Is Your Packaging Helping You Sell?


In a prior life, I was a middle management corporate wonk. I told my clients what they were doing wrong, then I would build processes and hire staff to fix it and run it. I loved it and I hated it. I worked with some really great people, many of whom I still consider friends, and I loved helping my clients solve their problems and find success. That part, the “helping others find success part” is something I do at Blue Canary Letterpress, but from a different angle.

Having launched my own business, I understand better the struggles of entrepreneurship. One of the most true things you’ll find is the saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” The other is that you have two things to spend, time and money, and if you’re doing it all yourself, you probably don’t have enough of either. So let’s talk about your packaging and perceived value and scaling your product business. Let me tell you a little story….

In my retail shop*, at Christmas last year, I stocked candles from two makers. One was presented in a plain clear poly bag with a ribbon and a printed tag. The other, the maker asked me to make letterpress labels for the jar and the box they came in. Both were organic, both were soy, but the ones with the letterpress labels were twice the price point. The results were staggering. I sold out of the letterpress label candles 3 times during the holiday shopping season and outsold the other candles about 3 to 1. I had to do emergency re-prints of the labels so my client could fulfill his re-orders for me and other retailers.

I think these results are extraordinary, but, it also shows the value of perception. If your product looks lux, if people can tell you put consideration into the look and feel, people will want to touch it, and if they touch it, they’re more likely to buy it. And with letterpress, they’ll want to touch it.

The follow up to that story is that my letterpress label client has been able to scale his business, and I’m with him every step of the way. A great idea, great design, and some determination is turning a local maker into a national contender on the candle market.

I talked to a new client not long ago who was launching a new product and needs label samples for a trade show and to sell as proof of concept. They’re not ready to order thousands of labels, and another printer turned them away. I’m not saying that’s bad if they aren’t a good fit to work together. As exciting as it is to land an established brand (and I love my established customers), I also love working with people from the beginning. So let’s make some samples and get started.

My point is, don’t give up on your vision. And if your vision includes custom adhesive letterpress labels or tags, give me a call!


*I no longer operate the retail location. This is a good thing! I’ll tell you more about it and how that “pivot” worked out in a future post. In the mean time, enjoy the most famous pivot of TV history.