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Holiday Sales Mistake #1: Unbranded Packaging & Product

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Holiday Sales Mistake #1: Unbranded Packaging & Product

Academy Of Handmade

Today's post is the first in our series of Holiday Sales Mistakes you might be making. It's also part of 6 Days of Handmade Business Holiday Giveaway. That means you'll be getting blog posts like this one for six days (until Saturday), PLUS a chance to win a Maker Business Tool Bundle (scroll to the bottom to enter!). Hey, your business deserves a gift too! ;)

When someone purchases your product either online or at a craft show your connection with them doesn't end there. Somehow that product is now being integrated into their lives or into the life of a friend. You want it to be absolutely clear to them (which means you need to having your name and brand very clear and in multiple locations) after you've initially interacted with them who you are so they don't forget.

It feels like such a win just to get found and have someone buy your product. And it's usually a fair amount of work. Why keep repeating that process? It is ALWAYS better to turn someone into a repeat customer then be "one and done" and have to start all over. Well-branded packaging and products does this!

Make Sure You Always Have....

There are three things that are super crucial to your brand being remembered well past your initial interaction with a customer. They are:

  1. Your Business Name (your personal name included is also great to make it more personal, but it won't help them find you online unless your name and business are the same, so just know your business name is a MUST)
  2. Your Logo (this is important for visual association and if your business name is in your logo it reinforces that)
  3. Your Website

These need to be on your product (when possible) on your packaging in a clear manner. And often the customer needs to be given multiple pieces (the box, your card, the bag, product, etc.) from you that contain those elements. Beyond those basics, doing things like incorporating your brands colors or other visual cues are HUGE to reinforcing your brand to the customer.

If you buy this adorable tree stump from #ahasmember Hi Tree! you will always know its from her thanks to the fabric tag sewn onto it.

If you buy this adorable tree stump from #ahasmember Hi Tree! you will always know its from her thanks to the fabric tag sewn onto it.

The Mistakes

I buy a lot of handmade products. Like A LOT. And as someone with a branding and marketing background one of the mistakes I see all the time from makers is that their products are unbranded.

Here are the main problems I see...

End Product is Without Your Branding

You may have wrapped your item up in very pretty and well branded packaging, but if you don't have your branding (i.e. logo or name or website) printed, screened, attached, stamped or whatever on the final product then you are making it a lot harder for someone to buy from you again.

OR if their friend compliments them when they use your product, you want them say "Why thank you, I bought it from XYZ Maker!" not (what happens all the time) "I bought it from Etsy." Because that is really helping no one. 

Exceptions would be items where it would interfere with the end use (like a lot of jewelry) or where the end product is essentially disposable/consumable (like food or soap). 

#ahasmember Miriam Dema does a great job of branding this leather cuff she made so that people know who made it even if they were given it as a gift or forget her name later.

#ahasmember Miriam Dema does a great job of branding this leather cuff she made so that people know who made it even if they were given it as a gift or forget her name later.

Poorly Printed or Adhered Labels

If you have a product that the customer is constantly handling or flopping around in their purse after their purchase, you better make sure that the ink on your labels do not rub off! And if you have stuck a label onto your product, it better withstand some degree of moisture and rubbing if you want anyone to know who you are more than five seconds after they've started using the product.

When your product is meant to stay in its original container, like these cleansing grains from #ahasmember Botanic Organic, it can be a lot easier to have packaging that reminds the customer who made the product. She's also had the labels professionally printed so the inks aren't coming off when people grab it with their wet or oily hands.

When your product is meant to stay in its original container, like these cleansing grains from #ahasmember Botanic Organic, it can be a lot easier to have packaging that reminds the customer who made the product. She's also had the labels professionally printed so the inks aren't coming off when people grab it with their wet or oily hands.

Throw Away Packaging

The struggle for those who make disposable products that don't require a container (like bar soaps or food) is that people will often toss the packaging as soon as they are done with the product. What you want to do is try to give them a reason to keep it or some part of it around. The example of the soap below contains packaging that can easily be saved if someone wants to order this fragrance again.

Even better? To tell people to save it so they can reorder! And giving them an incentive such as if they get a discount on their next purchase of so many dollars or including instructions for best soap or any other kind of smart inducement to make a card like that just a little bit more painful to throw out will work beautifully!

#ahasmemebr Erin of Naiad Soap Arts has packaging that is hard to keep with the original item. But this card makes it easy for someone to keep if they want to buy more from her at a later date.  

#ahasmemebr Erin of Naiad Soap Arts has packaging that is hard to keep with the original item. But this card makes it easy for someone to keep if they want to buy more from her at a later date.  

Make sure you come back tomorrow to read about mistake #2!

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