The Importance of Custom Labels for Branding
As increasing numbers of ostensibly similar products find their way into shops, there is an ever-increasing need for them to maintain a brand identity that helps them stand out from the crowd.
The standard definition of a brand is of ‘a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer’. Today’s brands, however, need to engage their target audience and deliver a brand promise that is honest and aspirational and that makes an emotional connection.
For many companies, creating a unique custom label is the first step to winning the hearts, minds and – most importantly – money of consumers.
The style for a label includes any imagery used, the choice of lettering and the overall colour scheme. The overall effect should be both distinctly recognisable and likeable. While tapping into current trends is good for short-term sales, it can mean you will have to redesign as soon as the next fashion comes along. A better long-term strategy for those on tight budgets is to develop a style and stick with it – the more memorable, the better.
In some areas, the content of the label is equally, or even more, important than stylistic considerations. Within the content itself, some messages will be of more interest to consumers than others. The ability to provide target markets with the information they seek can mean the difference between making a sale and losing out to another brand.
For example, according to the International Journal of Wine Marketing, giving visual prominence to the wine company and brand name is more important to consumers than including a history of the winemaker or the wine-growing region.
Beware of using empty terms. There is evidence that consumers are becoming ever more aware of – and averse to – terms that are not backed by fact. For example, labels such as ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ are no longer held in the esteem they once were, and are often identified as signifying ‘greenwashed’ products.
|Wasted words – real-life examples of how not to use label space
|A label on a baby stroller warns: ‘Remove child before folding.’
|A scooter for children warns: ‘This product moves when used.’
|A toilet brush warns: ‘Do not use for personal hygiene.’
|A household iron warns users: ‘Never iron clothes while they are being worn.’
|A label on a hair dryer reads: ‘Never use hair dryer while sleeping.’
Material and Position
Research has shown, somewhat obviously, that front labels are more important than back labels. For the front label, centrally positioned labels are most noticeable, though in cases where clear packaging is used, these may be offset to let the product speak directly the consumer.
Different materials can also be used to appeal to consumers. While some will respond to natural materials, others will prefer plastic or tactile ones – it depends on the target customers for the product.
The options for label manufacture depend on the available budget and the type of label required: stock labels, security labels or mark down labels. While some companies choose to send stock to the label manufacturer for printing, others go for a more DIY approach by purchasing a label printer at South East Labels or other outlet.