March 18, 2014 by Andrew Minalto - 78 Comments

The ULTIMATE Guide to Product Branding!

branding-guidePeople who have followed me for some time will know that I’m a huge fan of branding – making my own products unique and using specific packaging and bundling techniques to really stand out from the crowd and allow me to charge premium prices for the products I sell.

In today’s blog post I want to go into detail on how you can do same – take a simple, un-branded product and turn it into a money making machine! Without further ado, let’s get started!

What is this concept all about?

The idea is very simple – you take an un-branded product and using your own brand/packaging, turn it into a unique product you can then sell on eBay, Amazon, your own online shop or any other distribution channel (including wholesale).

What is an un-branded product?

By un-branded I simply mean a product that has no brand on it – no logos/company names on the product itself or its packaging. Usually these products will come un-packaged or packaged in plain boxes or clear bags.

What are the advantages of branding these products?

There are several important advantages to creating your own branded products versus selling un-branded ones:

1) Product uniqueness. By having your own brand printed on the product/packaging you essentially create a UNIQUE offer in the marketplace. It doesn’t matter that other people may be selling the exact same product – due to the brand and packaging yours is unique.

Take bottled water for example – it’s water!!!! But you’ll find at least 10 different brands of bottled water in your local supermarket (with various price tags). And essentially what these companies are selling is the BRAND value, i.e. the perception of what that brand is worth, as at the end of the day water is just water.

branded-vs-un-branded-waterWe can use this paradox of people’s perception towards a brand/product packaging and use it to our advantage. This works in almost any niche and with any product, if a proper branding strategy is applied.

eBay is a super competitive marketplace and often hundreds of sellers list exactly the same product. It’s not easy to compete with such listings apart from using the lowest price strategy, which as we all know, can’t be the base of a sustainable, long term business (shift hundreds of packages a day to make minimum wage?).

So by creating your own branded products, you practically almost eliminate your competition, as NO ONE will have the exact same product offer as you – which is very powerful.

2) Increase perceived value. If you’re smart enough to create a brand that visually really appeals to people, they will happily pay more for it. This means you can charge higher prices than your competitors and still sell a lot! This means higher profit margins for your business.

The key to success here is to really create a brand that HELPS you sell the product, not the other way around. We all have seen various Chinese branded products selling on eBay – in most cases these Chinese brands are very weak – the name is bad, the logo is bad and the packaging is bad.

In this example packaging is ok BUT there's no Brand Name at all!

In this example packaging is ok BUT there’s no Brand Name at all!

These brands in 99% of cases look CHEAP and this is NOT what we want to achieve! We want to create a brand that represents the middle and even premium price class, not something cheap. A cheap brand is almost as good as no brand. So it’s very important to do it THE RIGHT WAY! If you’re not ready to put some effort into this, don’t even start.

3) Brand loyalty. If you’re working in a sticky niche market, e.g. a niche with lots of repeat customers, this can work wonders. Imagine a person buys a pair of kid’s shoes from you (your own brand of kids shoes) and they’re very happy with the quality, service provided, delivery etc.

It would only make sense that they’ll look for the same brand the next time they shop online for a new pair of shoes, right? Maybe they won’t specifically search for your brand (as they could forget it) BUT when they see your brand in eBay’s search results, they WILL remember it and the chance of them buying from you is much higher than your competitors.

This won’t happen with every customer of course but I’m just illustrating the power of having your own branded products. Even if 10-20% of your customers make a second purchase from you just because they remember your brand, that’s a significant result and should add a lot of additional profit to your business.

To sum it up – these three advantages are more than enough to make the whole process worthwhile. For years I have based my entire business on this strategy and I’ve taught it to dozens of my 60DBP clients with great results so you can be sure that this WORKS! In one way or another, having your own uniquely branded products really helps you stand out in crowded marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.

Dis-advantages?

There are none, really. Apart from the small initial investment, time and energy you’ll put into branding your own products.

There may be some niches where branding may not yield any advantages but I can’t think of any at this moment! A well branded product will always have a higher chance of selling compared to an un-branded rival, if other conditions are the same.

Where to get un-branded products?

brandingThe most popular place you already know of course – China! In reality most of what you see being sold on eBay (un-branded) comes from China. You can learn more about how to import products from China here.

But that doesn’t mean it stops with China – there are still thousands of manufacturers in Europe, the United States of America and other parts of the world. You just have to look for them.

