Saving our planet; one bag at a time

June 30, 2006

The Wizards of Oz

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 2:09 am

Reusable bags being used voluntarily

The Warringah Council in Australia needs to be congratulated for their initiative and sensitive pro-activeness.  I wish more governments did this.

It makes so much sense. Folks get involved with a sense of ownership. No one resents anything being thrust down their throats. And it yields phenomenal results. Governments all over the world could learn from this.

Write to your representative today!

June 29, 2006

Our customers are so delightful

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 4:10 am

Two of our lovely customers
The real pleasure we get from this business is when our customers are thrilled with us. These two lovely young ladies have chosen to thank us by sending us a photo of both of them donning our bags as headwear!

They’ve started a product and graphic design business in Dunedin, New Zealand and their first product has been re-usable cloth bags featuring graphic designs.

Here are some of the kind things they wrote:

“We have been very fortunate to be working with such a great manufacturing company who produces a high quality product and has been very professional throughout the entire process.

Not only is Norquest a company which delivers an excellent product which they stand behind, they also understand the bigger picture of how their product influences positive change within communities around the world.

We are looking forward to working with Norquest long into the future”.

Aren’t they really nice? I’m sure a lot of people get great service from the folks who manufacture for them, but how many actually take the time to say so? Like I said, we’re lucky because we get so many lovely customers who continue to say nice things to us and keep us smiling and wanting to do ever better.

June 26, 2006

Customers like paying for reusable bags. Are you listening?

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 3:54 am

Customers like paying for reusable bags. Are you listening?

IKEA announced it wouldn’t give away free plastic bags and would charge for a sturdier reusable bag.

How do you think their customers reacted? Here are some actual customer comments:

Chris (UK): “This is great news. I’m all for taxing plastic bag consumption. The waste is abhorrent but the main benefit is it makes responsible consumer behaviour unavoidable and the more it is made to seem “the norm” the more likely it is to become so”.

Lara (US): “I was in Ireland this winter and they charge 10 cents for a bag everywhere. I’m under the impression it is a bag tax implemented by the government. I wish we’d have one here in the U.S.!”

Alison Bellamy (UK): “Within two seconds I realised that Ikea was a forward thinking empire and was indeed doing the right thing, as part of their bit to help save the planet.

Plastic carrier bags don’t disappear. They lie aroud in landfill sites polluting the ground and atmosphere and are non-degradable. They take possibly hundreds of years to break down, although no one knows for certain as plastic hasn’t been around long enough.

Much of the litter found on beaches is made up of plastic carrier bags which have been washed ashore.

So as I bought a heavy duty reusable Ikea sack, which is like a blue potato sack with handles, I felt virtuous and righteous and pledged right then and there that I will stop using carrier bags wherever possible. It makes perfect sense.

When I got home, I just had the one big bag. There was no decision about where to stuff the old carrier bags and no waste. I hung the bag in the cellar and have even re-used it again at the supermarket.

Good on you Ikea, who needs carrier bags anyway?

Reusable bags are probably the most powerful and economical advertising and branding weapon available today. And we are happy to customize them to suit your budget and your precise needs. Use this wonderful opportunity. Write to info @ today.

June 17, 2006

US businesses bought $ 16.9 billion worth of promo products in 2004

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 4:44 am

Reusable bags are best from promotions

The future looks even better, suggests an ASIC survey. ASIC stands for the Advertising Specialty Institute.

“Companies are looking for new, more effective ways to spend their marketing budgets, as many are discovering that advertising on satellite radio, TiVo television or the Internet is not as effective as it once was” says Greg Muzzillo, founder and Co-CEO of Proforma, said to be one of the top 10 promo product distributors.

I’m convinced this is part of a worldwide trend that is leading away from broadcasting marketing messages through mass media to customized messages being narrowcasted to specific customers.

The customization potential of promotional products makes them especially appealing as does their topicality and association with events.

The Promotional Products Association published an article in December 2004 saying bags are a wonderful promo choice.

Why? Because everybody uses them.

Since everyone has stuff to hold, there’s not one person who doesn’t have a bag of some sort. Promotionally speaking, there’s an inherent use value for the recipient, and this means, for the advertiser, there’s the frequent opportunity for seeing the company logo.

They are an extension of the person, and different styles may fit one person but not another. I completely agree. In today’s world one-size-fits-all just doesn’t cut it. That’s why, at Norquest, we encourage our customers to customize what they are ordering.

No fixed notions, no minimums, we don’t put any limits on our customers’ imaginations. It’s our job to make whatever they dream up and we enjoy it.

Bags work. Everyone loves receiving an attractive bag. And we’ve got plenty. See the variety for yourself. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how economically they are priced.

Good looking, economical, and something that everybody wants. Isn’t that how you’d like your next promotion to be?

June 16, 2006

Why would people to PAY YOU to carry YOUR advertisement?

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 3:24 pm

People will actually pay you to carry your reusable bags

This isn’t some ad man’s wild pipe dream. In a world of skyrocketing media costs, here’s an amazing true story. Read the story.

