When selecting a logo or icon to represent your brand it is very important to consider how you will brand your actual product or handbag. Most brands include their brand name somewhere permanently affixed to the bag because this will serve as a reminder to your customer as well as an advertisement to future customers. How many times has someone complimented you on some product, dress or accessory and you had to search that particular product for the branding to help them find one for themselves? How many times have you checked the label of a favorite apparel piece to buy more items by that brand? For a small start-up it is especially important to retain loyal customers, great on product branding will do that.
Creating custom hardware or branding a bag can seem overwhelming and unattainable to some start-ups and small businesses, but actually most hardware suppliers in China are equipped to provide accessible custom hardware solutions with relatively small minimums. Rest assured, your quality will not suffer. All of the major players in the handbag industry are already producing in China, finding high quality hardware, labels or custom branded fabric is absolutely possible. If you are interested in creating a custom, branded element for your bags but need help with design, factory sourcing or would just like some help getting started, sign up for a free 30 minute consultation and we can get the ball rolling.
I have compiled a helpful list of ways for you to get your own branding onto your accessory.
1. METAL PLATE
A branded metal plate is hands down the most common way to brand a bag. This option is only suitable if you have a simple vector based logo. There are a variety of ways to execute including using epoxy fill and rubber elements to add color.
2. CUSTOM HARDWARE PIECE – turn lock, dog clip, buckle, etc…
A subtler way to brand a bag is to create a custom and eye-catching hardware piece. This option also requires a vector based logo or icon. Many bigger brands will actually apply branding to multiple hardware pieces such as turn locks, dog clips and D-rings to reinforce the brand recognition.
3. CUSTOM ZIPPER PULLER
The custom zipper puller is another popular way to brand your product. If your product has a zipper you can use a custom puller inside the bag or on an exterior zipper. In general, exterior pullers are bigger than interior so you may need to develop multiple pullers for the same bag.
When designing a custom zipper puller you can choose from a variety of techniques including metal branded pullers, molded rubber or plastic pullers (suitable for a more athletic look), screen printed fabric pullers, or embossed leather or vegan leather pullers. All offer different benefits and or obstacles. The most important element to consider when creating a custom puller is that it functions properly because there is nothing more irritating than a zipper that is difficult to open. Niche Design Studio offers custom zipper puller solutions to fit any brand. To learn more sign up for a free 30 minute consultation.
4. BRANDED KEY FOB
A custom branded key fob is a great option for a smaller brand because it can be affixed to many different styles of bags and even sold alone. This allows for a larger minimum key fob order to work across all of your styles, rather than creating a different hardware piece for each style. Also, key fobs can be really fun! To see some great options to inspire your own designs visit our Pinterest board titled: Creative Handbag Hardware and Branding Techniques.
5. INSIDE LABEL
An inside label is a staple in the handbag industry. If you do no other branding, make sure to do a custom branded interior label. Some common types include:
- Woven label: These have smaller minimums and are affordable but tend to read lower price point.
- Screen printed label: Screen printing will require a “screen fee” of typically under $100 per color. Artwork will need to be vector based artwork and over time the screen can rub away. Some brands select this option because there is no minimum order for screen prints.
- Embossed vegan leather or leather label: This option will require a mold fee of around $300 but will result in an expensive looking pushed in logo emboss. Depending on the color you are embossing and the texture of the material you may also consider adding a foil to the emboss so the branding is very visible.
- Interior logo plate: See item one on this list for description.
6. BRANDED LINING
To make a great impact with your accessory a popular option is to create a branded lining. You will need to work with a designer to create seamless branded artwork for a fabric supplier to manufacture. This option works best with a brand icon, and is most impactful when paired with an attractive branded interior label.
7. FOIL OR EMBOSSED EXTERIOR BRANDING
A cost effective solution with a lux finish is a foil or embossed logo. This is relatively low cost – requiring only one mold – and has no minimum order quantity. The downside to this branding technique is the emboss effect only works on some leathers and vegan leather. Typically you cannot use a textured material and over time an emboss may fade. Likewise printing or a foil logo is not suitable for all fabrics and could rub off of your bag over time.
For more creative ideas of ways to brand your bag check out our Pinterest board titled “creative hardware and branding”. I am constantly adding inspiration to my Pinterest boards so follow along for more ideas!