Packaging and labelling tips for small businesses

When starting out, many small businesses think about how they’re going to package their products as more of an afterthought but this can prove to be a big, and costly, mistake! How to package and label products is not a simple as it seems and to get it right requires lots of thought and careful planning, so please read on for ideas on designing great product packaging and labelling.

You’ll need to begin by thinking about which retailers you’re going to target. Issues to consider are: how will your product be displayed in their shop – taking into account that they’ll be more likely to stock your product if it takes up the minimum amount of room and is easy to fit onto shelves. This is where the size and shape of the packaging come into play as if it’s too bulky it won’t fit, whilst too small and it’ll prove difficult to display attractively. Don’t overlook the positioning of labels and any product packaging handles.

Before you go ahead and place a large (and very expensive) order with a product packaging company, it can be well-worth making several prototype packaging designs yourself. This is the best way to assess the design, look and feel of the packaging and you’ll be able to show the prototypes to retailers so they have a good idea of how the products will look and fit into the displays in their store. When showing packaging prototypes to retailers, it can also be very helpful to ask them for feedback as they’ll be able to offer advice on what they know from experience will work well and what could prove a hindrance.

Good packaging equals great branding and at this point it can be well worth investing in the advice of a professional product development consultant. Remember that product packaging is the biggest weapon in your arsenal when it comes creating sales: packaging is the first thing potential customers will see and their decision whether to buy your product or to choose your competitor’s, will be based on the look and feel of the packaging.

When choosing a product packaging company, it’s well worth shopping around. Try one of the trade associations as a starting point, such as the BCMPA

Smaller, local firms will, on the whole, be cheaper than larger companies and it’s also worth bearing in mind that when it comes to packaging, the more you order the cheaper the overall cost will be. If you’re nervous about investing in a large packaging production run, some packaging companies offer discounts for ‘piggybacking’ onto a larger run but this can mean compromising on the style of packaging you choose.

Product labelling is equally important as product packaging and some research into your target market will be vital. Take a good look at how your competitor’s products are labelled and think about what works well and which labelling is less successful. Labelling should never be underestimated and it can help to think of the labels on your products as advertising, rather than just as a way to relay information. Make sure you get it right first time as correcting mistakes at a later date is very expensive and whilst labelling should be simple and easy to read, check and then check again that nothing has been missed out.




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