Embarking on a new business venture is really exciting. To start your own home fragrance brand you need to be a creative person who can create a product that fills a gap in the market with a unique style. However, even when you have loads of great ideas it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. We have been making candles on behalf of businesses for years, and in that time we’ve certainly learned a thing or two. Here is our guide to starting a great candle brand.
Get started selling your own candles with this easy guide:
Step 1: Choose your tier
When you start a private label candle business you need to know what market tier your product will be aimed at. It is best to do this early on because it will affect your business plan and marketing strategy. It will determine your product pricing, branding, upfront costs, and target audience. Choosing your tier will allow you to determine what your targets are upfront.
In the candle business, we typically differentiate three tiers or markets:
- Mass tier: Cheap because they are selling in large amounts for example in supermarket chains.
- Mid-range tier: A reasonably priced product offering better quality than the mass tier.
- Premium Tier: A market aimed at charging a higher price for a luxury product
Step 2: Choose your niche
If there is one piece of advice we like to give every client that starts their journey with us, it is ‘find your niche’. The scented candle market is competitive but it’s growing every year that means there is lots of room for companies with their own unique take on things. Be as detailed as possible when defining your niche but still make sure your audience is big enough to be a profitable market.
Some good niches to consider are:
- Customised candles (Personalise customers’ products with their name or message.)
- Ethically made candles (For example Vegan, cruelty free and sustainable.)
- Themed Candles (Good themes might include places, moods or even foods.)
- Candle Sets (Pair candles with other products so that you can create sets that add value.)
- Unique Candle Scents (Tap into nostalgic scents that bring people back to happy times and you’ve got yourself a definite customer.)
- Decorative candles (Candles that also double as a beautiful piece for home interiors.)
Step 3: Define your audience
Next define your target audience and design your ideal buyer personas. The more in-depth you go on this, the clearer your target buyer will become. Once you know your market well you will be able to create a product that will really appeal to them. It will also be easier to reach and sell to them.
There are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you define your audience.
- Who is your ideal buyer?
- Who would like your candles?
- Can you reach one or multiple audiences?
- What is your audience demographic? (Age, gender, location, behaviour, etc.)
- What drives the buyer to make a purchase?
- What are their values?
Step 4: Design your branding
For most people creating your entire visual brand identity is the fun part. We always say that the scent will make your customers buy your candle, but the design will be the reason they pick it off the shelf to smell it. Once you design and develop your branding, use it consistently across all channels. We have created a full guide on designing a candle with us, however, here is a basic run through of what you need to define your brand.
- Brand name
- Brand logo
- Brand colours
- Slogan or tagline
- Brand story
- Packaging design
- Candle fragrances
- Candle names
You should also decide on how many candles will be in your range we recommend no more than 8 to begin with. This allows you to focus your cash and time on promoting each product properly. You can add more one you see what fragrances are selling best.
Step 5: Source your product
When you launch your business with a private label candle company like bespoke candles you will be getting an expertly made, finished product that has been through rigorous quality testing. However, you also will benefit from our wealth of experience in the industry.
We can help you with:
- Legal requirements and packaging warnings
- Product safety testing (EU and UK standards)
- Design questions
- Sourcing packaging and graphic designers
When searching for private label candle suppliers, ask for MOQs (minimum order quantities). Different suppliers will have different MOQs.
Step 6: Decide where to sell your candles
Next, you should decide where you are going to sell your products.
The main choices are:
- Working with a web developer to create your own online store
- Selling through an external online store like Etsy
- Finding shops or stockists to sell your products in their shops
The choice will depend on your budget and your target market.
Step 7: Make you marketing plan
You will need to begin marketing your product so that you can get the word out to your customers. You should have a think about the following issues to help you come up with a strong marketing strategy:
- Where will you advertise?
- What is your marketing budget?
- If you are advertising on social media, which platforms, will you use?
- If you are using social media, will you be using organic reach or paid advertisements?
Some things that will be important in your marketing strategy are:
- Getting professional product photographs taken
- Creating powerful product descriptions
- Getting quality graphic design visuals made for online and offline ads
- Creating a targeted content strategy
- Considering creating high quality videos
Step 8: Start selling
Once you have all your processes in place you should start seeing your first sales come through. When you feel comfortable with your progress you can begin scaling. At this point, you can add more product varieties or scale ads by increasing your budget. Finally, don’t forget that timely order fulfillment and good customer service are two crucial elements of scaling your new candle business.