Columnist Martin Sloane contributed a story encouraging people to switch to reusable cloth bags, and here is what reader Louise Fail wrote in:

Dear Martin: At our local 99-cent store they sell a lovely, large reusable tote bag. Of course it carries some advertising, but I really do not mind! I bought four of them. One is for trips to the library. The other three reside in my car so I have them when I go to the grocery stores. I feel I am doing my share to preserve the environment and conserve the oil that is used to make plastic bags. Louise Fail

Folks don’t much care to hear alarmist talk about environmental degradation, but the story is inexorably going home. They don’t like being passive victims of this sweeping phenomenon either. Most want to do something positive.

You could cash in on this huge groundswell of feeling to get your message across in a manner that your stakeholders are actually willing to invest in. The big boys haven’t caught on to this yet. This remains an opportunity for the nimble and the imaginative.

Dramatic isn’t it? Louise paid 99 cents to become a walking billboard for the brand whose name is on that bag. She doesn’t mind that it carries advertising. Ever heard of such a thing?

All you smart marketing folks out there might want to leverage this insight.

We can ship you smart, great looking cotton totes at less than a dollar a bag, with your ad message on them.

Sell them at cost or even a little below cost to make them look even more attractive. Make them available at as many outlets as you can. You’ll be amazed to see how many people support your environmentally friendly action.

Sounds good? Select from a line of attractive bags you can use to co-opt your customers into becoming walking billboards for your message. At no cost to you!

June 15, 2006

Further dedicated to you, the individual

Filed under: Branding, Environment, Jeans — Kaajal @ 6:35 am

You name it, we'll make it

I just wrote about mass customization a few days back and read something today that reinforces my belief in out thinking.

There’s a fascinating article here at Infomat.

Trends, they say, can help track changing definitions of what constitutes value to consumers.

The customer-made trend, co-creating with your customers, is the most important one to watch. Not because everything has to or will be co-created in the future, but because tapping into the collective experiences, skills and ingenuity of hundreds of millions of consumers around the world is a complete departure from the inward looking, producer- versus-consumer innovation model so common to corporations around the world.

Can’t agree with them more! We’ve been moving in this direction fr a while now and it is paying off very well.

June 13, 2006

Dedicated to you, the individual

Filed under: Branding, Environment, Jeans — Kaajal @ 2:12 am

Mass customization means producing goods and services to meet individual customer’s needs with near mass production efficiency

It’s a new world out there, a world that is empowering each one of us like never before.

No longer do you need to buy stuff that some product manager who’s never met you in your life decides you will want. Traditional mass production thinking says make what most people will want.

But if you’re not most people, too bad for you. You don’t matter. Or didn’t.
This is no longer true. Not in the emerging era of mass customization.

Mass customization means producing goods and services to meet individual customer’s needs with near mass production efficiency.

Some of us are equipping ourselves to cater to individuals. This isn’t a technological breakthrough as much as an attitude breakthrough. Based on our gut-feel that most people aren’t happy being statistics any longer.

So all you folks around the world who don’t fit the “average” don’t have to compromise any more.

Talk to us instead. We talk to individuals and make the products that they want.

June 12, 2006

The ethical consumer. A new trend that will impact businesses

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 6:39 am

The ethical consumer is the new market opportunity
Britain’s “ethical consumer” market was worth US$ 44 billion in 2003, according to researchers for American Express. The company estimates 1.5 million “conscience consumers” in the UK today, and expects four million by 2009.

“What we are seeing,” one researcher reported to Amex, “is a blurring of moral, social and lifestyle issues that is unprecedented. Brands can no longer separate their profits from how they make them.”

While 33% of British consumers in the survey identified themselves as “conscience consumers”, only 8% described themselves as “apolitical shoppers” who completely ignored the social implications of their consumption.

There is a fascinating future trend report you can download from a website called Trend Watching.

Its a fantastic read for savvy marketers.

June 10, 2006

Fashion tip for 2007: Think green!

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 4:16 am

Fashion tip - carry a resuable cloth bag. Its now sexy.

The Daily Mail says that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact they’re having.

“Not so long ago, a good day’s shopping was represented by unbridled credit card abuse and armfuls of carrier bags — preferably glossy paper ones with smart rope handles”

“Today, shopping for the sheer pleasure of it is no longer enough. We want more than something new and pretty to take home - we want to know we made the world a better place by buying it and that the bag we’re carrying didn’t damage the environment”.

Carrying a visibly eco-friendly bag now has the kind of cachet that carrying an expensive designer bag does, that such concern puts you into the bracket of people like Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Roberts.

This generation of protesters may not be making placards and taking to the streets, but they’re making big business sit up and take notice.

June 9, 2006

The new consumer. She’s making companies concerned.

Filed under: Branding, Environment — Kaajal @ 5:17 am

The new consumer. She's driving trends.

The Independent, UK, in a recent article notes that companies are now more concerned than ever about environmental issues.

The smart ones know they have to be, because their consumers are driving them to thinking.

“Shoppers are becomingly increasingly frustrated by the voluminous packaging that fills their bins when they unwrap food. That irritation has been picked up in research. Consumers shouldering the hassle and moral unease about generating this vast, obvious waste could choose to patronise street markets that are cheaper and less wasteful. Consumers aren’t just annoyed because packaging is awkward, many are worried about the environment. And big companies are only too aware that, with climate change rapidly rising up the political and public agenda, green issues cannot be ignored.”

If that ain’t good news, what is?

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