Labels, Packaging and Design

From Spirited Start-Ups to Serious Distribution: A Packaging Journey, Part Four

This is Part Four of a series telling the (fictional but familiar-to-us) story of Alana Marshall and Jacob Franchi, co-founders of a small cocktail mix company. (Here’s Part One, Part Two, and Part Three).

Why tell this particular story? Well, because we’ve worked with thousands of entrepreneurs, we’re pretty intimately familiar with what they go through. We know that many of them spend a lot of time thinking about starting a business before they take that first big step. And part of that thinking involves asking questions like, “Hmmm, where would I even go to get a label for a uniquely shaped bottle?”

Basically, we want to illuminate, step by step, what goes into the packaging part of an entrepreneurial journey. That’s why we invented the story of Alana and Jacob—they’re both based on many of the brand-new business owners we’ve worked with over the years. We tell a story that follows their creation and expansion of a pre-mix cocktail business. Basically, they go from inventing the product to selling it to their first clients to ramping up their distribution to the point of being a really successful business. At every stage, there are packaging matters to figure out.

If you’re an entrepreneur waiting to reveal yourself to the world, we hope you get plenty of inspiration and information from this series. And please, do not hesitate to reach out if you’re feeling ready to take that first small yet epic step.

Counter displays

Cocktail Mix Start Up POS Display

In the series so far, we’ve told the story of long-time friends Alana and Jacob creating and launching their product: a low-sugar, high-quality pre-mix cocktail in functional and attractive bottles. They’ve made labels, an e-commerce box, cartons, sleeves, and shippers for getting their product out to their first customers. So far, so good.

But suddenly, everything is going…so, so good. Turns out, they were right when they thought their pre-mixes could take the world by storm.

Their customer base of a few small local bars and stores started out as a trickle, but now constitutes a rushing river of major demand. They feel like they’re getting orders from most establishments in the city.

They figure, when momentum is picking up, why not lean into it? They decide to expand into more retail and shops. And that means another round of packaging.

Great Little Box Company/Ideon Packaging (GLBC) and the entrepreneurs come up with a modestly sized point-of-sale (POS) corrugated counter display. The great thing about a POS counter display is that it can be printed all over with branding. Not only are they able to maximize on impulse buying at the retail stores, but they are able to spread the word about their incredible new product. And the retail stores are happy to accept them because they only take up a little bit of counter space.

POPs – Floor Displays

Cocktail Mix Start Up POP Displays

When the counter displays show they are working well to boost retail sales, Alana, Jacob, and GLBC decide, “Go big or go home!” Why not create another display that is even more attention-getting and bold?

Together, they create an incredibly elegant POP (point-of-purchase) floor display. It has shelves, a header, shelf dividers, and full-colour print. Since they are displaying bottles on this POP, the team ensures it has plastic clips to allow for heavier products to sit safely on it. And they cover the large canvas that this POP essentially is—even its shelves are printable—with their branding. This is the sort of large, bold, colourful display that is impossible to ignore—and that means way, way more impulse purchases.

The product is bottled, labelled, boxed for e-commerce, packaged for shipping, and has retail displays; next up is multipacks, trays, and pallet wraps. We’ll talk about that in Part Five.


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