First Impression Is Everything
Dear Candlewic Friends,
With the holidays well past us it is time to get serious in planning for 2011. We truly thank everyone for their business in 2010 and look forward to the new year with excitement. It is hard to believe that this will be our 39th year in the candle industry and this would not be possible without the support of all of our customers. Over that time we have seen many changes in our industry and have always responded to help all of our customers. For those that do follow us on a regular basis, you will see we have continued to grow our "Social Network" and encourage you, if you have not done so, to sign up to be a fan on Facebook. This is a great opportunity to keep up-to-date on a daily basis. We do also from time to time provide special offers and when possible tip off some new products or advance notice of our new sales.
"You only get one chance to make a first impression"
Using clichés is not always a great way to start any article but we do rather enjoy using them because it helps us to develop catchy headlines that we hope encourage people to read the entire article.
As our headline identifies "You only get one chance to make a first impression." You want the consumer to get that first positive feeling toward your candle so they will pick up the candle and smell. Once you get them to pick up that candle the selling process has started.
In order to get the first favorable impression, be sure to evaluate all the visual elements of your candle before sending to any retailer, consumer or taking to a show.
The first aspect is the candle’s label. Aside from burning quality, the label is the one chance that a candle maker has to communicate with the purchaser or the end user of the candle. Although it may not cost much, the label is a very important aspect, and actually has a lot going on within that tiny piece of real estate on your finished product. It is a place for branding your candle, announcing features and benefits, safety instructions, information pertaining to flavor and size, UPC codes, contact information about the candle maker, website, and anything else that helps sell candles.
While using "standard" labels may be easy, it is hard to distinguish your candle with standard labels. Making custom labels is very easy with websites like avery.com
The first thing your customers* see is the shipping carton when they receive your candles (*customers are people who buy from you directly, while consumers are the end user who burns the candle). Although many candle makers do not put much effort into their shipping cartons, sometimes it is necessary to pay attention to them. Be sure they are not covered with wax that may accidentally end up in your customers’ store carpets. Make the cartons and their contents easy to identify when the cartons are in the stock rooms, so they can easily know how much of your product they have on hand. Be sure to include re-order information and pertinent web address information.
If you do nothing else, starting back in October 15th, 2003 there is a label that all candles using zinc cored wicks must have on the shipping cartons when being shipped to customer/retailers. If you are using zinc-cored wicks, you must put a label that states "Conforms to 16 CFR 1500.17(a)(13)" on the outside of the shipping container. This label does not have to be on each candle. If you are shipping an entire pallet of candles, the label only has to be on the pallet - not each carton. If you have further questions, please contact The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) at www.cpsc.gov or speak with the National Candle Association, and they can offer you more details.
Always be truthful in the claims or ingredients you put on the label to promote good will and protect yourself from legal issues! It is a great idea to communicate product attributes that make your candle unique, such as extended burn times, quality or natural ingredients, and percentage of profits that go towards good causes. If you have a website or toll-free number that consumers may use, be sure that gets on the label as well. Little things sometimes make a difference such as being made in the USA, contains no lead, or the use of essential oils will help boost consumer confidence when deciding which candle to burn.
Always keep an eye out when you are in grocery stores or department stores to see how large manufacturers of non-candle related products label their products in hopes to discover a neat idea. Another way to help distinguish your flavors is to be creative with names by naming ordinary scents after appetizing or familiar aromas. Instead of using the scent "orange", try "citrus explosion", or instead of "baby powder" try "newborn miracle". A good label will be concise and informative, yet not too busy. Balancing out the components while getting the message across is the key to having a successful label.
Remember, you and your employees are representing your candle line, so why not label them too? When making deliveries, wear a shirt with your logo on it and put your logo/contact information on the delivery vehicle (magnets can be used on the side of personal vehicles). Always smile and be courteous when making the deliveries. Be sure to "label" your facility with a nice sign that shows pride. If you and your employees emit a sense of pride in your candles, potential consumers will pick up on the aura.
If doing trade shows or craft show be sure your booth stands out. If using card tables or other similar stands be sure to have them decorated so they appeal to the individual strolling by. Make your name, website or telephone number very visible in case someone walks by and you're busy that they can possibly contact you at a later date.
I am starting to see more and more candles made with wood wicks should I switch over to the wood wicks?
The wood wicks are not really designed to replace your cotton wicks but are more suited for developing a separate line of candles. If you have a new jar line that might need that something special consider using the wood wicks in that line. To maximize the impact of the wood wick it is best to use a very soft paraffin wax (CBL-125) which works very well. Each fragrance can perform differently so try different fragrances in each application. The proper wood wick to use will vary depending on the wax you are using and even the color fragrance but the chart below can serve as a starting point.
Small Containers ( Up to 3" )
Medium Containers ( 3" - 3.75" )
Large - Medium & Large Containers ( 3.5" - 4.25" )
Extra Large - Large Containers (4" - 4.75")