Understanding The Processes for Private Label
Sourcing or creating your first Private Label Product can seem quite daunting if you start to think about all the fine details required to physically put a product into the market. That is why I am here to dig right into the heart of design, manufacturing and distribution processes to make your product come to life. If you need some more convincing check out our article that discusses the value of private label products.
Trust us when we say creating a product from nothing is an incredibly rewarding and difficult task, we at the Private Label Lab has been creating products for some of the largest retail/supermarkets in the world and even a few ambitious entrepreneurs and each time the product demands an obsessive amount of love and dedication to complete.
Create your Market Research Report
If you have your product and/or market validation already feel free to skip down to the next section. Otherwise this quick section will touch on some simple basics for those who are venturing into product development for the first time.
The first step in your journey should always be a significant amount of research into your target market? Perhaps your product is creating a new market? In either of these cases you should know the competition and substitutes for your product so you can prepare accordingly. If you really are on the ball you could even set up a small landing page for your product. Have mockups of the product or descriptions that outline its core value to the consumer and see if anyone signs up. Once you do have some interest reach out to those that have signed up and discover what about product appealed to them. Find out everything you can about them and start to create a consumer profile for people in your target market.
To generate the interest run a few ads on social media and see if people register to hear more about your product, or sign up for a discount code. Check out this shopify article to wrap your head around discount marketing. Now continue to ask yourself what channels of marketing would be best suited for your product? Try out a few and find out. This type of exercise should hopefully give you some market validation to keep moving forward.
Product Design - Standout from the crowd
The design in more way than one is the most important part of your product. You may have the greatest manufacturing and distribution on earth but if your product sucks you're in trouble. Their certainly is a market for crappy products on the cheap, no doubt about it. However if you really want to create a product that will grow and define your brand for months and years to come than you need a unique and accessible design. If you need a place to start try checking out this film about design disruption.
Primarily there are five design stages that you can go through to get your product from ideation to physically in your hands or at least as a mockup. The following should be done in order but necessarily not each step needs to occur, figure out which stages are most crucial to your product and focus on those.
Before you begin manufacturing thousands of units of product find your brand logo. Create a representation of your brand that will be easily recognisable. A great logo design speaks volumes about the quality of a brand. Brand perception can make or break an average product, and in some instances strengthen a below average product.
Conceptual Label Design
This would entail a detailed design of your packaging and the label that you will be using for your product. Perhaps look into testing different label designs through testing. Ask friends or family or shoot your designs into a design forum to ask the public.
Print Ready Label Deisgn
The full design ready to go that you can supply to a manufacturer and they will be able to slap this onto a bottle or package. This type of deign would be further into your ideation process or right at the end as you begin a large volume order.
Conceptual Product Design
Step two after finishing your print ready label design you find the proper bottle or package and bring everything together for your first prototype. Finding the right dimensions, aesthetic and usability for your product makes up almost all of the physic
Original Product Design
If your product is going to be like nothing else in the market and demands a completely new design then you will need to go for the whole suit of product design. This holistic approach to design will touch on all of the above criteria but go one step further by creating a bottle or package design that defines that product further. Think of a standard beer bottle then compare that to a glass Coca Cola bottle, they are identifiably different. Now combine this with your logo, label and any other design differentiating factors and you have created something uniquely different for your market.
The Manufacturing Process
Finding a trustworthy manufacturer is that all important step in making your product a reality. With the right manufacture you can minimise costs, create reliable timetables for customers, and minimise lead times for getting your product out in the wild.
When searching for a manufacturing partner always look for the accreditation that they possess. This can and will save you a great amount of headache later down the road. If they have the proper credentials to be creating your niche product then it is a safe bet they have done it before and know the regulations around doing so. Creating a product that is within the boundaries of the respective laws can save you having to adjust aspects of your product later down the road to meet those regulations. A good manufacturer will know exactly what ingredients and the quantity of the ingredients that can be used for the product to pass approval in most major markets.
Be aware of Alibaba, it is a jungle of great possibility but also a minefield of middle men and backyard factories. Figure out what sort of regulations and certification your product will need and identify if your manufacturer of interest has it.
Distributing your PRODUCT
Last week I touched on some core principles that need to be understood when choosing a manufacturer and how you will get your product to its destination, you can read about that here! When picking a distributor there won't be a large amount of variance for shipping but it is best to do your due diligence and figure out if it's cheaper to source your own or go with your manufacturers. When the product arrives in its homeport you will need to decide how to get the product out. Will you be putting it into an amazon fulfilment centre? If you choose Amazon there are a large amount of further requirements for packaging and delivery that you will need to meet.
Perhaps you have a local distributor who will take care of your orders for you? It could be that one of the great values of your product is the distribution, in Australia mattress startup koala boasts a four hour delivery time! Decide how your distribution will effect the product and what will be most appropriate for your consumer. You never want your product to take two weeks to reach a consumer and they completely forget about your product entirely.
Private Label Solutions
Through the above processes anyone could bring an idea to life. Though bringing the right product to a market in need will be entirely different. Luckily all of these processes can be simplified with the help of the Private Label Lab. We offer services for all of the above and more with a proven track record of creating and retailing quality products all over the world. Get in touch with us and we would love to chat about your private label product!