Making Your Mark
Private label is an increasingly buzz-worthy phrase across many industries. It refers to the process through which a manufacturer produces products for use under another party's brand name. This is a common practice in the wellness, beauty, food and fashion industries—and a wonderful tool for those with unique branding visions and business philosophies.
In many ways, private labeling is an equalizing force in the massage industry as it provides small businesses and solo practitioners the opportunity to create an original brand, a message and a service rather than relying on well-known, existing brands.
Private Labeling very democratically adds more voices to the conversation, creating healthy competition and naturally allowing each brand to seek out its chosen mode of promotion and visibility to meet its target consumer.
Making a plan and taking inventory...
Your Branding Needs
Private label manufacturers are responsible for creating the product that will later be branded by their clients. These manufacturers vary greatly in both size and scope of services. Often, large organizations accept highly customized requests for product creation and branding and have absorbed all parts of the packaging, labeling and shipping processes. Smaller manufacturers might allow for lower minimum orders but potentially require a more hands-on approach to label design and packaging.
Regardless of size, most manufacturers offer a list of established stock formulas at wholesale prices from which to hand-select those that best fit your business and branding needs, which gives you the time and freedom to control your product marketing, pricing and distribution.
Once branded, the distributor of these goods is the client—you—meaning these products are now your very own to incorporate into your practice in the way you see fit.
What You Give
As straightforward a consideration as it might be, it’s important to note that private labeling, creating your very own brand or line, requires both time and energy–and for many solo practitioners, both of these may be in short supply. It is crucial, therefore, before beginning, to have a clear vision and a clear budget in mind.
Private labeling will require some design work on your part—meaning it is a chance to get creative. It will require you to invest yourself, to ultimately make something that is entirely your own in order to tell a unique story.
Developing a strong relationship with a trusted manufacturer whose services align with your business needs and available resources and taking some time to intentionally strategize on the front-end, will pay off tenfold.
What You Get
The benefits of private labeling include increased visibility, differentiation, added value and retail opportunities!
Let’s look at each of these benefits:
1. Increased visibility equals increased recognition. There are many benefits of private labeling. The first and most apparent, is the ability to establish a brand for oneself. Developing a brand necessarily increases your visibility, gives your practice a name as well as an image and a story to travel via word-of-mouth, and over time increases brand recognition.
2. Point of difference. By creating a unique product, customers return to the only location that carries your offerings: yours. Establishing this point of difference between you and your competitors also reflects a level of professionalism and intention that won’t go unnoticed by your clientele.
3. Add value to sessions. Private labeling is an opportunity to increase customer loyalty and retention by establishing additional value to their unique experience with you. Round out a client’s session while also offering a reminder to schedule their next session by allowing them to take a product used in the session home for continued use– labeled and packaged to remind them of you.
4. Retail opportunity. Many practitioners choose to offer their private labeled products for retail purchase to clients after a session, adding a beautiful custom touch to the experience and generating additional income.
Your Future Brand
Before anything else, it’s important to set your intention. Your endeavors will be all the more successful for it - taking just a beat before diving in will help you get clear on the very underpinnings of your future brand. Ask yourself: What is my purpose? Why am I a massage practitioner? What do I love most about my career?
Returning to the core inspiration for your practice will illuminate whether your initial branding ideas align or diverge from your business. Ask yourself: What is my vision? Why is branding my business important to me? What am I trying to say? What networks am I building? What professional relationships do I want to foster, and what are my goals for each? What channels of distribution will I use? Where will my clients be able to find my intentionally designed and crafted products?
Having clarity on the answers to these questions will give you stable footing to take on the three major steps of branding your label: logo design, label layout and printing.
Logos & Labels
Establishing your logo is essential to the private label process. Your logo design should express your branding while simultaneously acting as its centerpiece. Bold yet simple logos are more memorable, easier to identify from far away and cost less to print.
While you are welcome to seek out a professional graphic artist on your own for custom logo design, remember that many private label manufacturers also supply these resources through referral to an in-house graphic artist when you begin the private label process.
The next step is laying out the label design for each product, which includes these primary elements:
- Your logo
- Product name
- Product size or volume
- Directions for use and ingredient list
- Company name and contact information
- Barcode or batch code (optional)
Consider how the labels will be printed and applied. Find out if the manufacturer include this in its private labeling costs or if additional fees will apply.
Ordering unlabeled or unbranded products from a manufacturer is a viable option for those hoping to cut the costs of label fees. It allows an entirely blank canvas to tell your story, and is most often the option chosen by those who prefer to design their labels through a third party or already have a label ready to apply.
Label design resources offered by the manufacturer work best when you have a specific vision in mind. Many offer in-house or, by referral, a professional designer for branding customization or opportunities to gain hands-on experience through online label layout options.
Customizable templates are offered as a way to simplify the customization process. If you already have a logo designed, it can be dropped into the existing template of your choice, and with some minor additions such as the name of your product and company information, becomes a brand of your own.
Branded lines offered by some manufacturers are always a viable choice, although they do not fall under the private label umbrella. Here, the labeling work is done for you, while still allowing for added value to the client and retail opportunities from your treatment room.
Realizing your vision!
Tell Your Story
The choice to brand your business in any way is a choice to tell your story to the world. Private labeling is a creative and profitable way to do just that.
Taking the time to consider the recommendations above will lend a degree of empowerment to undertaking one of the single biggest decisions you can make for your business.