4 Ideas FridayIdentifying hot trends in bags falls on Melanie’s shoulders. She is 4imprint’s Bag Category Manager in our merchandising department, and her expertise allows us to offer you the perfect promotional bags in the most popular colors and designs. Backpacks are so hot right now that they’re even showing up in offices and boardrooms, so we asked Melanie about the latest in backpack trends.

“Backpacks are not just for taking books to class or heading to the gym—they are the favored means for toting business essentials to meetings or on business trips, and for hauling weekend gear,” she explained. “Take a look at the airport next time you’re traveling and look at what people are carrying. Backpacks are so versatile!”

Their versatility and popularity are what make branded backpacks such an excellent marketing idea. The fact that people are taking them everywhere means your logo will be seen again and again by lots of people. And most bags lend themselves well to embroidery, boosting their value. Quality bags + quality decoration = more marketing mileage for your logo. Give them a logo’d backpack they’ll want to carry everywhere they go and watch your brand exposure soar.

Melanie identified four hot design trends that can help you choose the best backpack for your brand:

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Rucksack-style backpacks: “This style was traditionally associated with camping and hiking. Now it’s being seen in the office and for non-camping travel,” she said. These bags are “a nod to outdoorsy adventure, but clearly built for the office.” A rucksack-style backpack has a top that folds or rolls down and is secured by one or two straps, as opposed to the traditional zipper opening, Melanie explained. Many of them also offer padded storage for a laptop or tablet. Take a look:

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Hybrid backpacks: These bags are all about versatility. “People are busy. They need a bag that can go from the office to the gym, then to a child’s sports practice and finally to a client dinner,” Melanie said. “Often, there simply isn’t time to stop at home and switch bags. Hybrid backpacks have multiple straps that convert the bag from a duffel or tote to a backpack, making it customizable to the user’s needs.” Here are a few examples:

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Cooler backpacks: Hauling cold beverages around at events just got easier. These cooler backpacks “let people distribute the bag weight across their back instead of over their shoulder.” This really increases carrying comfort, she explained. “Drinks and food stay cold, whether recipients are hiking, picnicking, tailgating or enjoying a day at the beach.” These backpacks also look good as a standalone bag they can use every day—not just for keeping food and drink cold. Check out these cool cooler backpacks:

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Packable backpacks: If you’re looking for must-have bags that don’t take up a lot of space, these are the bags for you. Packable backpacks are a simple solution. “When not being used, just fold the bag up and tuck it away without sacrificing any space,” Melanie said. These lightweight gems are easy to move and store for future promotions, too. Take a peek at some of our favorites:

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