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What Does The Candle Market Look Like?


The candle industry was valued at 3.45 billion dollars in 2018. Container based candles accounted for 55% of this, as they are convenient and easy to use. North America alone accounted for 35% of the global market revenue in the candle industry, mostly due to increased number of spas and massage centers across the US and Mexico.

The candle market is greatly influenced by economic climate--as disposable income increases, consumer spending does too. With this, consumers are more likely to spend on home furnishings, such as candles. Much of this growth is being driven by millennial women seeking to enhance their environment with visually appealing products.

Additionally, commercial demand for candles has also increased. Spas’, massage centers’ and restaurants’ use of candles is always rising because of the soothing ambiance they add to the environment.

One of the reasons so many individuals and establishments make use of candles is because of the wide variety in which they are made. They range in size and packaging, from small tea light candles to large pillar candles with multiple wicks.

This accounts for the wide range in prices that they can be sold for. They can cost as little as a dollar per small candle to higher prices depending on the candle style. Some of the most popular candles in recent years feature woodwicks that create a gentle crackling sound as they burn--these can cost upwards of $30 for just one candle!

Candles are seasonal in nature. 35% of all candle sales occur during the holiday season, whereas the other 65% of sales are scattered throughout the rest of the year.

Because of this growth, the candle market is huge and saturated. Dont let this discourage you! Think of the pizza market--it’s also very saturated, but there are always new pizza restaurants popping up that are unique or innovative in one way or another.

That being said, you need to bring value to your product that consumers cannot get elsewhere in order to succeed in a market as saturated as candles. Providing a unique and memorable experience can greatly help to differentiate you from the rest of the market.

Your product should be easily distinguishable from others. Imagine what it would look like on the shelf or among internet search results. Does your packaging include eye catching graphics? Do you offer scents or packaging that customers can’t get elsewhere? These are all things to keep in mind when aiming to stand out from the rest of the market.

Another crucial aspect of working in such a large market is finding specific consumer groups to sell to. If your product is too generally marketed, it may get lost among the hundreds of other candles for sale. However, if you chose a specific type of consumer to sell to that isn’t already being marketed to, you’ll find more success. A recent trend has been “manly” candles with masculine scents and industrial packaging made for men who want to use candles but don’t want traditionally “feminine” fragrances.

Keep in mind what consumers look for in a candle. Current market research shows that customers not only want a nicely fragranced candle, but also one that matches their home decor. Even if your candles have the perfect fragrance, they still need to feature visually pleasing colors that your consumer can match to their home decor. Many companies offer candles in a variety of colors that correspond to their fragrance, so keep this in mind when deciding whether you want to dye your candles or not.

Overall, the candle market may seem difficult to enter, but the possibilities for diversification are endless.




Appropriate Fragrance Levels in Candles


Candles of all types are currently placed in category 12 of the IFRA guidelines. Category 12 contains products not intendent for use on skin and allows for higher fragrance levels than other categories. This allows you to use fragrance oils up to 100% in your candles.

Fragrance oil becomes a part of the candle by nestling into the molecular gaps of the wax. Its usage in candles is measured by weight, not volume. In general, the industry standard is one ounce of fragrance oil per pound of wax, or 6.3%. This percentage will ensure your candle’s throw is strong enough to circulate a room without causing problems during production. It’s appropriate for most types of wax like paraffin and soy.

If you’d like your candle to feature a stronger throw, you can add more fragrance oil. However, adding more fragrance doesn’t automatically mean a stronger throw. If you add too much fragrance oil to your wax, it will leach and impact its burn characteristics.

Additives like vybar will increase the wax’s ability to retain fragrance. They do so by decreasing the size of the molecular gaps within the wax to keep fragrance oils from leaching out. Their usage is calculated by weight and it’s recommend to use these additives at .25% to 1% of the total weight of your candle components.

