Which Material For Tote Bags

tote bag

I had a good laugh today while reading an online discussion board for marketers.

A puzzled marketer asked the community to weigh in on the best material for tote bags she and her husband would distribute at a trade show.

She was leaning toward polypropylene (“feels like soft cloth” and “the cheapest way to go.”)

But her hubby had another idea. “My husband thinks people will throw these (polypropylene) away though…He is thinking a canvas or cotton tote would be better.”

The first person who responded to Puzzled Marketer said, “I only accept iberian cashmere tote bags.”


I understand Puzzled Marketer was looking for some honest advice. And the “iberian cashmere” response was dismissive — and a little snotty.

But I appreciate the point made by Cashmere Lover.

If he could elaborate, I imagine him saying:

Polypropylene vs. canvas vs. cotton? Don’t worry about it. That’s not what’s important.

Here’s what is important: Your marketing story. The materials you put inside that tote. The things you’ll say when people visit your booth.

Sure, the “right” material may drive a few additional people to keep your branded tote bag. But none of that matters if you don’t nail your story.

I was drawn to this exchange because I’ve seen it over and over again. Businesses invest tons of time and dollars on the perfect promotional product.

Meanwhile, when you visit their booth or read their materials, you get nothing. Sure, I may remember your “brand” more if I keep your tote bag with your logo.

But what does that logo represent? And do the messages you distribute with that logo clearly tell your story?

What does your logo represent? And do the messages you distribute with your logo clearly tell your story?

Don't go away yet..

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.

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