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The Role of Branding In the Retail World

Feb 2017, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment

Branding is one aspect of business that, sadly, many entrepreneurs fail to invest time and money in. For many entrepreneurs, the immediate goal on their minds is to sustain a good sales margin at the early days of their venture. As such, they often ignore marketing and the value of creating a reliable brand in the eyes of their target market.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to understand the role branding plays in the management and marketing of a retail chain.

Branding Is the Representation of the Company

Being unique is what every company should strive for. Without it, a business is but a copycat of existing brands.

With branding, you have a means of representing your company and making it stand out against the various similar companies in your target market. Think of it as an ID badge worn by students and company employees within their premises: it provides easy identification as no one else has that unique mark you can call your own.

Branding Makes a Business Recognizable and Visible

By developing its brand and image, a business also improves its visibility and reputation with its target market; this is especially important if the brand caters to a local market. In cases like these, being in good standing with the local community is tied directly to revenue performance.

Without branding, your target market won’t know who you are, and will treat you as another upstart that’s bound to disappear in a few months—often the case for many SMEs.

Branding also plays a vital role in your marketing efforts. For instance, giving away free promotional gifts like custom printed bags to your customers is a good way to increase awareness of your business. For it to be truly effective, the custom bags must be totally customized to reflect your brand message and identity.


You may have noticed that very large brands, in particular FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) such as 
such as soft drinks, toiletries, over-the-counter drugs, processed foods and many other consumables, have a strong and consistent brand message and appearance across all of their advertising mediums.

Keeping your branding consistent in colour, the message attached and the imagery that goes along with your logo, is crucial in reaching and staying front-of-mind with your target audience.


Another important play that major brands use is to keep the imagery that appears alongside your brandmark, is relevant to your target audience. This need for relevance is what drives so much of the ever-evolving marketing campaigns that see brands present.

Consider the evolution of McDonalds and Coca-Cola’s marketing journey that they have taken us on over the years. Via constant market analysis, decisions are made regarding the triggers that affect their target audience, and even if the target demographic is changing, or the way of reaching them has evolved.

All of these factors affect the imagery that is presented beside the brand.

For your custom bag needs, don’t hesitate to contact Smartbag, Australia’s leading provider of custom printed bags and logo bags. Email us at sales@smartbag.com.au,
or call us at 1300 874 559.

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The top 5 small business trends for 2017

Jan 2017, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment

2017 is shaping up as an exciting year for small business. With a recovering global economy, and new opportunities created by emerging forms of media, small businesses are finding it easier and more cost-effective to market their brands and find their niche.

To help you adapt to the changing business landscape this year, we’ve put together 5 small business trends you may want to keep an eye on to have an edge over your competition.

It’s All About the Millenials

Love them or hate ‘em, millennials will be your cash cow this year.

Millennials, besides being criticized for having a sense of entitlement and zero work ethic, are also known for their ability to quickly adapt to new technologies in business. And they’re probably going to be your main group of consumers this year. A lot of the criticism of Millenials is typical. Every generation is criticised by the previous one.
Our suggestion is not to criticise, but to learn and understand what appeals to this generation, what they want from their shopping experience and grow with them, not fight against them.

A small business owner can do two things with this shift in purchasing power. First, millennials are more than willing to answer surveys to provide data on their spending habits. In return, they expect companies to quickly deliver in terms of customer service. Remember those two things when doing business with them.

Online Presence Becomes More Necessary

If you’ve put off establishing a website for your company (really, it’s the 21st century, why do that?), this year is perhaps the best time to build a great site, ASAP.

The new generation depends more on online research and shopping now. In addition, the rise of mobile technology means that you’ll have to take care of two fronts of your online presence – desktop and mobile.

Customers Will Look for More Security in Transactions

Unfortunately, there’s also been a trend of cyber-theft in past years that have targeted small businesses successfully. This means that, by 2018, customers will be even more conscious about the security of their sensitive data and will make purchasing decisions with this in mind. You will have to look into securing your e-commerce website against data breaches, or else you will start losing credibility.

Online Lending Will Become More Prevalent

While looked at by traditional bankers as a high-risk business model, online lending is expected to make a forceful entry in 2017. Part of this expected rise is because of the model’s ability to quick provide for their clients’ financial needs. Due to the ease of securing loans for their business, more and more small businesses are expected to consider online lending as a means for raising capital for their business.