Many waxes on the market come pre-blended with additives to allow a maximum load of up to 12% fragrance oil. Regardless of the wax type you use, you should determine whether it contains these additives or not. Using straight wax without additives will limit how much fragrance oil can be used in the candle without leaching.

When adding fragrance to your wax during the candle production process, take note of the temperature of the melted wax before pouring in your fragrance oil. If you add the fragrance when the wax is too cold, it will not properly distribute into the wax and leave your candle with a poor throw. If you add the fragrance when the wax is too hot, it may be hotter than the fragrance’s flash point and cause it to combust. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you add your fragrance oil when your melted wax is between 180-185 degreed fahrenheit. That being said, always check your fragrance’s flash point to ensure the wax is not past that threshold.

It’s important to mention that cost will play one of the biggest roles in fragrance usage levels in your candles. If you have a lower budget, you may need to use a more cost effective fragrance. On the other hand, you can also use less of an expensive fragrance. If you have a higher budget, you can use larger percentages of any fragrance because you will not be restricted by costs.

Finally, note that any wax with a high oil content will have difficulties holding fragrances. There will not be enough space for the fragrance oil within the gaps of the wax molecules because the oil content of the wax itself will take up those gaps. Waxes with high oil content are slack and scale paraffin wax--they have not been fully refined so they still contain some of the oil that they were extracted from.




All About Fragrances


The National Candle Association estimates that 75-80% of all candles sold in the US are scented. There are so many fragrance options for use in candles, but it’s important to remember that your fragrance of choice must be oil based to properly mix with the candle wax.

Candle systems work by having fragrance oil evaporate out of the microscopic gaps within the wax. The fragrance evaporates when the candle is cold and hot, but the heat of themelted wax is what speeds up this evaporation and makes the candle smell stronger when burning.

Before going into more detail about fragrances, you’ll need to understand what “throw” means in reference to a candle’s scent. A candle’s throw is how strongly it smells--cold throw refers to the strength of the fragrance when not in use and hot throw refers to the strength while burning. A candle’s throw can be effected by many things, such as wax and candle type, but for now let’s look specifically at fragrance options at your disposal.

The fragrances you chose will depend on many factors. Ask yourself, where do you see the candle being sold? Will the customer burn one at a time or in conjunction with others? Will the candle be decorative or used for air freshening purposes? These are all things to consider when chosing the appropriate fragrance for the candles you make.

Tea light and votive candles generally feature gentle scents that allow many to be burned at a time without becoming overpowering. If you chose to sell scented votive candles in bulk, consider how they will smell when more than one is being used. You can chose to make them all the same scent or include two or three different scents that compliment each other.

If your candles are made to improve the smell of their environment, chose robust fragrances. These are great in large, multiwick candles for candles being used as air fresheners. Some of the best fragrances for odor eliminating purposes feature spice and citrus notes.

Note that candle fragrances are seasonal in nature. Pumpkin spice, apple pie, and autum leaf fragrances are most popular during the fall. They invoke feelings of excitement for the changing seasons. Similarly, popular winter fragrances include pine cone, cinnamon, and fir, all which remind customers of holiday fun to come and create a sense of warmth.

As spring comes, fresh and floral fragrances such as rose and lavender increase in popularity. Finally, popular summer fragrances are reminiscent of the warm weather. Freshly cut grass, sweet fruits, and seaside fragrances lend themselves greatly to this season.

Some fragrances have deep cultural significance, like frankincense and myrrh. If your intended candle use is for religious or spiritual services, research which fragrances are historically used within that culture.

Likewise, practitioners of aromatherapy believe different fragrances improve varied aspects of our wellbeing. Fragrances such as sandalwood, bergamot, and lavender are said to help relieve stress. Consider which desired effect you want your candles to have if you chose to market them as therapeutic.

Different fragrances will also have different throw strengths. Some of the strongest fragrances are spicy and seasonal, such as pumpkin and cinnamon, or sweets like sugar cookie. If you want a strong fragrance year round without any seasonal connections, clean and fresh fragrances like cotton or flannel will also have a great throw.

