Does a label have the power to make or break your product? If so, what exactly is it about a label that can drive sales, instill brand recognition, and win loyal customers? Far from being a glorified sticker, a label does heavy-lifting when it comes to successfully marketing your products. This is how.
Types of labels
Before we dive into the marketing benefits of labels—and how to secure them—it helps to understand the basics of labelling. Labels can be made from a variety of materials—paper, plastic, foils, and so on—and they all perform specific functions for the product.
In general, they a label is affixed to products after being printed with information and imagery. (Of course, some labels, like clothing labels, have embroidered information, but for the purpose of this article, we’re focusing on print.) But specifically, there are:
Brand labels feature elements such as a logo and graphics that drive the brand experience. For example, Coca-Cola features its trademark colours and logo that wraps around a 2-litre bottle.
A grade label identifies the different qualities of a product. For example, when you see “US Grade A” on a product like honey or maple syrup, it means those sweeteners have been tested for a certain level of quality.
A descriptive label is just what it sounds like: it describes the product in some detail. This description could include information such as ingredients or the components of the product, instructions for use, and how much product is included per unit—among so much else.
Sometimes there is so much detailed information that a customer might need or desire that a product includes an informative label. This type of label often features detailed instructions for use or care.
The benefits of a well-executed label—and how to get them
Naturally, a label provides many functions, including legal compliance (e.g., safety information) and ease of identifying a particular product at the retail level (e.g., shampoos and conditioners could have their own unique colours but the same logo to help identify each induvial product). But what are the marketing benefits? These include:
Attracting customer attention
When a customer is passing by your product on the shelf, does the label make them look twice? Investing into a design that demands attention is clearly one of the best ways to optimize the opportunity your label represents. But it isn’t just about imagery. The materials you choose for your label, and how you structure them (e.g., applying layers to create interesting textures) can truly set your product apart. As one of our winery clients put it after watching a liquor store customer pick up their bottle and feel the label: “the tactile experience is something that drives sales.”
Labels that incorporate sales or promotion information (e.g., 20% more product included) can leverage a customer’s kneejerk desire for savings. Again, in a crowded retail space, it’s a surefire strategy for standing out.
Creating brand fans
The label is part of your overall brand experience. As such, does it include imagery that makes your customers fall in love with what you’re offering? Does it include language that speaks to them? Does it include messages that confirm what they appreciate about the product and your brand in general?
Ensure customer trust
By including enough of the right kind of information, a label drives trust. For example, how might a customer feel about a health product that has no information about side effects? Or a food product marketed to children that had no information about allergens? Beyond including essential safety information, there are other opportunities to build trust. For example, a label that includes information about how a product was sourced or created demonstrates a brand’s commitment to transparency.
Attract attention, drive sales, win brand fans, and ensure customer trust? Labels, far from being mere informational stickers, are essential pieces of the packaging puzzle. If you need help to plan a label that hits all these marks and positions your product for success, please reach out. We love chatting with entrepreneurs about creative solutions.