13. how a simple shopping bag becomes an architect's dream

"tourists carry bags"

The street is a thoroughfare for advertising. From busses to sidewalk signs, storefronts, and especially shopping bags. The shopping bag is not the single most important marketing strategy for a store, but it is significant. A shopping bag becomes a possession, a 'my-bag', and in an interesting twist becomes an emotional connection for the handler. It and can morph from just a bag carrying mechanidse to a bag used throughout the day and if durable enough it can transition to lunch bags, shopping bags, etc. A full bag brings satisfaction to a customer while also creating a sense of need from those who see the bag being carried. When a bag is spotted and a connection made, people begin to search for the store associated with this bag. In downtown Anchorage shopping bags carried by tourists seem to have a strong visual affect throughout the landscape of a street.

Anchorageites: Who has not seen that bright yellow bag with a black image and lettering? This bag is an example of how a simple item can lead people to a store promoting commerce and creating location identification for a store.

-These bags walk through streets providing advertisement.

-This leads more people to a store.

-Which leads more pedestrian traffic to a street.

-Which provides more vitality to a street.

-Bringing profit to said store and adjacent stores.

-Profits and economic boosts bring revitalization, renovations, global stores, new construction, and life to a street.

-An architect's dream.-

When a bag identifies a store, especially among tourists, it makes this store a land mark. This touts back the concept of my post #10 on stores being land marks. While local tourist shops are not global landmarks as discussed in post #10, when well marketed they become local landmarks specific to thier area. By becoming a local landmark these shops effectively promote the consumer population growth in an area required for bringing in global shops/landmarks to an area of a city.

If you have not figured it out already this bright yellow bag is from the locally owned Polar Bear Gifts. They have created a prolific identity that is scattered among the streets of Anchorage providing a positive economic growth to this street. These bags are most likely carried around other areas of the U.S. and world. These bags are durable, reusable, and present in the landscape. A fantastic example of the success brought when a tourist carries a bag.

*Inspired by: Urban Code 100 Lessons for Understanding the City by Anne Mikoleit and Moritz Purkhauer


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