Whether you’re just getting started making candles or just not sure which fragrances to use, obtain some samples to test on a small scale. Doing so will allow you to establish a concrete list of ingredients you’ll need before ordering in bulk.




All About Candle Wax


One of the first steps when creating a candle is to figure out what type of wax you want to use. There are several options you can chose from: some are natural, some synthetic, and some are a little bit of both. Each type of wax has its own unique properties, so choose one that fits you and your business needs.

Historically, candle wax was derived from animal fats and beeswax. Beeswax has remained a popular wax option to this day because of its slow burn time, but nowadays the demand exceeds the supply. In the past century, other wax types have become more widely used to make up for the shortages of beeswax, all of which are classified in their own ways.

Let’s start with paraffin wax. Paraffin is a mineral wax distilled from petroleum. Components of the petroleum are removed at certain stages of this distillation to extract different grades of the paraffin wax. Slack wax, which is extracted the earliest, has a low melt temperature and is relatively soft. Next, scale wax, is partially refined and contains less oil than slack wax. Finally, semi and fully refined wax is fully deoiled and the hardest, cleanest paraffin wax available. Refined wax has the highest melt temperature, usually between 120-160 degrees fahrenheit. The more refined the paraffin wax is, the lower the oil content. It’s important to note that because paraffin wax is oil based, its price will vary--if oil prices go up, so will paraffin prices.

Paraffin wax has many uses, both in and out of the candle industry. It is found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and even some foods such as fruit or vegetable coatings! Depending on how refined the wax is, it will range in melt temperature and color. Slack and scale wax range from a slight brown color to off white, and fully refined wax is much whiter in color.

Because paraffin is derived from oil, many candle makers and consumers chose to source their wax elsewhere. Vegetable waxes, also known as fats and oils in the food industry, are insoluble in water and make for great candle components. These waxes are a popular alternative to paraffin wax and are derived from natural sources such as soybeans, palm, coconuts, and many more.

Soy wax, made from soy beans, was the first vegetable based wax made into candles. At first it was brittle and difficult to make candles with, but with extensive research and experimentation, soy wax has now become an incredibly popular option. Like paraffin wax, soy wax also comes in a variety of blends and melting points.

Palm wax is another vegetable based wax popular for use in candles. Derived from the fruit bunches found on palm trees, palm wax can be fractioned into different viscosities that are blended to make candles.

There are many other vegetable based waxes used to make candles, but soy is the most popular and commonly used wax in the candle industry. They are less opaque than paraffin wax and feature a slightly off-white, milky color. Additionally, they do not hold fragrances as well as paraffin waxes do, so their throw when burning is not as strong as that of paraffin wax.

Of course, beeswax is still a sought after candle wax because of it’s natural source and slow burning properties. It takes a great deal of work for honeybees to produce beeswax, and with the current threat that honeybees face to their population, it has become difficult to meet the high demands for it as an ingredient in candles and cosmetics. This makes it an expensive option, but one that will remain popular for use in candles for as long as honeybees do not go extinct.

Similar to paraffin wax, gel wax is another type of wax derived from petroleum. It differs from all the other wax types in how it burns and has a unique, clear appearance. Because the molecular makeup of gel wax is different than that of other wax types, it must be used with non-polar fragrance oil. The best way to determined whether your fragrance of choice is compatible with gel wax is to mix it 50/50 with mineral oil. If it separates, it will not work with gel wax.

So which type of wax is best? There’s no “right” answer to this question, as all wax types have characteristics that lend themselves to be perfect for different types of candles. Some argue that paraffin wax does not produce a clean burning candle, so vegetable based waxes are objectively the best, but the truth is that any candle can be clean burning if they are formulated right. Many candle makers use the fact that soy is a naturally derived product to make it seem like a more environmentally concious option than paraffin wax--however, recent studies show that both combust the same. In reality, the best wax is the one that works for your needs.