With China it’s very easy as we have these popular B2B portals with millions of products already listed:

With US/Europe based manufacturers it’s not that easy to find them. But you can still do so via:

  • Google
  • Yellow pages
  • Trade directories
  • Trade shows (BEST!)
  • Industry catalogues/magazines

It doesn’t really matter where your supplier is located – most will offer OEM services, if they’re a true manufacturer. OEM means that the supplier will do the branding FOR YOU. But even if they don’t offer OEM service, there are ways to brand the products at your end and we’ll cover them later on in this post.

So now we’ve established the basics of why branding your own products is a good idea and what advantages it gives you – let’s get into the actual branding process and techniques.

What exactly are branded products?

By branded products I mean products that have:

  • A brand name/logo on the product itself;
  • A brand name/logo on the product’s packaging.

Sometimes branded packaging is not needed and sometimes you don’t need your brand on the product itself.

For example:

  • If you sell bulk glitter powder, your only worry is to get branded packaging done as you won’t put your brand/logo on the glitter itself;
  • If you sell t-shirts, you don’t really need branded packaging as it’s not that important for products like clothing. What you will need though is branded neck tags.
  • If you sell MP4 players, people expect it to come in a box. With a product like this, you’ll want to brand the product itself as well as the packaging it comes in.

I hope these examples help clear up the question of whether the product and/or the packaging need to be branded. Sometimes you will need to brand both while other times it’s enough to brand either just the product or just the packaging.

Should you brand products via the manufacturer or do it yourself ‘in-house’?

If you’re a business minded person, you’ll know how important it is to streamline all the processes in your business. This means that ideally you want the manufacturer to brand products for you, using their technology and resources.

Not only does this free up your time, by having the manufacturer brand your products, you gain two further advantages:

1) Better technology. While there are ways to brand products on your own, most likely you won’t have access to the same printing and packaging technologies your supplier has. In most cases, manufacturers will be able to provide you with more packaging options, higher print quality and in general – the finished product will just look better – how it should be with a brand new product coming off the factory line.

2) Cheaper price. Many companies will do branding for you for FREE, if you can meet the required minimum order amount for OEM orders. This means you get your own uniquely branded products and packaging absolutely cost and hassle free! Shipped to you and ready for re-sale without you lifting a finger.

branded-boxes

Printed boxes from Boxprintingcompany.com

Sometimes you may be asked for an initial, one time fee to cover printing set-up fees (making plates for litho printing for example or die cut for custom sized boxes) but these fees are usually not that high and definitely well worth it taking into account all the advantages we’ve already covered.

So yes, ideally you want your supplier to brand products for you but not all will do this plus there’s one small catch – usually manufacturers will have a certain MOQ for OEM orders. These numbers vary greatly depending on the product and specific manufacturer and can be anything from 10 or 100 up to 1000 and more.

So obviously you won’t always have the buying power to order that many products. In cases like these, your only option will be to brand your products yourself after receiving them from the manufacturer, which we’ll cover later on. But before you give up on your supplier doing this for you, always try to negotiate MOQs! If they ask for 1000 units to be branded, most likely you can cut that by half down to 500, with some negotiating. Offer to pay a slightly higher price or cover the printing set-up costs if that makes financial sense. Do as much as you can to get your manufacturer to brand products for you.

What do you need to start the branding process?

Whether you let the manufacturer brand your products for you OR do it on your own, the first thing you’ll need is the actual BRAND NAME!

We won’t go into detail on how to come up with a great brand name here, that’s another huge topic, but just so you know – having a good brand name is essential to making this work. You want a unique name, ideally something with a little story behind it that APPEALS to your target customer.

For example, if you sell photo frames – a bad brand name would be: Alan’s Photo Frames

It’s bland, and just plain boring! It doesn’t tell you anything good about the product, nor does it increase the perceived value of the product.

A much better name would be:

  • Happy Days
  • Memories to Keep

I hope you see the difference here. You want a name that is distinct and relates emotionally with the products you sell.

If you need some help coming up with a great brand name, check out my domain brainstorming guide here and check the Branding on a Budget video series in my eCommerce Magnates video course.

ecommerce-magnatesThe next step is to get a logo done for your brand. And by logo I don’t mean some cheap clip art mosaic you can get from Fiverr.com. If you plan to have your own branded products, you want a GOOD, high quality logo that looks professional.

