What happened building up to the launch of Cookie?
If you’ve been reading (Or watching) any of my blog posts you’ll know it’s been a long and arduous process to get to the point where I could even consider making Cookie live.
Well, if you’re reading this I’m sure you’ll be aware that as of the 1st of February I finally took the plunge and launched the business.
It’s been a good few months since I did the last update on Cookie so I thought this week I would give you an update of what I have been working on to get to the point of launch.
The print I produce is at the core of Cookie. Since I initially started planning the business I have remained focused on quality over margin. The easy option would be to go for the cheapest thinnest paper stocks possible (that also have a dreadful eco-rating), but I had to be perseverant and stick my morals. Granted at the time of launch the product range isn’t huge but I can honestly say that I’m proud of the quality and finish of all the print I produce.
I’ve also purposely only chose to have a select range of products on the website, instead of trying to do everything I want to do a select range of product well rather than trying to do everything to a poor standard. As I refine the processes for Cookie I will gradually add more ranges to the lineup.
Going beyond what ‘any other printer’ provides, I’ve also designed and created unique packaging for the products. I’ve always loved the experience of getting a parcel in the post (does that make me sad?). I’m always analyzing how things are put together and what impact it has on how you feel about the product. The obvious example is when you get a new iPhone, the velvety smooth box, the amazing vacuum effect that makes you bubble with excitement. Being a lover of anything print it’s always felt like every time I ordered print it has been shoved in a box without any care. It’s always left me thinking, it doesn’t have to be that way.
I wanted to create excitement when your order from Cookie is delivered. However when I started to research production costs of getting boxes created you either had to have a huge volume created (Which I just wouldn’t have space for… or the funds) or the unit cost on a lower run was just not viable from a cost point of view. So to get the most out of my investment I opted for a digital die cutter that would be able to cut any sized box out in-house as well as being able to contour cut labels. This option made so much more sense than outsourcing all of the packagings and it also meant that I could tweak and amend the design as and when I wanted to. I’m proud to include a unique presentation box for each different type of business cards, all made in the UK by hand. As well as being able to produce all of the custom cut sample pack and sticker envelopes. No other printer can do that. This combined with the printed postal boxes really does make Cookie exciting – and I love it!
In all honesty, this has been the main focus of mine since the last update. This is what you guys use when you interact with the business and it needs to be as easy to use (and as fun) as possible. However, this isn’t as easy as you would imagine, creating even a normal e-commerce website can be difficult but having a shop front as well as a product with a good amount of variables with a variety of different shipping times makes it seriously difficult to get your head around. This isn’t including having an online builder so you can create your own designs without having to use a designer. However with a lot of late nights and what I’m pretty sure is witchcraft I managed to create a functioning website that is popping with colour, is easy to use and definitely makes print feel more exciting. Granted I will admit that there will always be parts to improve, such as photography but it’s up and running. I’ll admit I can be a bit of a perfectionist. However, I knew that if I didn’t get the website up and running it would just keep getting pushed further and further back.
The Unexpected Problems
As with any project, there are always unexpected problems. For me a big problem I’ve been facing is postage! I hate the idea of getting to the cart and you’re surprised by a big delivery cost. Being a small business I’m only eligible for one of the most expensive tariffs with tracked delivery. It does raise the question, how do smaller businesses remove competitive against the big businesses? After a few months of searching and countless emails, the cost has slowly gone down. But still, my main goal is to get free shipping on every order, no matter what you spend!
The other unexpected problem was that it’s incredibly difficult to create a genuinely authentic audience. During the build-up to launching Cookie, I tested the water with a variety of content. All of which (as I’m sure you’re aware of) is based on being genuine myself and showing the love for print. It amazes me the number of people that jump to the hard sell as soon as you interact with them and then vanish immediately after the pitch. How can they run a business like that? My personal favorite is following then unfollow the next day, I’m just left feeling what’s the point? That makes me think less of you! But keeping positive, the build-up to the launch has opened the door to some amazing people who now follow the business. I’m sure you’re the people reading this now!
Thank you for taking the time to read the latest update on the development of Cookie and how I got to the launch. It’s been a long journey to get to this point and it’s nice to take a small sit back and look at what I have created so far and smile. I can honestly say I love what I do!
If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment, please do! It’s always good to start a conversation! Speak to you next time.
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