Friday, October 13, 2017

Packaging tips for small time perfume creators with no money

    The packaging you give your perfume is important but packaging can be expensive. It can be particularly expensive if you are producing a perfume you want to market but only dare (or can afford!) to produce a handful of bottles -- a short run... or even a very short run.

    The glorious packaging you see on display at perfume counters was expensive to develop and, in most cases, expensive to produce. It is affordable only because the global companies behind these fragrances can spread their costs over hundreds of thousands of bottles and because they know that what they spend on packaging will be returned to them through greater sales.

    If your production runs are more in the range of 500 to 1,000 bottles or even less, the cost of fancy or even just typically beautiful packaging will crush you. At most you might afford a simple, printed, custom die-cut box. Then, to be effective, the artwork -- the graphics -- for this box must be excellent; well designed, well executed, well suited for your potential market. The problem will still be that if your need is for only 500 to 1,000 or even fewer boxes, your unit cost -- your cost per individual box -- will be high, perhaps even higher than the cost of your bottle or your perfume itself.

    I know of no single alternative to get around this seeming obstacle. The first step however is to recognize that you cannot match the packaging you see on global brands. And, if you try to mimic them with your pathetically anemic budget, your results are likely to be ugly.

    Some "small timer" perfumers do solve the packaging problem effectively. Their solutions are innovative, original, and cheap. They find ways to bring touches of class to their perfumes by demonstrating their artistic sense and sensitivity goes far beyond the creation of the fragrance itself.
    While I cannot suggest what might work for you, I can suggest a method for finding effective solutions. The method has four points
    1. Know what packaging products and supplies are available to you. Knowing what products are available to you -- and there are many that you can afford -- will give you ideas. Pour through craft supply catalogs (here's a list of some!) for ideas that can help you decorate your bottles or bag them artfully with stock packaging.

    2. Know what others with little or no money are doing and have done. Search online for small perfume creators and study how they package their fragrances. Go to craft fairs. Go to trade shows. Spend time in boutiques looking at everything. Ideas can jump out at you when you least expect it.

    3. Know your limitations. Don't overstep and make a mess of your perfume. Avoid at all costs making a sloppy presentation. Avoid trying to get too fancy when you don't have the artistic skill to carry it off. If you don't have the decorator's touch, perhaps you can find a friend who does and who is willing to work with you.

    4. Read trade and other publications (here's a list), both online and in print. Trade magazines show you what the leaders in the field are doing. While you might not be able (for a long time!) to afford what they are doing, you can pick up a sense of style and even get usable inspiration.

    Overall, when you don't have money you can still win excellent sales if you have taste, creativity, and the ability to discover and use resources and materials others haven't yet exploited -- because they haven't yet seen your perfume presentation solution!