You can hire a designer to do your logo from one of the various online marketplaces (like eLance.com), or through my design services here. A decent logo can’t be purchased for 20 quid. Expect to pay a minimum 50 pounds but in most cases, a decent logo will set you back around 100-200 pounds.

Whatever you do, make sure the logo looks professional enough to be put on products PLUS it should be in VECTOR format! Not jpeg or gif but a VECTOR file (.ai, .esp etc.).

Vector files are drawn from scratch, using lines and vector objects AND they can be up-scaled to ANY SIZE without quality loss. This will come very handy when you do product packaging as it requires high resolution and flexibility which .jpeg files simply can’t provide.

If you already have a good looking logo but it’s NOT in vector format, you can hire someone on Fiverr.com to vectorize it for you. This means your .jpeg file will be turned into a vector file by re-drawing everything in vector.

But as I said, ideally get the vector logo file from your designer in the first place so you don’t have to worry about quality issues later on.

vector-drawingNext, you’ll need packaging design. Again, don’t do this on your own, unless you’re a designer by profession. You really need to hire a professional designer to create professional packaging for you. Just like the logo, it should be created in VECTOR format for the best print quality.

Depending on the complexity of the packaging, expect to pay 100-300 pounds for a good looking design.

Don’t forget to include all additional information on the product packaging as well, like your website address, ingredients (in the case of selling food, materials and similar products) and your contact details.

A good idea is to add a barcode as well, in case you plan on selling your product on Amazon’s marketplace or in an offline/wholesale environment. You can get barcodes for this purpose by joining the GS1 (in UK) or buy buying individual barcodes from online re-sellers, such as:

Also, if your product requires an instruction manual, you should also ask your supplier if they’re able to do the printing and insert a manual with each item. This will free up your time and resources. A finishing touch like plastic wrapping around each box can also be important with some types of products and will ensure that BRAND NEW LOOK for your products when they’re received by customers.

Sometimes suppliers will be happy to do the packaging design for you, if you supply them with your logo. In most cases though that means they’ll use their pre-made packaging template and just change the logo to yours. With Chinese manufacturers this often means that the design won’t look good, as it’s simply not something they really find important.

If you truly can’t afford your own packaging design, you can of course explore this option but ideally you should go with a real designer to ensure the design is of the highest quality – after all that is the whole point of branding your products – to increase the perceived value, not decrease it with a budget design!

If you don’t need branded packaging for your product, then all you do is supply your logo (in vector format) and the manufacturer will put it onto the product for you.

When you let your supplier do branding for you, ALWAYS ask for drawings/images and ideally pictures of one prototype to see how it all looks on the product in real life. Don’t take any risks here just by sending off your logo and leaving everything in the hands of your supplier. You need to keep an eye on things and see some examples before the full order is done!

Lastly, on packaging – always ask what options your supplier can offer you as often there are various boxes and packaging styles to choose from. Remember, the idea here is to stand out from the crowd so if everyone else is selling this product in blister packaging, maybe you should go the cardboard box route? Or if everyone else is packing this product in square boxes, maybe you should use wooden boxes, blister packaging, fabric bags or aluminium cases?

These are just examples of course so do whatever makes sense to you and allows your product to be unique.

How to do branding in-house?

tampo-printingSometimes you just can’t afford to get the branding done in China due to high minimum order requirements. That’s life but it doesn’t mean you can’t brand your products at all. Most products can be branded in one way or another with minimal financial outlay.

1) Tampo printing. This technique can be used with most goods to apply a logo and/or additional graphical information. Tampo printing is wisely used in the corporate gifts industry to create personalised mugs, pens, clocks and various other products.

It’s not really worth buying the equipment and doing this on your own. Simply contact local printers or gift shops who do product customisation and ask for quotes. The more products you want to print, the lower the price will be so make sure your order is still reasonably sized to make it cost effective.

2) Labels. If tampo printing is not accessible to you or it’s simply too expensive for the products you sell; another, cheaper alternative is to use full colour labels. Now, these won’t work in all cases (you don’t want to put a label on a MP4 player for example) but it’s an option you can consider if you sell anything in bags, pots, jars etc.

labelsYou can order labels from local or online printers such as Stickylabels.com or do them yourself. But please, don’t buy Avery label paper and print these out with your home inkjet printer. The final result will be far from professional!

If you want to buy the equipment and print your own labels, do it the right way. Get a professional Primera label printer to produce pro quality labels on a budget.

primera-lx900This will only be a cost effective option if you sell loads of various products that each need different labels – like teas, loose glitter or acrylic paints.

