What can branded carrier bags really do for your business?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling clothing or second hand tech – you’re going to face customers asking for a bag. For around 50 years, plastic bags have graced our shopping streets, and it’s not difficult to see why. The convenience of being able to just ask for a bag in a shop and avoiding a ridiculous juggle of our goods on the way home has, in a sense, taken the world by storm.

Nearly every store will have some kind of carrier bag – but what about those that brand them? What can printed cotton bags or a branded plastic bag really do for your business?


As far as marketing goes, carrier bags can be easily overlooked as a form of advertising when in fact, it’s probably one of the most effective. Customers become the optimum advertising opportunity when they come into your store and buy something. Think about it. They buy your goods, you hand them it in a plastic bag, and then your logo is carried around the streets until they return home. It’s a cheaper, cost-effective option to just get your brand out there!

Your loyal customers become your brand ambassadors and think about it – with the 5p charge on carrier bags that has recently been enforced here in the UK, your brand could even be reused in other stores!

Building Trust

If there’s one thing that carrier bags can do for your business, it’s generate trust before a consumer has even entered your store. If a consumer sees your brand on a carrier bag around town, they’ll immediately hold some level of trust. Most people are likely to – whether knowingly or not – trust your brand until given a reason to do otherwise.

It is marketing

If they see someone with your bag, it’s like an extra reassurance that your products must be good! After all, if someone else has bought them, how bad could they be?

Staying Power

With research suggesting that a printed carrier bag can have more brand value than an advertisement, and being a cheaper option too, is there any other reason you need to start branding your carrier bags? Well, if you do, we have another for you – plastic bags = staying power.

If your brand is printed on a bag, it’s a permanent thing. People are likely to keep their plastic bags, and if you’ve provided a good service once before, it can even act like some kind of souvenir from the shopping trip. Your brand isn’t a fleeting advertisement that no one truly pays attention to – it’s a carrier bag filled with material goods! People will pay attention.

General Aesthetic

Marketing and advertising aside, a printed carrier bag just looks better. You’ve probably spent a long time looking for the right logo, so why not use it? Print it on carrier bags and we promise everything will look just that little bit more put together! It suggests to customers that you believe in your brand and your products, and that you’re willing to invest in ensuring everything looks great!

Besides, imagine the little bit of pride you’ll feel any time you see your carrier bags around the town!


  1. I think you are missing something here.
    With the introduction of the 5 p charge – soon to be increased to 10p if the Tories get their way, it is going to be the consumer who is part funding the marketing budget for these large companies.
    At the moment there is no mandate for companies to return the collected money and contribute towards a greener society – they have the option of making a donation to charity, once they have deducted certain costs/expense attributed to the program – but who is to say how much money is being held back….
    I have no issue with paying a levy if through my own personal choice I request a bag, but why the hell should that result in the shop getting free advertising ??
    I have often requested that the bag be turned inside out before handing it to me – gets assistants very annoyed!!

    My personal choice – treat plastic bags like cigarettes – no or minimal branding and all the same colour!!

    • Hi Martin. Thank you for your interesting comment and point of view! Maybe the costs of collecting the “plastic bag tax” would exceed the revenue for the Government, thereby leaving the highly discretionary charitable donations the best option. However it does leave an uneasy feeling that some (not all) retailers are using the 5p bag costs to boost their revenues slightly. And if we are to pay the 5p per bag to help the retailers market their brand, that does seem a bit galling!

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