To meet these needs, many candle makers currently utilize a blend of paraffin and vegetable waxes. In doing so, they can get properties of each wax type to optimize a candle’s fragrance, burn time, and ability to be molded.

The type of candle you chose to make will play a role in what waxes you should use. For example, hard waxes with higher burn temperatures make for great free standing candles, such as pillars and votives. On the other hand, soft waxes that are not as prone to shrinkage and have a lower melt time are better for container candles.

Furthermore, there are numerous additives you can add into your wax during the production process that will effect how it looks and performs. Stearic acid, derived from animal or plant fats can help make cured candle wax harder, helping it maintain its shape. Vybar, another additive, helps increase the amount of fragrance oil that can be added to your wax. Many waxes on the market already contain these additives. When purchasing your raw materials, check whether the wax is a specific type or blend. A straight wax contains no additives, so if you want the benefits of them you will have to buy them separately.

One final note about different wax types is that they will all need to be poured at different temperatures. Most wax manufacturers will provide this information, but if they do not, here’s from general pour temperatures you can use as a guide. Paraffin wax used for free standing pillar and votive candles should be poured around 180 degrees fahrenheit, whereas soy wax should be poured between 120 and 140 degrees. Paraffin and soy blend wax can be poured from 160-180 degrees. Always remember that these are general temperature guides and cannot replace your own trial and error process.




Candle Wicks 101


Candle wicks are made of cotton or other fabric materials that are tightly knit together to create a string. These strings sometimes contain cores made of cotton, paper or zinc. Before use, wicks are mordanted. Mordanting refers to the chemical process of making the wick flame retardant. This ensures the wick doesn’t just fizzle out once lit and instead continues to burn as the candle melts.

Wicks serve as a flame source and a fuel pipeline. When you light a wick, it catches fire and begins melting the candle wax. As it burns, the carbon and hydrogen atoms within the candle wax move up the wick and into the flame. To help facilitate this process, the wicks are primed. This means they are dipped into unscented, uncolored wax for about five minutes to fill in any air pockets that the wick may contain. Doing so allows the air pockets to escape which makes the wick burn more efficiently.

Before being placed in candles, a wick must be tabbed. A wick tab is the flat, metal component that is placed into the bottom of the candle container or mold prior to pouring the wax. These tabs come in a range of sizes, usually measured in millimeters. The size of the wick tab you use is dependant on your candle size and type. Wick tabs are made with hollow necks that the wick is placed into. These necks come in a variety of heights that prevent the wick from burning all the way into the base of the candle. This ensures the wick is not able to burn down to the bottom of the candle’s container, preventing the container from failing or burning the surface underneath. Because of this, tabbing your wick is an absolute must, regardless of what type of candle you make.

Before and after each burn, candle wicks should be trimmed to 1/4th of an inch. Pay attention to not only your wick length, but also the wick diameter. A wick’s number refers to the size of the diameter it is capable of burning: as the number goes up, the diameter of wax it’s able to melt will also go up.The thicker a wick is, the larger the melt diameter will be. If your wick is too large, excess carbon will form and cause a mushroom-like shape to form at the end of the candle wick after burning. This is referred to as “mushrooming”.

Wicks also plays a role in your candle’s scent throw. As mentioned in our fragrance properties tab, a candle’s scent throw refers to how strongly the fragrance circulates. If your wick is too small, your burn pool will produce a weak scent throw. If your wick is too large and creates and oversized burn pool the fragrance will be burned off without producing a strong throw.

Other components of your candle will also play a role in how you chose your wick. Fragrance oils exhibit different flash points--this refers to the temperature at which the fragrance combusts. Fragrances with lower flash points will easily travel up the wick as the candle burns, so a wick with too large of a diameter may cause the fragrance to combust and release and unpleasant smell. Likewise, fragrances with higher flash points need wicks of larger diameters to prevent the fragrance oil from clogging the wick.