The well-known Dymo label printers can be used for this purpose too. Only with these you’re limited to black & white print outs so make sure this fits in with your overall branding strategy before going down this route.

3) 3D labels (also called Dome Lables). If you’re selling any electronics or other plastic goods but can’t afford tampo printing, 3D labels (Dome Labels) are another option to get your logo on the products. These 3D labels actually sometimes look even better than tampo printing! Their raised, 3D surface really gives that premium look. For example, My OKI C711 printer actually has such a 3D label on it:

OKI-c711And that printer costs 900 pounds!

Here are some companies that offer 3D label printing services:

IMPORTANT!!! Whether you use tampo printing, normal labels or 3D labels, make sure the logo looks great on the product! It should be the right size (not too small or big) and be a contrasting colour. For example, if the product surface is totally black, you’ll want to use a WHITE version of your logo so it stands out. And vice versa for lightly coloured surfaces.

White products are easier to work with of course as any colour (apart from white and very light shades) will look good on the product.

Another tip – If your logo’s composition/proportions are not suitable for the products you sell, don’t be afraid to change it a bit. For example, a logo like this:

whole-foods-logoIt will be very hard to put it on a long/narrow product like a pen. What you do is just take out some graphical elements or re-position them so they look better on the product, like this:

whole-foods-longAny designer can easily do such basic editing tasks so don’t be afraid to ask for various logo versions so you have options for various product sizes.

Creating your own branded packaging.

With a product where you need branded packaging done but can’t meet your manufacturer’s MOQ, there are still a few options left that can be done locally:

1) Cardboard boxes. This is the most commonly used packaging type so there won’t be any problem getting plain mono or full-colour printed cardboard boxes made in the UK as long as you need a decent quantity. And by decent I mean at least 1000 identical boxes, anything less than that and you’ll have to pay a premium price per box.

If you sell high priced goods, you can probably even afford to pay a few quid per box for nice full-colour packaging but in most cases you’ll want to order at least 1000 to get the price down to 30-50p or less per box, depending on the complexity of the design.

With custom shaped/sized boxes there will always be that initial set-up cost to create a die cut for you and printing plates (if litho printing is used for example). This is a one-time fee though and not something you have to pay on every order.

Another option I personally use for small boxes when I need loads of different designs done is using amateur/craft die cutters. I have a Grande Mark machine from AccuCut.com:

grande-mark

Grande MARK 4 Machine in my Office

The way these machines work is you print out the design you want on cardboard and then run it through this machine to cut the box shape:

box-die-cutThere are hundreds of various box die cuts available on AccuCut’s website but I usually just order a custom made die cut for my needs from their sister company – CustomShapePros.com

While this is a more time consuming way of making your own product packaging, after the initial costs of buying the machine and a good printer, the actual cost per box is very low. Plus you can make as many different designs as you want and make boxes in small quantities – as little as just one.

2) Plain boxes with labels. If you can’t afford to get custom boxes done or purchase a die cut machine there’s another, cheaper option available – to buy plain boxes in the size that most closely fits your products and simply add your logo via one of these two methods:

  • Put a full colour label on each box; (buy labels from online printers). It may not create the most sophisticated look but at least you’ll have your brand on the box. You can order plain cardboard boxes on eBay or from specialist suppliers.
  • Use a stamp. This is a simple and very CHEAP way to brand your cardboard boxes. Simply order a custom sized stamp (as large as you can if the boxes are big) and simply stamp your logo on the boxes.

Make sure to add your website address below the logo to promote your online shop (even if it’s not created yet – you can still just redirect from the domain to your eBay shop).

3) Blister packaging. This is a very popular packaging for products like cables, small electronics, headphones, bolts, screws, craft supplies and much more!

Industrial blister packaging is created in complex machines, which are very expensive to buy and run. Luckily, there’s an alternative – Mr. Blister packaging which in essence creates the same look but allows you to pack your products yourself and at low quantities.

Their prices are very reasonable and the MOQs should be affordable to anyone.

mr-blister-packagingTo complete the look with blister packaging you’ll also need paper/cardboard inserts that go inside. Mr. Blister has partnered up with a company who can do this for you (they already know the sizes etc.) OR you can print out inserts on your own, using a quality laser printer (like OKI C711) and cut them out in the required shape with a Grande Mark machine and custom die from CustomShapePros.com

Obviously, buying your own equipment is only viable if you need to do huge volumes or dozens of different designs. In any other case it will be easier and cheaper for you to simply order these inserts from a printing company.

