Here are some ways to customize your private label item for less.
Less development, trials and tribulations.
Whatever customization you undertake may require some additional cost. And it will require additional control.
A good rule of thumb: whatever you add to a project, you watch over that aspect of the project.
Add to – Watch Over.
Change – Control.
The factory may always make widgets.
But they’re not always making YOUR widgets.
And in your early projects, it may make sense to offer a subtle, easier customization.
I’m not saying don’t customize and offer something unique in the market.
Just consider how deep you dive in.
Until you have full confidence in a product line and selling method, you may want to hold off on heavy customization investment.
This is the 5th installment in posts on Private Label. Here is the previous one and you can find the trail from there:
Ways to offer a more subtle customization:
Brand an existing product:
Branding your item shouldn’t only be an option but is a MUST*
This could be something as easy as printing or engraving your logo onto the item.
As you select a brand name, you’ll want to put that logo on each reference to show it’s uniquely YOUR brand.
Over time, you’ll use social media and other outlets (webpages, landing pages, email list) to grow your brand.
*one note about branding the item – this is almost a must for product identification. In other words, similar to cows having the brand of their owners, you do this so cow rustlers won’t take your item and sell as their own. Does that make good ol’ fashion sense?
This is kicking it up a notch.
How is the product delivered and first displayed to the buyer?
Do you want the customer to see your colors, graphics and logo on packaging?
Packaging is a way to further customize an item and make it your own, without completely changing an existing product.
Not only brand the item with a nice subtle logo but provide more perceived value on the packaging.
Packaging can include:
- Your brand and theme colors.
- Logo and graphics, how to reach you on social media.
- Other tag lines and copy. Make the text consistent with your listing on Amazon or whatever website. It would also be consistent with whatever verbiage you use on your social media pages.
Customize an insert.
This can be some form of name card, brochure or index card insert you include with each item. It’s printed front and back and to a lesser extent, it does what branded packaging does.
Many Amazon sellers do this to thank the customer for their purchase and to remember to leave a review.
It would include the logo and subtle verbiage.
If you can reprint the instructions to your item, that’s a plus. The instructions, then form as your branding page.
For me, it’s always a wee bit of a turn off to buy an item and the instructions were obviously the factory’s stock instructions (weird phrases, lack of fluidity, etc…)
Still creates additional work, control.
Usually the main factory will be in charge of branding right on the item. If the process isn’t done in-house, they should assume reasonable control and monitoring.
This won’t leave you off the hook from any control.
Via photos, samples and QC, still control the branding aspect as much as possible.
For the print aspect; your main factory will of course outsource this to their main printer. Again, control this. Have the factory send you samples of whatever is printed.
Other options; for small inserts and tags I’ve seen people print these states’-side (or country of buyer) and send to the factory in one package.
If you’re savvy enough you can source your favorite print vendor in China or origin country and then connect the 2 factories (main vendor and print vendor). If you do this, the principle factory will take less responsibility for the outcome.
Inform your vendor from the beginning of your plans to customize…
Whatever you are going to customize, whether it’s a packaging aspect or full product development, remember to inform your vendor from the beginning.
Quick scenario: if you get the item itself quoted, sampled and complete and THEN start talking printed insert or custom packaging, the factory will get thrown off.
They’ll have to requote.
Re-spec export packaging (now more pieces fit into a carton because of larger printed packaging).
…and in a sense, go back to the drawing board.
This may result in an inflated price or inaccurate detail.
Be sure to speak about customization, branding and packaging from the get-go.
Starting out, these are a few ways to customize for less.
With these options, you’re still branding and offering something unique, just not yet investing into full-on development.