Business development 6 November 2018

It?s all in the label: 7 product packaging tips for startup brands

product label
The choice of packaging and label design, colour and style identifies your brand
When setting up a new brand, aside from the quality of the product, nothing can be more important than the packaging.

The choice of packaging and label design, colour and style identifies your brand, gives it a unique appearance and hopefully will help keep the brand name front of mind. It distinguishes your product from your competitor?s and communicates directly with the consumer to present an image that expresses the product whilst also describing contents and providing instructions.

An attractively packaged product makes all the difference at the point of sale, this might be on the shelf but also increasingly on an online e-commerce platform. So, as applies to most things, first impressions count for a lot.

However for any new startup or specialist, craft producer there is a lot to think about, costs need to be kept to a minimum and it?s no good having an amazing label if it takes all the profit.

New startup business, Yumello, which produces argan oil and nut butter spreads, got it just right and its products now grace the shelves in iconic department store, Harvey Nichols.

Selling to


Want to find out the secrets to getting stocked in Britain?s major retail stores?

From Screwfix to Sainsbury?s, and from Platet Organic to John Lewis, we?ve found out how different businesses have got products onto those illusive shelves.


Business Advice spoke to Yumello co-founder, Esther Lopez, about the brand?s labeling choices.

?When we considered a label design, we needed it to encompass our values, heritage, product ingredients as well as portraying a certain healthy lifestyle image,? Lopez said.

?We have a small range of products and needed small production runs of labels but also a printing facility that could print all of our label versions in one go.? Digital label printing was the only solution.?

Yumello recently won a listing with Harvey Nichols
With,?Yumello was able to have customized sizes to fit its jars and all of its flavours printed in one run. But there were other factors to consider also.

?We produce a premium product, aimed at speciality outlets and high-end stores, so we needed a label that looked premium in quality,? continued Esther. ? were able to offer a premium matt paper that we couldn?t find elsewhere and this was included in our Start Up package.? So it was a perfect fit for us.?

With retail outlet shelves being lined with multiple products from countries far and wide, each competing with one another, packaging provides the first impression that prompts the consumer to pick up the product and look further.

It pays to do your research and be sure about who your customer is, perhaps prepare a profile of their likes and dislikes. Where will your product sit in the market, is it high end? Is it an everyday product or a special one-off purchase?

Bearing all this in mind, here are a few top tips to help:

  1. First and foremost, really think about the design

This includes the colours, how do these relate to the product, what do the colours infer, how do they translate across different mediums and, if applicable, in different markets. How would they appeal to your customer?

Think about whether you want to use strong graphics or something softer such as illustrations or an abstract theme.? Think about where your products will be on sale.

  1. Think about packaging and label shape

Can you use a more unusual shape, a customized-cut label?? Be sure to consider how this will work with all your brand sizes though.

  1. Engage with the customer

Try to include something that will resonate with the customer, it might be a healthy angle or environmental or even family related.? Highlight the positives.

  1. Be clear and concise

Make sure you include all the important facts on the packaging, clearly and accurately and meet all health and safety guidelines.

  1. Think about packaging and label material

Will your product be chilled in refrigerators, will the label need a protective coating? How will it travel and still stay in pristine condition? What does the label need to endure? Do you want a thicker more luxurious label paper to emphasise the quality of the product?

  1. Production runs

How much will you produce and how often? Will there be regular variations on the product as in different flavours?? Can your labelling be easily adapted so as to keep costs down?

  1. Special effects

Can you give your label a bit of kick with a special finish?? This might be hot foil stamping or a gloss varnish or a foiled badge.

Digital label printing makes complete sense for start-up or artisan businesses, keeping costs to a minimum and offering a 2-way conversation for easy and quick press proofing.

The finishing techniques offered alongside digital labelling are now much expanded with the option to add premium, eye-catching features to the label so there is something to suit most products and producers.

If it?s all a bit daunting and you need some support, has worked with many new business owners and understand the constraints and issues surrounding getting a product to market. They?re happy to help at every stage of the labeling process, providing individual customer guidance and special start-up packages.

Going digital makes sense, whatever your market and whatever type of statement you want to make, there is a label to fit.

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.


Work and Wellbeing