When it comes to starting your own candle business, the labels and design are the true physical manifestation of your brand. Here is where you get to tell your story, and add another level to your candles.
By this point you would have done your market research on your target audience, and found the right container, wick and wax to create your perfect candle. If not, check out parts one, two and three of this series first.
So, now you’ve experimented with your wax and containers, and created a candle you’re happy to sell. Now it’s time to look at labelling your products and creating the design for boxing your candles if that’s the route you’re going.
The first thing you need to do, and the part where you get to be amazingly creative, is naming your candles.
Creating unforgettable names
Now, assuming you’ve created your candles with a scent, or even a few scents as recommended, you want to look at naming them something memorable.
A lot of candle suppliers will shy away from basic names such as ‘raspberry’ or ‘cinnamon’ and instead will look toward creative names such as ‘Berry Bonanza’ or ‘Christmas Nights’.
There is a method to this madness. By creating individual unique names, it lowers the chance your candle will be swapped out for a competitor with the same name for a cheaper price.
Although customers are savvy these days and will look at other prices options for basic candles, by creating unique names for your flavours you are adding yet another chance for your audience to connect with your product.
For example by naming your product ‘Christmas Morning’ rather than ‘Cinnamon’ you are connecting with Christmas lovers and those wanting to style candles around the holiday. If, for example, your audience is located more in a coastal town such as Mount Maunganui, you may want to change ‘orange’ to ‘Brunch Mimosas’.
Not only do your names need to be reminiscent of your target audience's interests to a degree, they also need to make your product stand out from a highly saturated market.
Depending on your target market, when it comes to creating your candle names the more interesting and unique they are the better they’ll last in someone's mind. So have fun with it!
Label and Box Designs and Requirements
Next step in the physical manifestation of your brand is the labels, and if you’re boxing your candles, your case design.
For the most part your labels and cases can look however you want them to look, this is the chance where you get to insert your own design and creative process into the thing people will see first.
Here you can have unlimited fun, go all out with a colourful design, or keep it simple and classic. What is important is always referring back to your outlined target market and what styles they lean towards.
A good practice here as well is to have a look at competitors and their styles, here you can get ideas for sizes, fonts, or anything you would want to emulate. You can take general ideas and vibes from other places, just be careful of making a design that looks too similar so as not to confuse customers.
If you’re not a designer by trade, there are many platforms and templates you can use to help you in this process. Pages like Canva and Vistaprint offer hundreds of potential designs in all sizes, with most semi-customisable to make it more attuned to your vision.
If you are looking to create your own, but are unaware where to start, check out trend analytic pages such as WGSN. These consumer reporting agencies analyse fashion runways and thousands of data points to create reports on the hottest trends and colours for the upcoming year. Super helpful for those creating candles for the trend-led market.
Once you’ve created a design that matches your candle and your overall brand ethos, you just have to meet certain criteria for what goes on a label. The main four things that are usually required depending on the sale market are;
- Company Name
- Name of Scent / Flavour Indicator
- The weight of the candle in ounces
- Country and city where it was manufactured
These four things are often required to have on a candle, as it can help your audience know the basics of the product they're buying.
Otherwise what you include is completely up to you, and when it comes to your box case that is where you can expand. For those looking to also include a customised box, this is where you can include information such as;
- Your brand ethos / mission statement
- Instructions on taking care of your candles
- Contact information and social media pages
- Literally anything else your heart desires
From there once you have decided on what to include, and are happy with how the design looks and feels, you are ready to start marketing your brand and selling your products.