Printed Carrier Bags – Whats It All About?

April 27, 2012 by  Filed under: Branding 

Last week I had a brainstorming session with a luxury brand that is re-branding their printed carrier bags. The meeting took over 4 hours and involved 7 different people from 3 departments of the business.

As I left the meeting fairly exhausted but excited, I watched all the shoppers on the local High Street walking around with their bags and thought to myself “I bet most of those shoppers have no idea how much work goes into producing each bag”.

I could be wrong but I doubt it. For the majority of customers so long as a printed carrier bag works well and looks good they are generally happy, sometimes even delighted or proud to be walking around with an expensive looking branded bag.

But all the work that goes on behind the scenes to produce something simple like a carrier bag is truly astonishing. It involves so many different departments within various companies as well as different industries and countries.

It is usually the Creative Team that kick starts the whole process. In the meeting I attended last week the brand wanted something new that would surprise and delight the consumer.

And in less than 5 minutes of me arriving the meeting room table was full of various printed carrier bag examples, paper stocks, handle materials and print techniques. Piles upon piles of samples being rummaged through by excited and inspired designers.

Although its easy to get carried away about the possibilities most designers will always refer back to the strategy of the brand. For example; a flocked carrier bag might be interesting and loves on a personal level but does it fit in with the brands positioning? Would the bag handle match the thread on the clothing tag? What are the competitors doing? Does it fit in with the brand sustainability programme?

All of these questions have to be asked and weighed up against the look and feel of samples in front of the Creative Team.

Throughout the whole creative process the procurement team who are sitting at the other end of the table watch nervously asking continually about costs and hiding any expensive options for printed carrier bags.

It’s a delicate balance between the two departments yet it is an essential one. The procurement team is not just about saving costs but about managing risk and ensuring that as a supplier of printed carrier bags you are able to deliver reliably and efficiently.

For example; as a consumer, imagine your shock as you hand over £2000 for a designer handbag only to be told that the store doesn’t have any bags left. Or if they do give you a printed bag and you walk 5 minutes down the street and the handle suddenly breaks or the paper starts to tear you would almost certainly question the authenticity of the brand.

By marrying these two departments up always creates a more successful end-to-end product.

As we approached the end of the meeting the logistics team arrived. Larger brands that operate stores globally need to ensure that the printed bags are consistent and can be delivered quickly and easily.

The logistics team must ensure the printed bags are packed correctly and labeled with the correct information and the relevant language. They have to communicate which countries the printed carrier bags go to, how long they take to get there and how they will be stored.

Once all of the above is agreed (which can take hours or even years!) all the information, the concerns that the departments have and the final bag design must be sampled, manufactured and shipped.

When the bags are finally distributed and used in store, the success of the printed carrier bag project is not judged solely on whether the logistic team, the procurement team or the creative team are happy.

It’s the consumer who has the final say-so as the walk around the High Street or the shopping centre proudly advertising the brand and re-using the carrier bag to use again and again.

Printed Carrier Bags are available from Wrapology. As the U.Ks leading supplier of printed carrier bags we have over 10 years experience in sourcing, designing and manufacturing printed carrier bags. Wrapology – Specialists in Printed Carrier Bags

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