How to Find Private Label Manufacturers for Your Products
You want your business to stand out. You also want your customers to feel connected to your brand every time they purchase a product or service. One of the best ways to achieve both of these ends is to use private label manufacturing: a design strategy that helps to distinguish your products from those of your competitors.
But unless you have a manufacturing center as part of your business model already, chances are you’ll need a specialized private label product manufacturer to make specific or customized products that can only be purchased from your brand.
Don’t know where to find private label manufacturers? Let’s examine some resources you can use to locate manufacturers in your area, as well as explore what you need to look for in a great manufacturing partner for your business.
What Are Private Label Products?
Put simply, private label products are made by one company and are then offered for sale by another company. In most cases, private label products are created by specialized manufacturers, such as Harper+Scott, that create unique, well-researched designs and brand imagery for products to further distinguish their client company’s offerings from the competition.
For example, one company might sell wholesale produced sunglasses that are sourced from a bulk supplier in China. The glasses don’t have any brand iconography and, thus, can’t be distinguished from sunglasses sold by competitors. In fact, companies in the same industry may sell the exact same product!
This can be terrible for small businesses. Customers won’t know which brand to choose from and, in the worst case scenario, may not decide to buy from anyone out of frustration.
In contrast, private label products look like nothing else on the market and provide distinct practical or brand-related value for both the company and the customer. For instance, companies might hire a private label manufacturer to create distinct sunglasses that don’t have the exact same look anywhere else.
Benefits of Private Labeling
More and more companies these days are looking at private label manufacturing since it can lead to significant business gains and advantages.
- Private labeling can often boost profit margins. It’s a known fact that private label products usually have higher profit margins compared to generic counterparts, even if the two products are almost identical in other ways. Companies can effectively sell a private label product at a higher price.
- Private labeling generates brand exclusivity. People love to purchase products that can only come from the one place or company that they connect with rather than purchasing the “generic” stuff that other people can get. It stems from the same psychological reason why people buy branded, single-company products in grocery stores as opposed to store-brand stuff.
- The additional branding you get from private label products can’t be understated. It helps your brand become cemented in audience memory and helps you to stand out from the competition.
- Lastly, private label products can even help your marketing campaigns. Generic products are difficult to market for aside from their raw attributes or specifications. Branded products can be marketed with a story, creative photos, and social media campaigns altogether.
What to Look for in a Private Label Product Manufacturer
While it’s a great idea to look for a private label product manufacturer, such as Harper+Scott, it’s also a good idea to make sure that the company you partner with is worth your time and money. Some companies are much better partners than others.
Any good private label manufacturing company should have competitive pricing for their clients. The better a price you can get from the manufacturer, the higher your potential profit margins will be.
Thus, it’s a good idea to request quotes from different private label manufacturers. Compare their prices and see which one works best for your bottom line or manufacturing budget. Most manufacturing companies will allow you to negotiate the price with bulk orders.
You might also ask about pricing for sample products and what minimum order quantities may be required for you to do business with a given manufacturer. All of these aspects can affect your total manufacturing budget.
Not all private label manufacturers can create every different type of item. Some manufacturers specialize in certain industries, such as apparel, kitchenware, car accessories, and many more. You should always ask a manufacturer what products they are specialized in before signing on the dotted line.
You won’t want, for instance, a private label manufacturer that makes cups to design for your handbags, right? Other companies are more versatile. Harper+Scott, for instance, makes just about anything with the right time and design specifications.
Regardless of the specialization or your industry, you should always ensure that a private label manufacturer provides excellent product quality in the end. There are a few ways you can ascertain quality for yourself:
- Check supplier directories. These are lists of suppliers and manufacturers that often include reputational information, such as prior clients and the reviews
- Do some research on e-commerce and forum websites. Check for prior reviews or experiences that other brands have had with a given manufacturer
- Consider visiting the manufacturer’s factory to see their production process before you commit to a partnership
- Ask about samples. Samples, even if they cost a small charge, can help you determine whether a manufacturer will be a good partner in the long run. It’s almost always worthwhile to try a partner out before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even more
Any private label manufacturer you partner with must be able to deliver your products on time and with consistent quality. Failure to do so could affect your bottom line and the trust that your customers have in your products, so don’t partner with a manufacturer that fails to stick to delivery dates or that has bad reviews from prior clients on this point.
Harper + Scott checks all of these boxes and then some. It’s one of the reasons why we’ve already been awarded multiple times for quality and innovation.
How and Where to Find Private Label Manufacturers
Knowing what to look for in a private label manufacturer is only useful if you can find these services for yourself. There are a few different places you can look.
Online marketplaces are great places to start looking for private label manufacturers. That’s because companies will often advertise their products on these websites, allowing you to skip the selling company and find the contact information of the manufacturer directly.
Then you can contact the agency and start inquiring about their abilities and whether or not they’ll be able to make products for you.
Local Trade Shows
If you’re in a high business area, like New York City or Hong Kong, you might consider attending local trade shows. Trade shows are like supplier and manufacturer conventions where agencies will set up stations or booths to advertise their skills and products and sell themselves to potential clients like you.
Local trade shows are great ways to meet manufacturing heads in person and make contacts with companies in your local area. This, in turn, can lower the turnaround time for samples or your products and may be vital if your primary user base is also local.
Don’t forget to try online searches in general. Search engines, forums, and manufacturing company websites are all great places to check for manufacturers either in your specialty or that are within your price range.
Lastly, consider checking supplier directories. Thomasnet is one such example. It’s a free service, and it lets you search for different manufacturers by sorting for both location and product type. This is a great service since it prevents you from wasting time contacting manufacturers that can’t make your required products anyway, so you only contact people who can get the job done.
Plus, supplier directories like the above can also show manufacturers’ certifications, licenses, and even user reviews and reputation. It’s a great way to filter our subpar private label manufacturers, so you only end up contacting the top companies for your needs.
Of course, you can skip all of the research and instead contact Harper+Scott right away. As one of the best private label design and manufacturing companies in the world, Harper+Scott is an agency well-equipped for whatever products you need to be designed and created.
As opposed to other agencies, Harper+Scott can create just about any type of product given enough time and specifications. Plus, we offer agreeable prices for all of our services and top-tier results every time. Contact us today, and let’s start a conversation about how we can help your brand benefit from the private labeling advantage.