popular feature for a grocery tote is the flat bottom insert — a removable, solid piece that makes a bag much more stable and easier to handle. Another is a set of interior straps to stabilize bottles. Moving beyond the grocery tote, we see bags with exterior pockets for electronics, especially phones. Wider straps, as well as straps with adjustable length add a lot of value to a bag meant for heavy use. Weather repellent coatings are also appreciated in a bag meant for outdoor use. Speaking of outdoor use, insulated bags allow beverages to be kept chilled for hours.
Business and Travel bags have seen a lot of changes as well, especially in recent years. Here are four trends we’ve noticed:
- Backpacks are dominating the business bag category. This is likely a result of the shift to a more casual business environment, as well as the functionality of backpacks. Nobody travels without a laptop anymore, and backpacks offer so much flexibility.
- TSA-friendly bags are designed to get travelers through security as quickly and smoothly as possible. Laptops can be kept in the bag. Bags that travel through airports are seen by lots of eyes, so they make great billboards.
- Lightweight is the new watchword. Laptops and other needed business supplies weigh enough by themselves, so nobody wants to add to it with a backpack made of the wrong material.
- Tech-enabled bags include features that make accessibility foremost. Gone are the days when only one device is carried, so those extra pockets and cord pathways make a big difference.