Fashion, Fun & Function
Inspiration? "We look everywhere," said Andrew Spellman, CAS, vice president of corporate market sales for St. Louis-based TRG Group. It's a great answer and luckily for distributors this represents the sentiments of many suppliers. Whether it is the latest backpack equipped with headphone ports and speakers, or the simple yet stylish tote, the marketplace for bags offers distributors products that walk hand-in-hand with retail trends and fashions.
Spellman's answer means there are always new styles, which in turn means distributors can't get lackadaisical when suggesting new products to end-buyers. Taking a little time to think about what's fashionable, what's functional and what's fun can make all the difference in closing the sale. The right bag at the right price is out there, and a good distributor will find it. To give a helping hand, Promo Marketing turned to three industry experts to see which way the promotional bag and tote wind is blowing these days.
"I felt there was always a shortage of women's products for the incentive and loyalty side of the business, and truly believed we would be a perfect fit to help to fill that void," said Alan Traiger, vice president of sales and marketing for ACRO, summing up why the East Brunswick, N.J. company brought on higher-end fashion hand bag lines like Chinese Laundry and Chocolate N.Y.
"Women love handbags, and the way we have developed and positioned our line, you can't find most [of our] styles at retail; this allows distributors to maintain a good margin with maintaining a high perceived value," he explained. ACRO's bags match retail trends while being exclusive to the promotional industry, the intention being to increase demand. Traiger continued, "We certainly could make retail styles available but think it's better for the distributors if they have products that are not at retail ... the styles just need to be 'right.'"