Thinking Outside the Category. Reusable bags have gone mainstream, and we think that’s a great thing. From taxes on plastic bags to banning them entirely, many companies and municipalities are dedicated to reducing the number of bags used and relegated to landfills. N’Take, a manufacturer of reusable bags, wanted to stand out in an increasingly crowded competitive marketplace. They had a great product and solid service and support; what they needed was a differentiator.

N’Take engaged Posit Partners to come up with a positioning strategy and messaging that would drive sales. We focused on the company’s three audiences: retailers and distributors new to reusable bags; retailers who already had a provider; and consumers. In the minds of all three audiences, “reusable bags” were a commodity as a result of marketplace crowding—dozens of companies selling nearly identical products. But this challenge contained within it an opportunity: by stepping outside the confines of the “reusable shopping bags” category, N’Take could reframe its solution by reframing the problem it was solving.

N’Take’s primary differentiator is the durability of its bags, which last for years rather than weeks or months. Convincing consumers to pay to replace a paper or plastic bag with a reusable bag that can be reused a dozen times is one kind of sell, with a razor-thin margin. Appealing to eco-conscious consumers’ desire to replace whole categories of “disposable” items with permanent ones is a different kind of sell altogether. By repositioning N’Take as an “ecodurable goods” brand, the company was able to promote its products alongside makers of things like portable personal containers and utensils. A new position in a new category meant less direct competition, a bigger addressable market, and healthier margins.