You have a great product idea and you know there’s a market for it, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and launch your exciting new brand.
No doubt you’re feeling super excited and a little bit scared?
Having collaborated with several start-ups over the years, we know that while brand identity and packaging design is what the consumer sees, there’s an awful lot more that goes on behind the scenes.
So we wanted to share some of our insights and observations about what’s needed to bring a new product to market.
- Make your Product the Hero
Your product should be at the centre of your new brand. It needs to deliver everything you want it to, whether this is taste, effectiveness, quality or eco credentials.
This part of the process can be time consuming and mentally exhausting, but if you don’t believe your product delivers what it should, the trade buyers and consumers won’t either.
The time (and money) investment here will ensure you are really proud of your product, and will pay off later down the line when consumers love it, and become loyal brand advocates.
Ingredient Sourcing: quality; location; sustainability; reliability of source; price
Manufacturing Options: location; price; capacity; quality control
Product Range: size; format; flavours
- Get the Price Right
It’s really important to establish product costs which are realistic for both your own business and the consumer.
This will involve some market research to establish what consumers are likely to pay and then check that your business can make the product for a cost that gives you enough margin to make a profit.
Retailers are notoriously aggressive when it comes to their own margins, so make sure you fully understand all your pricing so you can fight your corner.
Cost of Goods (COGs): the cost to you of producing your product, combining: ingredients, manufacturer, packaging, packing and distribution.
Manufacturer Selling Price (MSP): the margin you need to add on top of your COGs to ensure a profit.
Retailer Recommended Price (RRP): the more sophisticated distribution channels that already have a well-established category where your product will be sold, will likely tell you what the RRP should be. For other distributors you will be able to make recommendations.
- Bring your Product to Life
Creating a Brand Identity and Packaging Design to bring your product to life is one of the most exciting parts of the process, and one of the most important.
The psychology behind consumer purchase decisions is pretty conclusive that impactful packaging design sells product. This is also true in the digital landscape, where consumers ‘like’ and ‘share’ images of brands and packaging that look amazing.
Brand Name: memorable; relevant; easy to say
Brand Proposition: what is your brand all about; what makes it unique/different; what story do you want to tell
Packaging Structure: off-the-shelf or bespoke and innovative, stand-out from competitors; ease of use
Materials: functionality; sustainability; protection; tactile experience
Production of Packaging: sourcing suppliers; quality; reliability; pricing; compatibility with product manufacturing
Transportation: retail on-shelf packaging; transit cases
- Create a Buzz
So, you have an amazing product, a memorable brand logo and stunning packaging. Now it’s time to get out there and start spreading the word.
You want to raise awareness, create interest, and ultimately drive trial – as once consumers have tried your product and discover how amazing it is, they’ll keep coming back for more.
Consistency: tone of voice; look and feel; imagery usage. The more consistent you are across all marketing channels the more quickly you’ll become recognisable to consumers.
Social Media: there are so many channels now, be realistic about which channels you can properly manage. To have a consistently active presence on one social media channel is much better than being half-hearted across many.
Influencers: can get you in front of a wider audience, but will only work if your brand is relevant to their followers, and the link-up feels genuine.
Website: doesn’t have to be complicated, but is an important asset for trade buyers and consumers who want to know more about your brand and products.
Trade Shows: a great way to get in front of trade buyers who are notoriously hard to pin down.
Product Sampling: get your product in as many hands as possible – they try it, love it, talk about it, recommend it.
- Enable Trial
You’ve done a brilliant job raising awareness and creating demand, so where can your consumers go to buy your products?
Through your own Social Media and/or Website is a no brainer, but to hit a larger audience you need to cast the net wider.
Distribution Channels: identify and prioritise the ones that fit with your brand. Is it the big multiples; independent retailers; online retailers; wholesalers; food service.
Trade Story and Support Materials: if you want to be sold through retailers you need to impress the buyers. An engaging story, powerful statistics and memorable leave-behinds are essential.
Sampling: if you’re struggling to get in front of buyers, sending product samples in the post can entice them to talk to you.
- Don’t forget the Paperwork
Not the most glamorous aspect of creating your amazing new brand, but crucial to the smooth running of things.
You’ll need to have an understanding of the legalities and mandatory elements involved in a number of different aspects.
Legislation: product claims; recyclability of packaging materials; mandatories relating to ingredients listings; provenance of ingredients.
Admin: purchase orders for your suppliers or some form of tracking money in and out, an inventory system.
Finance: making sure you have a purchase order or written commitment before you complete an order; retailers are notoriously aggressive when it comes to payment terms, so be prepared; set up lines of credit to help you through the early stages.
We hope you’ve found these insights and observations helpful. Taking the plunge and launching your own brand is an amazing adventure, so most importantly, remember to enjoy the experience.
If you’d like some help and advice along the way, then our SPARK design package is designed specifically for start-ups and challenger brands, offering insightful strategy, engaging creative and complete access to our design expertise.
Find out more here, or get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org