4) Clear bags. Some products can be packed in simple clear bags, like printing paper for example. What you do is buy such clear bags, pack the products in them and add a printed insert with your logo/product description and other information on top.

Alternatively, you can use labels on these bags to make them look better and have your brand name viewable.

There are various companies you can buy such bags from:

https://www.clearbags.com/

http://www.polybags.co.uk/

http://www.transpack.co.uk/

Many companies, like ClearBags.com will do custom printing ON THE BAGS for you if you can reach their MOQ. Again, very handy if you need thousands of the same size bags and want to put your logo directly onto them.

clear-bags-comIMPORTANT!!! If, due to budget constraints, you have to decide whether to brand your products or the packaging – always prioritise product branding. In the offline world packaging is what people see first but online – it’s the product. Therefore, having your logo/brand applied to products is what’s most important here as it will be seen clearly in the product images you use on eBay and/or your online shop.

Obviously, if you have branded packaging, you’ll include a picture of that too. But if not, just leave it outside your product pictures until you can afford to have custom packaging created too.

As you can now see – its not like custom packaging is accessible only to multi million pound companies! In fact, nowadays, anyone can make their own branded packaging using one of the techniques covered in this post. The only question is – what are you still waiting for?

Conclusions

You have reached the end of this rather long guide; I hope it has opened your eyes to the various possible ways of ‘creating’ your own products via branding.

If you’re serious about your online business, sooner or later you’ll want to start branding your products, as that’s the only way to create a true follower base, increase your products’ perceived value and allow you to charge premium prices while selling the same things everyone else sells. Basically, creating a brand and applying it to your products means you no longer have to compete on price alone!

I have tried to cover all of the most important elements of creating your own custom-branded products to sell on eBay, Amazon, your own shop and various other marketplaces but I’m sure I’ve left some things out. If that’s the case, feel free to post any questions you have below this post in the comments section and I’ll happily help you out!

Good luck with your own branding efforts!

Thanks,
Andrew

78 Comments
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  1. Great article . One question , let’s say I am having a supplier brand a product for me from China . What do I need to do in regards to registering the name or is it considered a trademark that I need to register here in the US? I am looking to do this for a small quantity of like 500 units nothing to large but My question is basically other than arranging the manufacture in china to add whatever name/logo I want on the product- what do I need to do as far as registering the name or being able to legally sell it with a name that I made up on it ? Hope this makes sense

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tom,

      Technically you don’t have to do ANYTHING! You can simply sell such product, with your logo on just like that.

      But yes, if you want to sell it on Amazon, apply for Brand Registry on Amazon and in general – protect your logo/name, you will want to register a trademark.

      But theoretically it is optional and not required by law.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  2. Andrew I just want to say that the information that you provide on here is awesome. Thank you so much for your hard work.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Marc & Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. Hello Andrew, I was wondering if i could sell unbranded powerbank kits on ebay and and brand them as my own.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, you can do that.

      Andrew

  4. Hello Andrew.
    I am from usa, i have a manufacturer in vietnam that produces nail nippers that I want to use to sell in USA market.

    I wanted to come up with my own brand name for the nippers so that the branding can be edged into the product itself; however, the name I wanted to use, I am not sure if it is legal..before I can have the logo designed, before I purchase the domain name, etc..

    The product name is “oem nippers”

    Not sure if I can use “oem” since it can be a term used in the industry.

    And can I trademark this brand name as “oem nippers”

    Your feedback would be very helpful.

    Thank you.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Binh,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately I won’t be able to answer this for you as trademarks is a very complex process only qualified attorneys can consult you on. You will want to find a trademark attorney, ideally one that offers free 30 minute consultation, and ask for advice.

      Personally I don’t think OEM is a problem here though as it’s not a registered trademark or anything.

      Andrew

      1. Thank you for your feedback Andrew. I will consult with an attorney.

        Binh

        1. Andrew Minalto

          No probs, you’re welcome.

  5. Hi Andrew

    When you want to hire someone to do design your packaging, would I need to give the designer the dimensions, and kind of packaging that I intend to use from the factory in China before they can proceed with the vector file design?

    Thanks
    Shiraz

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Shiraz,

      Yes, correct.

      Usually factory will provide you with a PDF file for the packaging layout.

