When to Upgrade From Homemade

by Meghan McGuire and Coline LeConte

“Wow, your sauce is so delicious!”

You hear this all the time, it’s what makes you tick. You were able to turn what was once a secret family recipe into a legitimate business. Armed with a great product, a homemade logo and pieced-together packaging, you started small and rose to the top at your local farmers market. Now, you’ve reached a plateau with a relishing view of approaching possibilities. Exciting as it is, this might also feel a little daunting--you have grown too big to do it alone. It’s time to make a smart and well-planned investment into the future of your business so you can sell more product, gain wider distribution and ultimately, increase your revenue. BPD was created to help you take the next steps toward making this your dream job.

“More and more consumers are looking for handmade, slowly produced items they perceive as premium products.” -Project Nosh

STEP 1: Do you need a makeover?

This business is your baby so naturally, you have a strong attachment to the original design. Someday, you will look back to that first version of your product’s packaging and logo and reminisce. But now, to gain more customers and vendors, you’re going to have to adopt a more professional look--without losing your unique personality and artistry of course.

STEP 2: Know your competitors.

What do similar products look like? What do you see as strengths or weaknesses? Know how other products are presented and what the others look like on the shelf. Their colors and shapes, strengths and weaknesses. This is an area BPD specializes in. We keep track of shelves and attend conventions. We’re constantly watching and researching who is coming up and who has got it down. We’ve seen brands evolve and know where they started and how they arrived. We will help you present your product in a way that consumers will consider it the obvious choice.

STEP 3: Get on the shelves.

“For your product to get on a shelf, someone else’s will be knocked off.”

It sounds a little harsh but it’s a well-known law of merchandising. Selling more products means you need more distribution. More space for you means less for someone else, the shelf is literally “only so big.” So you have to look better than your competitors AND you need a clear idea of which shelf your product belongs on. The goal is to fill that unique, previously undiscovered niche. Because nobody else can do just what you are doing, and there lays your value.

We give you the upper hand

Take small steps or jump in head first, however you feel most comfortable. BPD will guide you through the process, helping to create a timeline that is structured around priority events, like trade shows and launch parties. As you grow, it’s important to remember where you started. Packaging and label changes don’t mean you have to forego the “artisan” or “rustic” look you’re going for. By helping you with Steps 1-3, we know how to communicate your unique personality via your new packaging. Your customers will get hungry when they see your new, improved look and your home printer is finally going to get the break it deserves!