Social Media will Continue to Play a Big Role

Last but not the least, social media websites and social media analytic tools will become more useful than ever in 2017. Coupled with a great website and an agile marketing strategy, SMEs that are able to establish a good following in social media websites like Facebook and Twitter can expect to make it big in 2017.

For more tips like these, talk to Smartbag.com.au, Australia’s leading online supplier of custom printed bags and custom packaging materials. Call us at 1300 874 559 to place your order.

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Why Are Promotional Shopping Bags So Popular

Jan 2017, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment

Factors that Explain the Popularity of Promotional Shopping Bags

The most powerful kind of advertising isn’t found on billboards, print ads, or paid digital ads. Truly effective advertising happens when your customers make it their own and share it with their own network of friends.

Custom shopping bags just so happen to fulfil this function. If they’re well-made and have great design, they have the potential of being shareworthy, or better yet, a status symbol in itself. The possibilities for customisation are practically limitless; you can design them in any size, shape, material, or colour you desire. 

It’s no surprise then that personalised shopping bags have grown to become a staple among Australian retailers. Below are 3 factors behind their popularity.

  1. Image

Everything your business does that people see affects the kind of image cultivated among your potential and actual customers. For example, your ads will shape the kind of impression people make about your brand. Likewise, your storefront sets the tone for what shoppers can expect when they entire your premises.

As you may have guessed, this effect also extends to your product packaging—specifically, your shopping bags. If it’s made of cheap plastic, your customers might think that you don’t care about presentation—worse, that you don’t care about your products at all.

The lesson? Never underestimate the power of image.

  1. Flexibility

When it comes to design and style, the sky’s the limit with what you can do with your custom shopping bags.

For example, if you want to turn your shopping bags into premium must-have items, consider ordering custom tote bags made from high-quality fabric.

If your business is a travel agency, you can print a map of the world and your brand logo on one side of the bag. On the other side, you can print a grid containing a list of cities—your customers can mark off the ones they’ve visited with a Sharpie.

Of course, you can also go with the usual strategy of ordering shopping bags in your brand colours, complete with your business logo and slogan. Again, it all boils down to your preference.

  1. Affordability

    When compared next to say, a billboard, a full-page ad on a local newspaper or magazine, or even a TV or radio spot, custom shopping bags are usually more affordable (obviously, this depends on the volume of your order) and have a wider advertising reach.

If your bags are reusable, people won’t just see them as your customers return home from buying from your store, they’re mileage extends to each time your customer use them over and over again.

To ensure this happens as often as possible, you want your bags to be produced from high-quality materials. The design is also important. While you can’t please everyone, you want to stay away from anything too loud or gaudy—definitely nothing offensive to people’s senses.

Need more ideas or advice with your custom shopping bag order?  Don't hesitate to contact the custom packaging experts at Smartbag today!

Call 1300 874 559 to learn more about our complete line of custom printed bags.

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8 Social Media Hacks For Your Custom Packaging

Dec 2016, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment

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4 Ways Custom Shopping Bags Will Benefit Your Bottom Line

Nov 2016, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment

4 Ways Custom Shopping Bags Will Benefit Your Bottom Line

As 2016 comes to a close, now is the perfect time to put out all the stops and ensure you hit your revenue goals by the end of Q4. If your profits are growing but not at the speed you want, you may have considered a number of strategies to get into the black, such as expanding online, changing your store hours, or holding new promotions.

While these strategies have been known to work, have you considered personalised packaging solutions in the form of custom printed shopping bags? While not exactly new, custom shopping bags are a tried and tested solution for improving your bottom line. And with the holidays fast approaching, they can be a timely investment. Below are a few of their benefits.

1.       Custom Shopping Bags Help to Build Brand Loyalty

A 2003 marketing study in Bangkok found that “...packaging reminds consumers of the quality of their purchase, and thus plays a role in satisfaction. Packaging also reminds consumers of their past purchases, so influences (sic) brand loyalty.”

Shopping bags designed with your brand’s logo and messages can serve as powerful advertising tools with incredible mileage. Imagine how each person that buys something from your store carries one as they return to their homes, and think of how many people see that branded bag along the way. Moreover, you can extend your bags’ mileage by producing them to be reusable.

