Voted by Choice Australia as the ‘Best General Purpose Microfibre Cloth in Australia’ the White Magic General Purpose Eco Cloth heads up a large range of verstile chemical free cleaning products.
The White Magic range has grown to include the Eco Cloth range, Eco Eraser (originally known as Magic Eraser), Eco Clean – natural cleaning products, and most recently Mighty Grip – a nano suction storage system. Such growth prompted me to talk to Craig about how he did it.
Me: To date what has been your best business decision for White Magic as a whole?
Craig: I source products from overseas for Australian consumers. The first product I sourced was the Magic Eraser from Japan, the beautiful thing about this product is that it disappears – both the grime and the actual eraser so it has great repeat purchase. It has also been our best product because it started us on the ‘eco cleaning’ path – in 2001 eco cleaning was not an established category so it was ground breaking at the time.
Me: What would you consider has been the best opportunity White Magic has had?
Craig: That would be the relationships I have been able to build. As a wholesaler the relationships that the you build with agents, distributors and retailers are your life blood. Even if I had the best product in the world, if I can’t get it to market it’s worth nothing. Years ago we did the Home & Giving Fair and this is where I found my sales agent in NSW. She had great success selling the Magic Eraser and introduced me to a lot of retailers which opened other doors and gave me the confidence to expand the range. In turn, I met you and you improved my brand and packaging. Your designs allowed me to sell the Eco Cloth range with a different positioning in the market that the suited high end retailers and increased sales. So yes, good relationships are vital.
Me: What do you think will help you grow the business in the years ahead?
Craig: Persistence is the biggest factor and being ever ready to seize opportunities. For us though, it’s really important to build better, deeper and long term relationships with our retailers so we are constantly working on that. Also, thinking outside the box. We try to seek new and interesting products from Asia or the USA and be the first to bring them to the Australian market. It’s a simple formula but has worked well for us.
Me: What is your biggest challenge to developing a brand in an emerging product category?
Craig: Rejection! It’s always the biggest challenge. However the retail landscape is changing, its getting even tougher. Recently we had a bad experience with a retailer go into voluntary administration so partnering with retailer who pay bills on time is vital for us. The biggest challenge might be not being afraid to try new lines and have a crack at the next big thing.
Me: What are your best 3 tips for new producers?
- Persistence and being known for one or two products. Sometimes too many products can dilute your brand message.
- Forming trusting relationships is huge. Some of my best relationships have come out of the worst tradeshows so always be ready.
- Watch the cash flow – getting paid in a timely manner is more important now than ever.
Me: Why do you continue working with Evolve Brand Design?
Craig: Evolve has been crucial to my big picture brand development for the last 8 years. You have a unique way of tapping into my target market, I have not met another designer who can do this. Also you are a very straight with me and always tell me when I am proposing a dumb idea and tell me to stop wasting my time – it’s important to have someone like that in your business. You don’t just agree with me because I pay you. Plus, Evolve gets the job done fast, you always turn things around within weeks which is really important when other parts of the production can take months. This is a real asset.
Final comment from Craig: My grandfather told me, “If you enjoy what you do you will never work a day in your life!”. In so being in small business has its challenges but I wouldn’t trade being my own boss for anything – I love being in control of my own destiny.
For more information about White Magic, go to http://www.whitemagic.biz