      Then designer can use that to create design for the packaging.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  6. Scott Helmer

    Do you ever worry about the quality of the OEM brands from China? I get that you can get them cheap and sell them on Amazon or eBay, but I was just concerned about branding a product that may not be high quality. Your response?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Product quality is ALWAYS an issue when we talk about manufacturers in China (and not only).

      That’s why you contact many suppliers, pick best ones and order samples from them. Only when you’re happy with samples, then you can think about placing a real order.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  7. Thanks so much!This has been a great help as I have been getting nowhere when researching branding and this has summarized it beautifully.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Mercy! 🙂

  8. Wow! You went into every detail and answered all my questions. Not only that, but you motivated me! thanks! 🙂

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Albert! 🙂

  9. Absolutely fascinated by the depth of answers in this!
    Awesome stuff Andrew!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Danny! 😉

  10. Hi Andrew,

    We regularly buy products from China that come in decent packaging to be fair.

    I understand the process of putting a logo/brand on packaging, however I wonder if we are able to simply add it to existing packaging that someone has previously made (for products that are being bought from China)

    I only ask this, as technically we don’t know who owns the design rights to the Chinese packaging and whether someone has registered the Chinese packaging in the UK (even if they didn’t actually design it – it’s very easy to get design rights) as we have fallen fowl of many products that sellers falsely claim design rights to.

    False design right claims are a separate problem of course. I just don’t want to print my logo on what is clearly and unbranded Chinese bit of packaging, to then be told someone in the UK own’s the rights to said packaging.

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Nick,

      I don’ think this is a problem/high risk really, at least to me knowledge. Unless you talk about some super unique packaging for design products or whatever.

      I haven’t heard of any such case where packaging from China itself for an ordinary product (so basically a box) is design patent protected.

      And if it is, it doesn’t matter whatever you re-brand it or not really.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  11. Thank for the information. My question is How and where do I find a manufacturing company to place my brand inside of my clothing garments? (TShirts, jackets , hoodies, blue jeans, etc). Thanks I hope to hear from u soon.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Sheere,

      You should ask for this service same company that manufactures your goods.

      Most manufacturers will offer such branding service.

      Andrew

  12. Hi Andrew
    Im already selling products that come from china
    But they have a brand logo on them
    I amtaking off the logo &selling them as unbranded products
    Is that allowed

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Justin,

      What company logo are products branded with?

      Andrew

  13. Hi Andrew, thanks for the great article! I am starting to order items from China and plan to sel them on my website. The sellers say I can add my own logo. I’d like to test the market with smaller sizes. My question is; Can I just sew my logo onto the clothing and sell it? Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, of course you can do that!

      Andrew

  14. Great article!!! I’m in the united states and this has highly motivated me to get my dream going! My only question is Trademark. Once I have my Brand/Logo established how do I get it Copy-written/Trademarked? Is it even important to do so?

    Kind Regards,
    -Jason

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jason,

      You’ll find all the information about Trademarks in the USA on this website:

      https://www.uspto.gov/trademark

      You can even register a trademark there, online.

      Andrew

      1. Thank you for responding, Andrew! One more question: if I want to find specific unbranded product(s) what is the best way to search? The websites you listed seem to be limited. For example, if I want to find beard grooming products that are unbranded…. thank you!
        -Jason

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Jason,

          You’ll find most un-branded products on Alibaba.com and similar.

          If it’s a product not made in China, you simply use Google and search for keywords like:

          * Product + manufacturing
          * Product + manufacturer
          * Product + OEM
          * Product + white label
          * etc.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

          1. You’re pretty awesone, Andrew! Thanks for your help,
            -Jason

          2. Andrew Minalto

            You’re welcome Jason! 🙂

  15. This is good information for a guy in my situation. Very informative . Thanks bro

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Dawson! 🙂

  16. John Edwards

    Cool post as usual…I totally agree on the aspect first and foremost on prioritising the approach on branding the product *first*…this post as definitely supported the EAB video on branding!

    Thanks again Andrew for the content…no doubt I’ll have questions on this section of building my awareness when the time comes.

    John.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome John! 🙂

  17. Hay! Great post, loved it!
    But i still have a question, if you’re branding electronics like for ex. Mp4 players and so on, and you find a supplier where you can get it really cheap, but don’t trust them with the branding, where do you find someone who will do only the branding on the product and box?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Ziva,

      What you mean by – don’t trust supplier? You mean you’re worried that they will sell your branded version to other people?

      This is not that common actually as no one would want your little known brand… people would rather look for copies of well known brands.

