It’s not easy starting a business. 13 years ago, we at Slice were in your shoes.
It can be extremely daunting and challenging but if you get it right, also incredibly rewarding and exciting. Being an independent agency means we have the flexibility to work with entrepreneurs and start ups as we understand the challenges you face.
We love the passion of start ups – the excitement and joy when they see the finished product that was once merely an idea over a glass of wine. Today we’ll be sharing our top tips and advice for start ups, when dealing with a design agency:
1) Be Prepared for Questions
When you first speak to a design agency, you should expect to answer questions regarding your brand so please be prepared. These questions are vital for the agency to understand the project in totality.
Usual questions you can expect are:
- What is involved e.g. packaging graphics, naming, website etc.?
- What is the main objective of the project?
- How many master packs are involved?
- How many additional variants do you have?
- When is your deadline?
- Do you have any mandatories?
- What is your budget?
We often get asked what is a master and run-on. Let’s take our designs for Stork for example. The master here will be the chocolate pack and the other 2, run-ons. This is because they follow the same style design but with minor changes such as colour and flavour.
What would make them all masters? To all be masters they would have to be a different format or each be a different product e.g. Victoria sponge, cupcakes and muffins.
2) Don’t Skip Brand Positioning
A brand is what your customers perceive about you and how you make them feel. Therefore, brand positioning is about developing a unique perception about your brand in the mind of the consumer.
We look at what you can credibly say about your brand, what makes you relevant and also what makes you different. We then create a unique a unique opportunity for your brand so you can be assured you will stand out against competitors. Having a unique proposition means it is much easier to sell your product into retailers.
3) Meet Your Agency
Before you agree to anything, we would always recommend meeting your agency. It’s important that you have the right chemistry as your account manager will become your best friend.
You need to feel comfortable enough to pop into the office and see the progress of your project. Can you imagine having a cuppa with them?
At Slice, we have created a service specifically for start ups to make sure you have a viable brand and pack design that fits your budget as a startup company.
4) Don’t Be Afraid to Have Opinions
If you want your pack design to be a certain style, colour or name – SPEAK UP. Don’t worry about having an opinion. A good agency will listen and discuss your ideas. Even if it’s not the right way to approach things, they will explain why not.
Working with a design agency should be a partnership.
Alternatively, don’t worry if you have questions. A lot of agencies can use jargon that’s just fancy ways of abbreviating words. If you need clarity on something, whether that be a phrase used such as ‘cutter guide’ and why the design is that colour? Ask. It’s your investment!
5) Have Fun
When designers get their hands on a start up brief, they are often the most exciting. The passion of an entrepreneur who lives and breathes their idea is inspiring. We understand that it can be stressful but don’t forget to have fun! Pack design is creative, adventurous and exciting. The nutritional bits and bobs can be the tricky part but leave that to the professional agencies to worry about.
Our main bit of advice would be to see branding as an investment. For a new brand which no one knows, how it looks on shelf/online is vital to it selling. The design of your packaging needs to catch people’s eye and encourage them to pick it up. How it looks will affect the future of your brand. Good luck!
Article by Charlotte Burrows, Account Manager at Slice Design Ltd.
Charlotte Burrows has been an Account Manager at Slice Design for over a year now and oversees all client relationships, strategy & planning as well as ensuring all work in the studio is delivered to it’s deadline.
Source: Slice Design Ltd.