Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Good things come in awesome packaging...

As part of the service we provide we work together with designer makers to achieve the best look for their products through branding and packaging. So in this little post we'll be briefly showing you how to achieve that hand made look through a professional, premium outer skin which will make your product sell and be an instant recognisable hit!

We think packaging is very important and personally I am a sucker for it having in the past bought a specific product not for the actual item inside but because of the pretty box which enveloped it! I know...dumb right? Well no... bear with me because I'll explain. When it comes to selling a product it's imperative that you not only sell the item itself but that you also sell a life style, tell a story or promote a look. And all this without loosing your product/company identity?

Larger companies do this through packaging. I'm sure you've all seen the 1950's Pin Up type packaging which certain cosmetic companies use for their beauty products. Well how many of you have picked them up just because you have a fondness for vintage style?
They've been really clever because as you know the glamorous vintage look is very much in vogue so it's no longer hitting just a niche market but hitting the mass consumer "BAM" right in the middle of their buying noggin!
The average high street shopper has picked up on this fashion trend through film, the cat walk, music etc. and you can see plenty of school girls with up dos, victory rolls and bandanas! Even mainstream pop singers are at it!

Beyoncé rocking the war time Bandana look!

Rihanna looking stunning with scarlet Victory Rolls!

It's all about going with the popular culture and let's face it... people like to follow what's popular!
Back in school who had the most friends? The popular girl!
You might think it's superficial but lets face it...we are all superficial to some extent! In this case it's not always what's on the inside that counts. That my friends really should be kept for when referring to people, treasure chests or chocolate covered raisins!

Benefit Cosmetics (High Street)

Haydria Perfumery(hand made)

But we don't want you to sell your soul over to mass consumerism or to Fashion (unless you really want to!) but we want to help you get your products looking as amazing as they can without losing their hand made integrity! Fashion comes and goes,that's true, but your products should always be stead fast in the quality stakes and though you can tap into fashion, tweak your labels accordingly to what's of the moment you should always have a solid base which shouts it's made by YOU! This my lovelies is branding!

So how do you get the professional look without resembling another High Street, Mass Produced product?
Look at your product and figure out what type of shopper you are targeting.
Make your packaging stand out, looking professional and looking like it's personal to you and your brand's ethos.
Don't just use an old bit of recycled brown paper nor spend a fortune on boxes or fancy paper either. You really don't need to spend thousands on it for your product to look awesome. You can achieve a great inspirational look on a shoe string budget...all you need is a bit of imagination and some clever crafting!

Printed paper bags and twine add a vintage touch to your hand made packaging. By using this type of packaging what does it say about the product? Old fashioned traditional methods? A love of green recycled materials? Or speciality product? All of the above and not a scrunched up pre used paper bag in sight... though these bags are made from recycled paper!

Printed Wax paper and black string has been used to make these products original and beautiful.

Though we totally believe in recycling and up cycling if you are charging a premium price then it needs to look the part. Use recycled or green made packaging instead of just ironing a bit of naff, faded old brown paper! You are competing with a sea of other products both on mass produced and on the hand made side so make it as enticing as possible. You really won't sell a gorgeous product, no matter how great it is if it's wrapped in an old tatty plastic bag!
Use the best possible raw ingredients/materials for your products because even though we are talking about packaging the product itself needs to be good! Without the quality product inside the outside will be only a fad and what you want is return buyers and a loyal following!!!

Keep your over all look streamlined, timeless and cohesive. Have your logo, your company colours on everything from your business cards, web site, to your packaging. An overall "look" which is adaptable will help people identify your brand visually so next time they see it they'll know exactly what it is that you are selling be it a lifestyle product or an awesome hand made soap.

A selection of High Street soaps Savon de Marseille and Arc Brito

Berylune soaps...hand made and made in the UK. Lovely Graphic packaging not unlike the Arc Brito but definitely with it's own identifiable modern look!

So how do you keep that hand made look? 
Long gone are the days where knitted loo roll dollies and painted pasta shapes on card classified as CRAFT. It's an expanding, designer led, competitive market so your product needs to stand out and sell itself at a glance and that's where packaging comes in.
Today's designer maker is not only the producer of quality products but also the sales person, PR intern, the accountant, etc. etc. etc.
The modern designer maker has to wear many hats so if you feel like you can't quite grasp the packaging and branding side then that's where we come in.
We love packaging and we know the hand made market very well. With over 10 years of selling experience and 5 years of Craft Market management we feel we might just be the help you need to get your products noticed.
Get in touch! Our fees are competitive and we believe we can get you thinking of your packaging as an integral part of making your hand made company a successful business with a minimal outlay and without losing your hand made identity.

For this post we've chosen mainly SOAP and cosmetics because we thought they are a perfect example of successful packaging as many use it to great effect. I mean soap is soap right, they all pretty much use the same process and ingredients? Not exactly or "not just" should be the correct reply hence why we've chosen it as an example. Though quality varies there are so many brands out there so it's pretty much down to product and packaging and how that plays a huge part in it's success or failure. It is after all an everyday product which we all use and with so much choice out there...something has to set them apart.
For example a small Portuguese Soap company like "Arc Brito" who was on the verge of death suddenly after reviewing their packaging went on to become one of the worlds premium soap brands mainly through the beautifully designed art work which encapsulates their gorgeous soaps. They now sell their soap all over the world and in shops like Selfridge's, Liberty of London and Heal's. So it goes to prove that it's not just what's on the inside but on the outside too!!!

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