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How to package your fabulous spa creations

Your mother always told you that it’s what’s on the inside that
counts. She’s right, of course, except for when it comes to product
packaging.

When it comes to product packaging, it’s all about the look.

Your product packaging consists of far more than just a protective
wrapper or a container. It’s about more than just functionality.
Your product packaging is a major communicator of your brand and
the value you offer.

In fact, research has shown that consumers spend 75% of their time
focused on the visual aspect of a product’s packaging.

Our perception of quality and value is driven by appearance, and
it’s natural to automatically assign a higher value to products
that appear in attractive packaging.

Knowing this, a wise marketer will use their packaging to leverage
a purchase decision in their favor (and to command higher margins).

Cosmetic and fragrance companies, in particular, capitalize on this
fact on a regular basis. Manufacturers routinely spend up to five
times more on the product packaging than they do on the actual
product inside!

More than Just a Pretty Label

Even though having an attractive product package is important,
being visually attractive it isn’t the only purpose that product
packaging serves.

What other tasks can your packaging perform for you?

  • Communicate your brand through imagery, logo and tagline/slogan
  • Provide information on your business mission
  • Answer frequently asked technical questions (space permitting)
  • Communicate ingredients and any cautionary measures
  • Set realistic expectations of the product’s benefits
  • Provide reorder information / business contact details

A product’s packaging doesn’t have to be expensive in order to
convey quality. Selecting clean, crisp, timeless styles that employ
a cohesive color scheme will reinforce your brand (and keep your
costs down, especially in the shorter term).

Additional Tips for Selecting Product Packaging:

  • Avoid falling prey to bringing in the latest “hot” packaging item
  • Select styles that can withstand the test of time
  • Look for containers that can be used to package multiple items
  • Order in larger quantities in order to take advantage of bulk
    discounts
  • Look for suppliers that offer free shipping
  • Purchase multiple packaging elements together when possible
    to avoid color mismatch
  • Keep an idea journal, and note product ideas when you see
    them in the marketplace

In my Handcrafter’s Companion e-book, you’ll find much more
information on spa product formulation, packaging and marketing. I
even provide a shortlist of my favorite packaging suppliers so you
can avoid the trial-and-error of going with the wrong suppliers.

Selling at Craft Shows & Fairs: Building a Better Booth

Craft shows and fairs are a fun and affordable way to introduce your products to a new audience. If you’ve never participated in one of these types of events before, the prospect can be a bit daunting at first. The good news is that once you develop a system for constructing and accessorizing your booth, you’ll find that your anxiety will be replaced with enthusiasm.

The Must-Have Items

Once you’ve assembled your kit of “must-have” items, I recommend that you keep them packed away together with your other show items. This will enable you to streamline your packing time, and always have immediate access to those items that you need.

  • Scissors
  • Wire Cutters
  • Thin Gauge wire
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Rubber bands
  • Scotch and Duct tape
  • Paper clips
  • Twine
  • Adhesive backed Velcro strips and/or Magnets
  • Black ink pen
  • Permanent Marker
  • Business Cards
  • Shopping Bags

Your Display

Most craft shows and fairs will include your table and chairs in the cost of the rental. If this is not the case, you will need to bring these items along. A great source for purchasing affordable tables and chairs is your local wholesale club or mass merchandiser. During certain times of the year (particularly at back to school time), you can find these items on sale at very reasonable prices.

With respect to table coverings, it is a good practice to select a specific color theme, and base all elements of your display around it. For example, you can often purchase used table cloths and skirts from party rental stores. This one-time purchase gives you a display staple that you can compliment seasonally with assorted greenery and florals, fabric accents, and props. Package seasonal display pieces together, and label them for easy identification. By doing this, you can quickly grab those items that you need, and leave any unnecessary items at home.

Creating Visual Interest

Creating a visually appealing booth will encourage more passersby to stop and check out your items for sale. Using simple items like small blocks of wood, or even a brick, covered by a colorful fabric square will create multiple levels within your booth. Other key display elements can include items such as inexpensive shelving units, a simple wooden stepstool, or one of your storage tubs turned upside down and covered by a fabric drape. Use your imagination to create unique display surfaces that are easy on the wallet, but pack a strong visual punch.

This is by no means a comprehensive list – as you gain experience, you’ll no doubt find many more items to add to this list. It will, however, provide you with a strong foundation to build upon so that your craft show experience will be more enjoyable and profitable.

Interested in learning more business-building and marketing ideas? Subscribe to my FREE Make Your Own Spa Products E-Course.

How to make money at craft shows and fairs

Part 1 of 2: This is part 1 of a Special Email Bulletin for anyone who has ever thought of making extra income by selling your own spa products at craft shows or fairs…

I imagine you’ve probably been to craft shows and or craft fairs. And you’ve seen how popular they are. Thousands of people attend some of these shows, and the best thing is…. they’re already interested in what you offer…

That makes selling at craft shows and fairs one of the best ways to get started with your own spa products business.

Here are some practical tips for getting started with craft show marketing. None of these are “rocket surgery” (as my 14-year old Jerry is fond of saying!) — but it’s surprising how many budding craft entrepreneurs miss these key points:

1. It all starts with the selecting the **right** show

Your success is heavily influenced by the show(s) at which you exhibit. A show that closely matches your product lineup is likely to perform much better than one where there is a mismatch.

There are a few ways to find the right shows. Personal networking and recommendations is one. Google searching is another (try searching on “Craft Show + <Your Location>” or “Craft Fair + <Your Location”).

Or there are a range of craft show directories. The best I know of for North American fairs is FestivalNet.

Just select your region to view upcoming craft shows in your area. There’s a basic but useful free version, and a more comprehensive subscription version for a nominal yearly membership.

A tool like this allows you to QUICKLY discover when and where the best shows are, so you can only exhibit at shows where you have the best chance of success. Simple but effective!

2. Get a feel for the show before you exhibit

Make sure BEFORE you set up a stall, that you know as much as possible about the show. What kind of people attend. Who else is exhibiting. And what other competition you might face.

There are a few ways to do this. One is to do online research… Another is to speak to the organizer. And another is to visit a fair as an attendee first and do a little “market research”.

My father used to say, “time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted”, and when it comes to exhibiting at craft fairs, he was right!

Knowing what you’re getting into allows you to prepare in advance and give yourself the best chance of success.

3. Make sure you’re different and desirable

The worst thing you can do is show up to a craft fair with exactly the same product as other exhibitors. Ideally, you want to be different and uniquely desirable to your target market. What does this mean?

  • Unique naming and packaging
  • Unique scents
  • Unique shapes / colours
  • Unique product bundles
  • Unique selling processes (sampling, list building etc.)

The more different you are, the less price competition matters! The more you know about the fair and your local competition, the more you can plan to be different. (In The Handcrafter’s Companion, I give you a range of ideas for creating truly unique products that stand out in a crowd.)

OK, this email is starting to get long, so I’ll write again in a few days with Part 2….