      Andrew

  18. Will an electronics manufacturer do final engineering on my product if I just give them rudimentary specifications of what I want it to do? It would essentially be like a run-of-the-mill VHF radio, so there wouldn’t be anything ground-breaking involved. Thanks!!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Depends on the supplier really and your order quantities.

      If your order is big enough, good suppliers will help you with creating a product from scratch, yes.

      Andrew

  19. Perfect article as usual.
    But there is something quite important maybe it’s not related but it’s linked to branding,
    How I can promote and turn unknown brand to well selling popular brand.
    This is the Only problem I have with branding

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Ahmed,

      That’s a very, very, very big topic. Not something you can cover in a blog post or even a book.

      But if you’re interested to learn more about this process, get some books from Amazon on this topic.

      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        Would recommend a book or topic to look at.
        It is just worrying me to give up manufacture brand name which is popular to change it to my brand name which no one heard of, any advice will be appreciated
        Ahmed

        1. Andrew Minalto

          you have to seperate two situations here:

          * Im NOT Talking about giving up well known brand to replace with yours.

          I’m talking about un-branded products, which doesn’t carry any brand and BRAND them to make them more valuable/appealing to your customers.

          This works great with products & niches which are NOT brand dominated as people are simply not aware of any huge/popular brands and ANY brand that they see will be better than no brand at all.

          Andrew

  20. Hi Andrew, great post. I’m considering ways to produce mock-up & low volume custom packaging on a paperboard or SBS type material. Any recommendations for A3 printers? Canon Pro-100S

    1. Andrew Minalto

      For years I have been an OKI fan – their print quality is amongst best & print cost is lowest in industry.

      For A3 size I have OKI C9655 – amazing printer!

      Andrew

  21. Hello Andrew,

    Thank you so much for all the information you have posted on this site. I don’t think I would have pushed myself to start importing if it wasn’t for the confidence I’ve gained from reading your advice.

    The topic of branding is an interesting one to me, and I was wondering about the legal side to all of this. How would I protect myself from fraudulent use of my brand? Is there a database where you are supposed to register your brand name or something like that, or is it enough just to get trademark/copyright? What would you suggest as the proper course of action? Thanks again for your hard work on this blog.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mario,

      Trademarking IS essentially protection of your brand name.

      Check out my latest post on this here:

      https://andrewminalto.com/how-to-register-a-trademark/

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  22. Hi,
    Thank you so much for this guide it really helped! I do have a quick question, would I be able to apply this guide towards baked good product packaging as well? If not, what other advice could you give to someone that is? Thanks in advance hun

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Yes, of course you can apply these ideas to baked products too.

  23. thai nguyen

    Hello, thank you for the interesting article. Do you think it is a good idea to include the word “cheap” in a brand name? Let’s say, I sell cases for smartphone and because my cases are priced competitively so I want to name my brand as “casecheap” or “cheapcase”. What do you think?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      I personally wouldn’t use word “cheap” no…

      As most people don’t want CHEAP! They want good VALUE. Cheap associates with cheap quality too.

      So instead of using cheap, try words like Value, Bargain, discount, Clearance, Outlet etc.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. thai nguyen

        Thank you for your insight! I agree with you, but like everything, there are always brands that make the exception, such as “Cheap Monday” (clothing) or “NameCheap”

  24. Hi Andrew,
    I have just taken over a business with good branding. I just need to change some details on the packaging. Do I legally need to put my Ltd Company name on it or can I just put our Trading Name on?
    I’d appreciate your thoughts.
    Many thanks,
    Nicky

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Nicky,

      If you’re an importer, then you should provide full legal name and contacts on the packaging, yes.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  25. Hi Andrew,

    I have followed your excellent advice and created my own brand. I have been selling my branded products on Amazon and there was a large increase in sales as a result. Last week another Amazon seller listed on my branded product page at a lower price so I had no sales for a full day. I contacted Amazon and they were quite quick to remove his offer (within 2 days).

    I was planning on updating my ebay listings to my new branded products but i’m wondering how much protection ebay offer – ie if another ebay seller advertises my branded product for sale and just sends generic products or puts a sticker on would ebay remove their listings? I see lots of ebay listings that breach ebay rules but do not get removed so i’m wondering if this would be any different? One of my competitors copies nearly every change I make to my listings (free gifts etc) and I can’t compete on price with him as he just reduces his to loss-making prices and floods ebay with numerous almost identical products to drown out my products in search results. My branded products would set my products apart from his but if he copies it and gets away with it he might also take some of my Amazon business away if Amazon customers search for my brand name and find it on ebay cheaper. I’m currently making more profit from my Amazon sales so I don’t want to put that at risk. My products have my brand name printed on them and the boxes have stickers on with the product, my logo and website address on. I also own the UK trademark for my brand name.

