Find the Right Contract Manufacturer. They’re An Extension of Your Brand!
Our fourth and final article in a series of four – intended to help you create a successful personal care brand, and understand the world of contract manufacturing – is less about firm milestones and tactical targets. It’s about finding the right contract manufacturer. An important phase in your personal care brand development and its future success. Tom Lehman, President of MK shares some observations from years of working with award-winning personal care brands.
“Early in my sales career with MK, I was only focused on numbers and did not focus on fit. We gained opportunities, but never the true partnership we desire. Once I emphasized fit, we focused on the right personal care brands who would be most successful with our business approach. That shift led to a great partnership with robust sales and product extensions.”
While not tangible data set, finding the right contract manufacturer is the feeling you get from the initial meeting to the successful launch of your dream product. Determining if their support, services and brand positioning is important for forging a true partnership, which is the ultimate goal. How do you find the right partner? You look at their VALUES.
All brands have values to help guide their direction – some will look for affordability and access, others want cutting-edge ingredient research, while some want packaging innovation. The important part is to find a contract manufacturer whose own values and services mirror your own. The closer your values are aligned to the values of a contract partner, the better they will understand your brand, goals and provide the support you need to be successful.
According to Tom, here are some warning signs that a contract manufacturer may not be right for you:
“Simple requests are hard to satisfy.”
The basics, like requesting a Certificate of Analysis (CoA), should be an easy task for any reputable contract manufacturer to handle.
“Never follows through on promises.”
If you were promised something in the early selection phase – like a delivery/launch date that seemed too good to be true – that never materialized.
“Doesn’t bring anything new to the table.”
If your brand needs to be leading a category you will want a contract manufacturer that is aware of trend forecasts, new ingredients and packaging innovation.
“Constantly fluctuating costs.”
Your vendor partner should be able to guarantee costs for a period of time, not a moving target that can be difficult to budget or forecast.
“Quality isn’t measured, or other metrics aren’t transparent.”
High performing contract manufacturers can and will provide you any metric you should ever want for your personal care product.
By finding a contract manufacturer that values your brand attributes, you can build a natural partnerships that will last years. A true partner that will help you through challenges, be solutions-focused and celebrate your successes.
If you enjoyed reading this article, please be sure to check out the first 3 parts of our series and get ready to launch your personal care brand!
Mansfield-King provides exceptional formula development, product launches/extensions for mid-size and larger national brands, and is part of PLZ Aeroscience Corporation – Personal Care offering a breadth of beauty and personal care contract manufacturing services from aerosols to private label. Learn more here: mansfieldking.com, plzaeroscience.com and liquidtek.com