If you are in the process of designing a line of candles, then you know you have a lot of competition on the market. However, if this competition hasn't deterred you yet, then you likely have an amazing line that is different from all the other candles out there that you just know many customers will fall in love with! As unique as you know your candles are, you need to make sure that the store buyers of the brick-and-mortar stores you would love to sell your candles in, along with customers themselves, know how unique your candles are before they even light one. Here are three steps to take now to make sure your candles truly stand out from all the rest when you are ready to introduce them to the market.
1. Produce at Least One Candle with a Unique Shape and Patent It
You may be thinking of making each candle scent available in only several standard candle shapes, such as a pillars, tea-lights, votives, and tapers. However, while you should produce the shapes that are needed most often as replacements for standard candle holders, make sure to include a candle in each scent line that is a unique shape different from every other candle on the market.
Why make a candle of an unusual shape when you may sell more of the standard shapes? Store buyers that carry candles not only look for great-quality products but also products that look great and will create beautiful displays in their stores. A uniquely shaped candle in a unique package can help your entire line look different from all the others they see. Also, once your candles are in shops, your one unique candle can draw customer's eyes to your display. Just getting their attention to your display is the first step to them choosing your candles over the others in the store.
To make sure no one else in the candle industry copies your unique candle shape, be sure to patent it. Make sure your shape is not an object that appears in nature because designs found in nature are considered public domain and therefore not patentable.
2. Trademark a Brand Hashtag and Include It on Your Candle Labels
Everyone today is eager to share virtually every detail of their lives on social media, and that includes their purchases and the candles they are burning. There are even entire online communities of candle enthusiasts who are eager to share what candles they are currently burning with each other. While it is always a great idea to invest in a social-media campaign when launching a new product, a very easy way to kick off that campaign is to simply give your product its very own hashtag. Big brands with big budgets are even creating and trademarking their own hashtags (which is a process that costs very little) because they know how much of an impact a great hashtag can make on social media.
Why is trademarking that hashtag so important? Just as you don't want competitors selling under your trademarked brand name and using your unique candle design, which can both lead to loss of revenue for you due to brand confusion, you don't want other candle companies using your hashtag on social media.
What should your hashtag be? First, you don't have to make it the same as your brand name, and in fact, you shouldn't. Instead, you should decide on a short phrase that incorporates your brand and its values and provokes a positive emotional response. Your phrase, however, cannot be too common, or you will be unable to trademark it. Use that creativity you use during candle design to think of a few great hashtags you would love to see circulating on social media, then run them past your IP attorney to see which qualify for trademark protection.
3. Use Creativity When Naming Your Scents
When choosing the names of your candle scents, realize that there are many, many names of candle scents that are already trademarked. So, if you were thinking of naming your strawberries-n-cream scented candle just that, then you need to think of a different name, or you risk the IP lawyer of another candle company ordering you to stop using that scent name after you have already invested in labels and packaging that display the name. However, don't look at this as a setback, but instead use it to your advantage. You don't want the same old scent names that every other candle manufacturer seems to use anyway! Once you have a full set of creative names chosen for each of your candle scents, run the list by your IP lawyer to ensure that they are not currently trademarked. He or she can then trademark them for you so you don't have to worry about any other company copying your carefully chosen candle-scent names.
Breaking into a competitive product market like the candle market can be tough, and you can increase your chance of succeeding by making sure that your candles stand out from all the others in as many ways as possible. Follow these three tips, and you can improve your chances of breaking into that tough market and seeing all your hard work finally pay off!
For more info, contact an IP attorney.