Creating custom shopping bags boils down to thoughtful and clever design. Be sure to include your business logo, your brand colours, and your slogan. If possible, add your contact numbers and links to your social media channels.

Bottom line? Your shopping bags shouldn’t be just shopping bags. Think of them as walking billboards for building awareness and word of mouth marketing.

2.       Custom Shopping Bags Can Be Shareable

A reusable shopping bag is a blank canvas just waiting to be used as a visual marketing tool. According to Dotcom Distribution’s 2013 eCommerce Packaging Survey, “4 in 10 consumers would share a picture of an online order via social media if it came in a unique, branded or gift-like box, and 83 percent of those consumers would do so on Facebook.”

So clearly, product packaging can be a powerful factor for creating a solid first impression, with a practically limitless potential for online virality. With numbers like that, you’d be foolish not to be a little more thoughtful with how your design your shopping bags and other packaging materials.

Almost all retailers recognize the importance of making their shopping bags their own, which is why it’s rare for a retailer not to have some kind of personalised shopping bag for customers. Your job is to make sure you offer something creative and unique whether it’s in the choice of colour or material, you want your customers to feel excited when they shop at your store.

And if your brand-centric shopping bags truly stand out, this excitement just might spread across your customers’ own circle of followers.

3.       Custom Shopping Bags Help Establish Credibility

In the retail sector, image can make or break customer loyalty. If you want people to take your company seriously, offering flimsy plastic shopping bags won’t help your case. Taking the cheapest packaging option might be the economical choice, but it also gives the subliminal message (and a deadly one at that) that you’re cheap and that you don’t care about the quality of your product. Of course, this may not be true at all, but you never know how people make their conclusions based on what they see.

Personalised shopping bags help give your brand a more upscale image, which in turn helps to establish your credibility—a crucial factor if your business is relatively new. If you want to build trust with your customers, you need to show that you’re worth trusting. In other words, you need to look the part, whether it’s by fixing up your store premises, offering a wide product catalogue, or by ensuring your packaging reflects your brand’s desired image.

4.       Custom Shopping Bags Can Capture Repeat Customers

As mentioned earlier, the potential mileage you can get from custom shopping bags can make them worth their weight in gold. Besides having the power to attract new customers whenever your shopping bags are spotted on the street, custom shopping bags made from durable materials like polypropylene or fabric are bound to get reused in some way, expanding their marketing value even further.

And if you integrate your social media marketing (SMM) campaign into your custom packaging, you open the door to the possibility of your bags being seen on social media—provided that their designs are unique enough to be shareworthy, of course.

One way to make your shopping bags “work for you” and capture repeat customers is to offer an incentive program that gives discounts or some other special reward around your packaging. Not only will this encourage customers to reuse your shopping bags, it could also translate into multiple repeat purchases.

For example, you could offer a limited-time 10 percent discount to shoppers who reuse your shopping bags on their purchase. Alternatively, you could encourage shoppers to bring in at least 5 of your reusable shopping bags to qualify for a similar discount.

Not only will this help build brand loyalty, it also shows your community that you care about reducing your environmental footprint.

In Summary

Of course, these are just 4 of the more obvious benefits you can get from using custom shopping bags. Bottom line? Investing in personalised shopping bags is as much a marketing decision as it is a branding one. Perhaps the one catch with buying custom shopping bags is that it doesn’t always come cheap. Fortunately, there are ways to save on your investment, one of which is to order your bags in bulk and have them shipped to you directly.

If you’re not sure about what kind of bag to get or how to design your bags, talk to the experts of Smartbag to find out how we can help you. Call us at 1300 874 559. 

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5 Reasons Your Retail Business Should Invest in Custom Printed Bags

Nov 2016, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment

5 Reasons Your Retail Business Should Invest in Custom Printed Bags 

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3 Crucial Elements Of A Product Packing Strategy

Oct 2016, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment

3 Crucial Elements Of A Product Packing Strategy 

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CLIENT PROFILE - Soul Soup, helping the homeless on the Gold Coast

Aug 2016, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment


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How to make a Paper Star with a Paper Bag

Jul 2016, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment


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Planning the design of your retail space

Jul 2016, by Joe Perantuono | Add a comment


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