With all the science of wicks out of the way, let’s discuss the different wick types available to you.

When choosing the right wick for your candle, you should aim for a few key things. Keeping a consistent flame, having an even burn pool across your candle, and maintaining a very low level of smoke. This includes making sure excessive soot is not produced while burning your candle. There are hundreds of available wick types to chose from. The three main types, flat, square, and cored, are determined by their fiber construction and bonding abilities.

Flat wicks, which are either braided or twisted, are made from bundles or fiber that create a consistent burn. As the wick burns, it become curled. This acts as a self trimming effect that prevents the wick from becoming too tall, and thus creating too large a flame.

Square wicks are also braided or twisted, but are rounder than flat wicks. These wicks also curl as they burn, but the larger, more robust structure allows them to burn through wax and candle types that flat wicks may not.

Finally, cored wicks are either braided or twisted around a core that holds them upright while burning. Common core materials include cotton, paper, or zinc. Historically, these cores contained lead, but as of 2003 all core wicks must be produced with no lead in them.

All of the three wick types are either braided or twisted. Braided wicks are a higher quality choice, as they offer a slow and consistent burn. The most common braided wicks are square and flat braided. Twisted wicks on the other hand are lower quality. They have a tendency to burn faster due to their loose fibre construction. This makes them great for short term use such as in birthday or tea light candles.

Wooden wicks, which are placed in a category of their own, have grown greatly in popularity because of their pleasing appearance and gentle crackling sound. They are made of brittle wood such as balsa.

If your candle is four inches or more in diameter, you may need to use two or three wicks to achieve a proper burn pool. Double or triple wicks should be centered and placed at least one inch from one another. This creates an equal burn pool across the entire candle.

No matter which wick you chose, pay close attention to its burning rate. The burning rate of your candle wick is the amount of wax that is consumed by the wick. If you have a higher burn rate, your candle will consume more wax.

The last thing we’ll touch on is soot. What is it and why should you avoid it? Soot is produced when fuels are not completely consumed and is generated from many sources. Although many wax producers may claim that their wax will burn soot free, this simply cannot be backed by science. All waxes will produce some amount of soot, or else they would not burn brightly. While some claim that paraffin waxes are to blame for soot production, the reality is that incorrect wick selection plays one of the largest roles in this.

Choosing a wick might be on the bottom of your priority list, but it can ultimately make or break your candle production. Testing different wicks with your selected wax, container, dye, and fragrance oil is a thorough way to see which option will work best for you.




Picking A Winning Jar


Container candles, sometimes called jar candles, consist of wax that is poured into a vessel with a wick. Unlike votive and pillar candles, they are not free-standing. Because they do not need to be molded like other candle types, they’re great for beginners.

Container candles need a vessel with a wick for the wax to be poured into. There are three important rules to consider when choosing your container.

First and foremost, the container should be able to withstand heat and a potential flame. It may seem like an obvious rule, but many don’t realize just how dangerous certain vessels can be.

Plastic, wood, and any material that cannot be exposed to an open flame are all unsuitable for use as candle containers. Porous materials such as ceramic and terracotta can also be dangerous, as they can soak up the melted wax and act as a wick. When exposed to the flame of the candle, they will catch fire and combust. If you’d like your candle container to be made of ceramic materials, be sure to coat them in at least two layers of a water-based sealer such as decoupage glue.

You should also be sure that your container will not leak wax as it burns. Melted wax can be a dangerous fire hazard, as the wick will burn out of control if the wax leaks out quickly. It’s also a mess to clean up after it hardens on the surface it leaks onto.

While metal cans and tins have become popular candle containers due to their rustic feel, many have a seam at their base where contents can slowly leak over time. If you plan to use these containers, make sure the manufacturer you purchase from offers a quality product.

