I received Dana’s press kits for Moon Maiden Soaps & Sundries and I was so impressed by her packaging, I asked her to write an article for the blog about how she went about branding her product lines…

In order to stand out in a sea of competition, focus on branding and fluidity in packaging is essential. Where the big players can spend an enormous amount of time and money on branding, smaller businesses can really do wonders with branding by following a few simple principles.

Create a Look – Decide on the color scheme for your business. Ask yourself what kind of look and feel you want to impart. It is important to choose colors from a complementary color scheme in order to carry it through your all your packaging, company logo and promotional materials.

Design a Logo – What image would you like your customers to visualize when they think of you and your product? If you are unable to capture the imagery in your mind and translate it into something tangible you can work with, I strongly suggest developing a relationship with a graphic designer. There are several wonderful graphic design programs on the market today; and many more people trained to use them quickly and effectively. Having some ideas and conceptualizations laid out in advance will be very helpful for both you and your designer.

Decide on Product Presentation – How do you want to package your products? Packaging plays a very large role establishing fluidity and professional presentation. A little research goes a long way here; develop a “scrapbook” of examples by getting out there and looking at merchandising first hand. Insure that all your packaging solutions for your entire line compliment one another. Keep in mind also functionality and durability when selecting packaging styles.

Sadie Lou asked me to share a little bit about my experience with branding Moon Maiden Soap & Sundries and how I settled on my current style.

I began with my company name. Since my business is in the bath and body industry, it seemed appropriate to emphasize the delicate feminine side of women. I had chosen Moon Maiden to reflect the youthful beauty associated with the maiden aspect of the triple goddess figure from earth-based spirituality. From there I decided on the image of the maiden. She is from a copyright-free vintage postcard. I felt this maiden had the perfect feminine expression I wanted for my product presentation. Initially, I attempted to design my own product packaging. However, I quickly realized my limited skills with the graphics program and decided to seek the services of someone more qualified. Working with a graphic designer was quintessential to developing a fluid style for my line. I prepared a storyboard of what I wanted regarding color scheme and the maiden image, but just as importantly described how I named my business as well as some pertinent information about my background. Within a few days I was contacted with the first set of graphics to approve –I think being prepared for that initial meeting shortened the process considerably.

I order most of my packaging supplies through Nashville Wraps (www.nashvillewraps.com). They have a large selection and very low minimums which can be beneficial to small businesses. I order my labels through Online Labels.com (www.onlinelabels.com) as well as Creative Label Concepts (www.labelsbythesheet.com). Again, both have relatively low minimums and a large selection of label sizes to meet your needs.

Due to the small scale of my current printing needs, I opted to purchase a color laser printer and print the labels myself. It allows me to print as needed; and frees up upfront overhead costs and valuable storage space. I do have my business cards and literature printed professionally.

I do figure packaging costs into the pricing for my products. I keep a spreadsheet with a breakdown of cost per unit with supply sources listed for quick reference and future ordering.

I hope by sharing this little bit of insight, you too will be able to develop branding that is as unique and lovely as you and your wonderful handmade products are!

By Dana Eskes © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Proprietor, Moon Maiden Soap & Sundries

Moon Maiden Soap