I chatted to Sacatelle founder, Ikey Bensimhon about the brand sustainability of bag advertising - they're walking billboards, when you think about it - as well as their own success in the realm and how the bags they've branded have resulted in success in their clients' brand marketing in a world that's slowly moving away from disposable plastic.
Bensimhon and partner.
A little over two years ago, Bensimhon and his partner founded a New York-based "bag advertising" company called Sacatelle or BrandYourBag.com.
Since then, they have experienced unbelievable growth in building relationships and designing bags for some of the largest companies in the US.
Beinsimhon says reusable bags have become the hallmark of brand advertising with sustainability front and centre – just think of the way Lululemon made quite a splash with their reusable bags that act as the quintessential walking billboard.
If cleverly designed, bags quickly become must-have lust items for the trendy Instagram set and can take an unknown brand through the social media stratosphere with cash registers happily clicking the tale of success.
Here, Bensimhon shares Sacatelle’s vision of helping companies cost-effectively advertise through very creative bags without having to outsource a marketing team or overpay on services with limited options, restricted printing areas and bags that end up as stock items on a shelf or worse, in the dump…
Talk us through the concept of ‘bag advertising’ and why you decided to enter this arena.
Although Sacatelle is a young company, we have been in the business of manufacturing bags for over a decade with the intention of becoming an A-Z platform for creating any bag without the hefty price tag. In many cases, our custom projects are more cost effective than the lesser quality stock bags available on the market, where competitors offer very restrictive design options.
What are the biggest daily challenges and highlights of working in the branding industry?
Given the fact that anything is possible, companies that have never made a bag before are sometimes unclear on their ultimate vision. That’s why we are here. After we gather some direction for a design project, we make a portfolio of bag designs for the client to check out and guide the design direction. Quantity and budget play a major role in defining variables such as material options, and such things as printing design parameters, like seeing how adding an extra pocket with a zipper on the inside can work with the budget.
The Gmail bag.
The JP Morgan Chase bag.
The Mastercard bag.
The Orange backpack.
The Steinway bag.
The Tate's lunch bag.
That said, we have helped many businesses drastically enhance their branding exposure with our products, and many see its direct influence on their customer loyalty. Much of our business is based on providing the best customer service and building relationships for life as bags are not something you simply order once. We know that when done right, companies see its success, and come back repeatedly to reorder or pick our brains on new ideas. We like to think of ourselves as something of an extension of our client's marketing team.
Elaborate on your successes and lessons learned so far on your two-year business journey.
We knew going in to this that providing this service, we were going to be a one-of-a-kind company. But we didn't expect to grow this fast. We've gotten unbelievable feedback from our clients who have used us thus far, and we still hope to improve on things as we grow. Every day we explore the world of new materials to add to our library. Everything from inflatable bags to even cork material, which was added to our library last year. As time goes on, we hope to improve manufacturing times and offer even more material options.
How does promotional bag design assist your clients in their marketing?
When a company distributes these bags to customers, whether as a gift with purchase (GWP) or as a promotional item, or even as the shopping bag received after purchase, the end-users are directly advertising to the public around them when the bag is carried around. In comparison, think how much companies pay for billboards that are restricted to a particular place, and are limited by the amount of time the billboard is leased for. In contrast, a bag can last a lifetime, and ends up in an individual's home. The important variable in any bag campaign is the consideration of human behaviour. Can your bag encourage the end-consumer to want to reuse the bag? Creating something with just the right aesthetic and ensuring quality can encourage a bag's reuse, increased longevity, and the increase in branding exposure that comes as a result.
The key is to make it eye-catching as a well-designed and original product encourages reuse, especially with plastic phasing out, which parallels the trend towards sustainable living. Whether creative or minimal, something that falls in line with the brand's identity and vision as this is your walking billboard, after all.
What goes into the creative design process – how much of the final product is client input and how much is your own design innovation?
Companies are typically not seeking to be rebranded, so we begin the process by defining the overall parameters of the project, Design, material and overall direction is based on a company's ultimate branding vision, everything from marketing budget, to whether they have a particular type of bag in mind, or whether they do in fact need our help rebranding and more in the brainstorming phase. We then proceed with creating a diverse design portfolio of bags for the client to look at and garner feedback. Most of the time we create the winner on round 1, but if need be, we make additions or modifications until the client falls in love.
Sounds like a winning, sustainable strategy to me. Click here for more on Bensimhon and be sure to follow Bagatelle on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.
Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She is passionate about issues of inclusion, equality and diversity and was the only SA finalist shortlisted for the Women in Marketing #WIMawards2017. She's also on the 2018 Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, an #Inspiring50 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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