Finally, your candle container should not be prone to cracking. Glass that’s too thin can crack when exposed to high heat, which is why canning jars are such a popular container choice. The glass is made to be heat resistant for hot jams and jellies, so they make a great vessel for wax as well.

Drinking glasses and flower vases are not suitable candle containers, because the glass is too thin and can crack when exposed to high heat or a flame. Additionally, if your candle container is wide at the top and narrows at the bottom, it can get too hot once it’s melted down and create cracking hazards.

As with any candle type, container candles should not be left unattended or placed near anything flammable just because they are self-contained.

Before pouring your candle wax, you should preheat your container of choice. This is an optional step to take when making container candles, but doing so will minimize any chance of cracking. This will also prevent air bubbles from forming and ensure your wax adheres to the container better.

One last thing to keep in mind about your container of choice is the potential for bloom. Bloom is a milky white, crystalline-like pattern that can occur in clear or colored glass after repeated exposure to extreme temperature changes. It happens when the salts that naturally occur in glass leach out after exposure to certain components within vegetable or beeswax candles.

While there is no way to know whether glass will bloom when purchased from the manufacturer, you can take steps to limit the likelihood of it occurring to your candle containers. Do your best to avoid extreme temperature changes in shipment.

In terms of the wax you use, container candles are great for any wax with a lower melt temperature because of how they will adhere to the sides of the vessel they are in. Additionally, container candles do not need to be freestanding like votives and pillars. By using wax with a lower melt point, your fragrance will easily permeate the room. High melt temperature paraffin and soy waxes are not always good options for container candles because of the shrinkage they exhibit when curing. This means they may shrink away from the sides of their container, resulting in a failed container candle.




Packaging & Shipping Best Practices


There are so many great ways to add your personal touch to your packaging and labels. The most important things to consider when packaging your candles are presentation, protection, and cost.

Whether your candles are votives, pillars, or container based, the presentation of your product can make or break how a customer feels when receiving their package. Think about the unboxing experience when you are preparing your candles to be shipped. Do the labels on the candle represent your brand without being too flashy? Do the colors and design of the label indicate what the candle smells like? Think about how the candle will look when used by your customer and decide how it is best presented.

Always remember that candles are more than just a fragrance product--they are also used as decor. Picture how your candle will look on a shelf or office desk. If you want to incorporate bright colors into the wax of your candles, chose packaging that will show this off. As we mentioned in our candle market tab, consumers put as much thought into the color of a candle as they do the fragrance. Research what colors are popular and you can incorporate them into your packaging and the candle itself.

Additionally, consider utility when designing your candle packaging. Will your candle be safe for use and easy to light? If you make container candles, refer back to our candle container tab for information on the best vessels for use as containers. It may be tempting to use unique containers that aren’t ideal for use with hot wax just to stand out, but always ensure the candle can burn properly. No amount of pretty packaging can help if your candle is unsafe.

Part of safe packaging includes a warning label or sticker. These stickers can be ordered premade or customized and should include general safety warnings about candle use. Always make sure customers are using candles in appropriate vessels, trimming the wick to 1/4th of an inch, and never leaving burning candles unattended.

To protect your candle in transit, you can use things such as bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts. Make sure there are at least 2 inches of protective material between the candle and the box on each side. Be aware of weather extremities in the summer and winter--you will want to put extra thought into your packaging. Double bubble wrapping your product or using a combination of protective packaging options will help avoid candle wax melting during transit in the summer or even the glass expanding and cracking in the winter.

As for cost, take into consideration any extra supplies you are using to package your candles. Money will need to be put aside for bubble wrap or other protective materials as well as the packages themselves. Chose a parcel service that provides tracking information, as this can help assure both you and your customers that your goods are on track. Additionally, provide different shipping options such as priority or express to those who need to receive their products in a pinch.

The design of your packages can be as simple as the default options provided to you by your chosen parcel service, or you can create custom packaging that suits your brand. There are many cardboard printing services that allow you to design your own boxes to ship products in. Although this will add additional expenses, it will also provide your customers with a one-of-a-kind unboxing experience that will increase appreciation for your brand.




