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Its In The Bag

A[shopping] bag that makes no impression is a waste," says Ron Basso, vice president and general manager of Continental Extrusion, a plastic bag manufacturer in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. With the knowledge that shopping bags are reused eight to 20 times after purchase, small-business owners should be using their bags as a marketing tool.

At 25 to 50 cents per bag, well-designed, eye-catching bags are a relatively inexpensive method of getting your message out. They are also an invaluable way to project and reinforce your company's overall image. Is your business glamorous or trendy? Basso says see-through bags are hot right now, used mostly by cosmetics companies and other fashion-driven retailers. On the other hand, if your company wants to project an environmentally conscious attitude, you may want to put your customers' merchandise in bags made of recycled paper.

Whatever image you want to project, if you're using boring, generic bags, you're missing out on a prime marketing opportunity--and giving customers one less reason to buy from you. "Large businesses do it well," says Basso. "Small businesses should, too."

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This article was originally published in the June 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Its In The Bag.

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