Editor's Note: This is the first article in a seven-part series. This content is also available in the white paper, An Introduction to Product Labeling. You may download this very informative guide to product labeling free of charge as a printable PDF file, courtesy of Lightning Labels.
Where Do I Start?
How many times have you bought a product because it "looked better" than its neighbors? This very common (and very human) approach to purchasing proves that professional labels can make or break the success of a product. While this guide will not tell you everything you need to know about the complicated process of bringing new products to market, it will give you a head start on figuring out one of the most important parts of the equation: labeling your products.
Okay, I Have an Idea for a Product. What's Next?
The answer depends on what the product is. If you want to produce bath-and-body products (shampoos, creams, scrubs etc) the first step is probably to formulate and test them — this is often done in the "kitchen sink" by start-up entrepreneurs, but it is also frequently performed in consultation with professional formulators. These are companies who specialize in mixing and packaging the products to your specification, and they bring lots of experience and knowledge to the table — but we also have many customers who have done it the "hard way" and sourced all the components themselves (for example in the food and condiments market, where family recipes are often jealously guarded). Which direction you should take depends on how complex the products are, how confident you are about the process, and how much time (and money) you have to get the product to the marketing stage.
It’s also important to recognize that many products have governmental regulations that need to be observed — particularly anything related to the "health and/or well-being" of customers — so consider these carefully before going too far, and you may find that a professional formulator can offer valuable guidance in this area.