Tips for Pricing & Marketing Your Brand


Before you can make a sale, you have to calculate how much you want to sell your candles for. Your price figures will be based on many factors, such as wax type, candle size, your target market, and more.

When you start pricing any product, including candles, you should focus on delivering a quality product instead of trying too hard to compete with your competition. While you should still consider the prices of your competition’s products when it comes to pricing your own, nothing else will matter if you are not confident in the quality of your candles. From there, you can start considering your own price points.

Start by determining your costs. Add up everything you spend on your candle-making supplies and calculate how much money it takes to make each individual candle.

Once you’ve calculated how much it takes to make one of your candles, determining how much you’d like to make in profits can be difficult. Usually, a new business will price their products at 25 to 50% more than what it costs to make them, but this is just a starting point.

Whether you will be selling your candles wholesale or directly to the consumer will also play a role in the price points you chose. Wholesale candles are usually sold at half the price they would be when sold directly, as suppliers buy wholesale items in bulk to save money. From there, the supplier will play a role in the pricing of your candles. If you chose to sell your products directly to the customer, your candles can be priced higher.

Experiment with different pricing to find a balance between bringing customers in and making a profit. If you price your products too high, you will have a hard time getting new customers unfamiliar with your brand’s quality, but if you price too low you will fail to make a profit.

This balance may be tricky to find at first, but you can use information about your target market to help you pin it down. If you want your candles to be accessible to everyone, regardless of age, economic status, or other factors, pricing them on the lower end of the spectrum will make them easier for everyone to acquire. This market is called the mass market and is compromised of the average consumer, so offering a wide variety of candle types will help you appeal to larger groups of people.

If you want to sell your products to a niche market, fine-tune your price to match the lifestyles of the people in that market. For example, if your target market consists of consumers with more expendable income and a desire for luxury products, price your candles higher to reflect their prestige and value. But remember, always make sure you are delivering a quality candle that can hold up the price tag attached to it.

Once you’ve decided on the price points of your candles, you can begin working on your marketing campaign. The prices you sell at will greatly affect how you market your brand, so keep them in mind when developing your strategy. If your candles are priced as luxury items, your branding should reflect that. Highlight the sophisticated fragrances you offer in your candles and drive that home by designing packaging that fits into this image. Remember, candles are not just a fragrance product but also part of one’s home decor, so candles with a luxury price tag should visually represent their value.

On the other hand, if your candles feature fun, youthful fragrances and colors, your target market may be made up of millennials and gen z’ers. Stay on top of trends and use social media to advertise your candles so they are easily accessible to this market. Additionally, maintain a genuine attitude, as many new consumers can tell when a brand is putting on a front to sell more products. If you like making your candles quirky and unique, stay true to yourself and customers will appreciate how that is reflected in your work!

All of this involves knowing what makes your candle unique from the competition. Focus on what you can offer that others cannot when marketing your candles, such as particular fragrances or innovative techniques in the production process. Whether you sell your candles primarily through the internet, brick-and-mortar stores, or both, consider how you want them to appear to the consumer in comparison to the competition. Standing out from the others can mean having never before seen packaging or fragrances, or even just a fun brand name that makes customers curious about your product.

Of course, you should also take advantage of candles’ seasonal nature, and use marketing campaigns specific to the time of year you are selling your candle. Incorporate new or limited edition fragrances during holidays or special times of the year. Playing up the limited aspect of these candles will make customers want them more knowing they won’t be able to get them again once the season is over.

As with all markets, there are also slow seasons in the candle business. Don’t let this discourage you--take advantage of the slow periods in business by selling your candles at a discounted price. Remind your customers that you’re still active with frequent posts to social media, and hype up the coming season or holidays with teasers that will draw people in for the future.




Made in conjuction with AFI