    Your advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Carl,

      Thanks for your comment.

      It’s great to hear you’re doing well on Amazon!

      As you have your logo trademarked, you’re pretty safe as eBay takes very seriously any copyright/trademark/IP right breaches. As it is a serious crime to sell fake goods, eBay will take any such listings down, when you contact them.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  26. I want to design a shipping/retail 4 color box for a new product. Is there a good website to do this? I have all the content and artwork. Can it be done as easy as doing a flyer or business card with someone like VistaPrint? Thank you.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jack,

      If you have artwork ready, you simply need to contact companies that specialise in custom boxes and get quotes.

      I don’t think there’s an automated way of doing this like it is with business cards.

      You want to contact several companies and pick best one based on price, quality and MOQs they offer.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  27. Hello

    Great post. I’ve been toying with the idea of oem as opposed to selling the Chinese label. I’ve found a good manufacturer. Just wondered what your advice is on photography. Obviously to be able to sell the product you need great professional photos. I’m not keen on doing them myself. however, going down the professional route I’m assuming is expensive. My product has over 100 different colour variants so I will need a lot of photos.

    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kerry,

      Please check out my product photography outsourcing guide here:

      https://andrewminalto.com/product-photography-5/

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  28. […] This starts with a superb listing and terrific product pictures and for advanced sellers – re-branding or creating a better variant of that same item. I have already covered these strategies in detail […]

  29. Hi there,

    I am still interested what we can do to avoid our branded products be stolen from us? As I believe China suppliers will let other buyers to buy it as they will see that I am selling it fast. And I would not want to compete with someone on Amazon for example if they would find out my supplier and buy my branded product.

    As I am wondering only contract or trademark would work in that case? How about expenses regarding brand/packaging style protection?

    Regards,

    eBayer

    1. Andrew Minalto

      No money or trademark will protect you from Chinese making copy of your product – just see how successfully they copy multi billion dollar brands…

      BUT what you can do is NOT allow stolen/fake products with your logo to be sold on eBay, Amazon an other marketplaces. For that you’ll want to register a trademark for your logo (costs less than £200 when you file application online) and then you can sign up to VERO program on eBay and report Amazon if anyone else besides you sells products with your brand name on it.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  30. HI so if i order wholesale clothes from china and sew my own label on them that’s not illegal? Do i need a permit or some kind of license to do so? Thanks in advance!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Anita,

      Yes, that’s perfectly fine to do. No, you don’t need any special permits to brand such un-branded products imported from China.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  31. Hi
    I just wanted to say what an excellent, informative guide! I often look for advice on various business problems/ideas and usually come away none-the-wiser but on this occasion, I am ready to start! So, thanks again and have a nice day!
    Victoria

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks Victoria! 🙂

  32. also add fiverr.com for logodesign etc, a very cheap solution (although not all designers are that great, look at their portfolio first)

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Daniel,

      Yes, Fiverr is an option BUT for $5 you really won’t get a great logo, let alone packaging design to be proud of…

      If you do want to brand your products, you want to brand them so they look OUTSTANDING and not cheap..

      Thanks anyway!

      Andrew

  33. […] The easiest way to do this is by simply re-branding already popular products. This is the least expensive strategy and I have already covered it in detail in my Ultimate Product Branding Guide. […]

  34. […] And just so that there’s no confusion, I’m talking mainly about the packaging you use to post an item, not the product or retail packaging. […]

  35. Great post as always Andy. I’m looking at getting some branded packaging soon so it’s great to have a read up on this type of post.

    Very helpful.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Glad I can help Liam!

  36. Clive Baker

    Hi Andy,

    Great post. I think you said in the past, it doesn’t matter if someone steals your unique concept or niche idea. They may well even be using the EXACT same supplier. It’s how you brand it and present it that matters the most!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Clive,

      Yes, exactly as in buyers mind you’ll have better product, better offer – even if it comes from same factory.

      You don’t have to use special branding to achieve this! Even with product pictures you can make a HUGE difference how “expensive” your product looks!

      Andrew

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