Packaging and Launching Your Product to Market

In business, they say, “It’s the packaging that sells the product the first time, but it’s what’s inside that sells the product the second time.” Unfortunately, new products sometimes fail because the manufacturer overlooked something that prevented it from moving off the shelf. In this article, we lay out the importance of packing and launching your product and how to do so effectively.

Launching Your Product

How you package and launch your product is essential, regardless of how amazing your product is. Having a new product fail due to manufacturing oversight can be a costly mistake. Especially since the average food product launch ranges from $12,000 to $15,000. 

To help you avoid mistakes, find our “packaging recipe for success” below, to help you launch your product in a cost-effective and timely manner. Before starting this process, however, consider the following:

  • What’s your product’s market? How big is it? Is it a growing market or one full of similar products?
  • Who’s going to purchase your product?
  • What makes your product stand out from competitors?
  • What are your competitors doing well? What are their areas for improvement?
  • Is your product “shelf stable,” or are there special handling requirements that need to be taken into account?
  • How are you going to produce your product? Will you manufacture it, or will a private label company manufacture it for you?
  • If you’re planning to manufacture it yourself, this opens a host of questions about equipment, location, processes, food safety, and so on. 

Packaging your Product

Now that you have your product, answer these questions to understand the type of packaging you’ll need:

  • How is your recipe or product distinguishable from others in the market?
  • What is your market? Is it specialized or broad? Does the market understand your product (this is especially critical if you are looking at specialized foods)?
  • How do you need to prepare? Do you have costs or contacts?
  • What volume is required to make this product viable, both expected and projected?
  • Will you manufacture it? Or will you hire a custom packaging or private label manufacturer?
  • Ideally, where would you like to see your product on the shelves?

Your Packaging Recipe for Success

Step 1: Choose a Designer

When interviewing a new designer, ask for their portfolio and previous work. Look at the designs and calibre of accounts they’ve worked on. This will give you an idea of what to expect.

If you have a large budget and are interested in multi-media (web, TV, print ads, etc.), opt for a larger firm with staff who can handle different mediums. Smaller firms and independent designers will also offer excellent service and a reasonable fee structure if your needs aren’t as complex.

Step 2: Work with the Designer

Compile a design synopsis based on your research and ideas when working with a designer. Give them an idea of the colours and feelings you’d like your brand and design to evoke. 

You’re paying for the designer’s outlook on your project. Make sure you’re clear about the direction you want to go in, but allow them to pick the path. Be clear about what you’d like them to handle so you can keep your costs in line.

If you reach a point where the design just isn’t working, be honest with your designer. If you pay your bill, they usually won’t have a problem with it. It’s entirely in your right to find another designer.

Step 3: Build Your Brand

Your brand is the umbrella under which other product variations reside. Remember to make your brand something easy to remember but indicative of your concept and philosophy. Keep it simple, and take pride in it.

The best brands use specific colours to grab our attention and make an impact. It makes products recognizable and cultivates a greater brand identity.

Step 4: Choose a Printer

Certain printers have specializations. Some may only print boxes, while others only print labels. But, a growing group of companies specialize in packaging and are a one-stop shop. Since they’re immersed in the industry and have extensive experience, they can steer you away from expensive mistakes.

A Few Key Points:

  • Ensure your designer talks to the printer so they can get the exact specifications the printer needs.
  • Keep an eye on file formats. Costs will increase if a printer has to redo or work on your file.
  • Remember that volume is the key to driving packaging costs down. So, do your research.
  • A rule of thumb is to never accrue more than six months’ worth of packaging. Labelling regulations change, and even though some forms are stable, things like pressure-sensitive labels can lose adhesive properties after a year if stored incorrectly.

Step 4: Launch your Product

Everything is falling into place. Your marketing materials are designed, the packaging is complete, the pricing structure is finished, and costs are laid. All that’s left is to put in the purchase orders to get everything printed. Now what?

Selling Your Product

Your sole focus should be on getting your product out to the public. When launching your product, consider introducing it at a trade show. It would be a great time to launch your product and get it in front of prospective customers. But be proactive. If prospective clients will be there, schedule appointments so everyone can make it to your booth. Not only will it build interest, but it will allow you to sell more products.

Getting your products in small to mid-range stores is also a great place to start. Specialty chains, in particular, work well to build brand loyalty and increase sales. As you grow, connect with brokerages catering to larger chains. But, be cautious if they ask for exclusivity of your product.

Finally, remember that even as the product takes off, you should still promote it. You continuously want to make an impact on the market.

Small Business BC is Here to Help

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.