Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Whose Bag Is It Anyway?

Last weekend, Sainsbury's supermarkets gave away the reusable bags they normally charge for in the hope of encouraging customers to reduce their use of plastic bags. Today, I noticed a woman using them to carry her shopping from one of their rivals.

I wondered how many other shoppers noticed and thought better of Sainsbury's as a result? I wondered if the rival's staff noticed and thought about doing something similarly positive? Coincidentally, (courtesy of today's passiveaggressivenotes), I wonder why anyone would think this would be an appropriate response and why it's the stance being taken in so many industries?



Addendum: To clarify - do you see a customer advertising the competition or do you see a customer?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Tom said...

Sainsbury's giving bags away is a bit like Livingstone charging me for a minimum of 7 days' Congestion Charge just because I live INSIDE the zone. It encourages me to use the car as much as possible during those 7 days as opposed to going on foot or by bike.

The simplest solution is just to have a massive skip out the front with loads of clean used carrier bags in from wherever you want that you can pick and use.

I was offered one of those re-usable Sainsbury's ones and I just said 'no thankyou, I received an internet order from you a few days ago and you kindly sent me nearly 30 plastic carrier bags for a quantity of shopping which would have fitted into about 6 - including - get this - ONE apple in a transparent bag, INSIDE a single carrier bag - and the same with ONE pear. So I have lots of bags here, in my other bag - and you can have them back, thankyou'

1:34 PM, November 29, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

Agreed Tom - I read yesterday of someone who received 47 bags with their order and myself repeated the "oh yes I've got reusable bags in the car" routine when at the till, but I was using the bag thing to hang another point on.

I'd say they should charge for bags, but I see that happening in some stores and yet see few british people bringing bags with them. The culture needs to change and 5p per bag isn't going to do that.

1:50 AM, November 30, 2007  
Blogger lauren said...

firstly, all supermarkets need to encourage the ol' FMCGs to reduce their packaging altogether (less packaging, more stuff in bag, less waste, etc,etc.)
and as far as the carry bag thang goes, i think the whole motive thing needs to go in reverse - instead of charging (ie, punishment), you need to 'reward' by offering graded discounts to those who don't use bags at all, use material bags/boxes and then re-use plastic bags. and as far as home delivery goes, get back to using boxes.

7:37 AM, November 30, 2007  
Blogger Shannon said...

Charging for bags is an EXCELLENT idea, as long as then you dont ALSO give away bags for free. In holland you have to pay everytime you use a bag, and so that makes you reuse them, as well as remember to bring them with you to the shop. Often times I forget to bring the bags I do have at home with me.

Using store-only branded bags in that store only is a ridiculous idea, and the person who put up that sign is very said indeed. What kind of saftey are they talking about? Being attacked by staff for carrying a rival bag? (I did see a surely waitrose checkout person tsk-tsk someone's reusable sainsburys bag... annoying)

anyway, just my 2 cents.

10:51 AM, December 02, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

Shannon - that's what i do too and in the eaarlier post on that subject a comemnter gave me a link to bags that are so foldable you can keep them in your pocket.

2:36 PM, December 03, 2007  
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