You Never Get a Second Chance at Making a First Impression.
Product packaging has evolved considerably over the years. Food has been stored and sold in bottles since the 1700s, with cans coming on the scene in the 1800s. But these were often crudely labeled, and certainly didn’t convey today’s necessary information, such as a list of ingredients, where the product was made, or nutritional information. The oldest wine label still in existence consisted of handwritten note on a simple piece of parchment tied to the neck of a bottle with a string. As glass bottles became more common, a need for labels arose. However, they were very simple and plain, in most cases consisting of only enough words to simply state the type of wine the bottle contained.
In 1896, the National Biscuit Company began selling crackers that were wrapped in wax paper sleeves and placed carefully into a paperboard box. The box’s wrapper colorfully depicted an illustration of a boy dressed in an overcoat, holding a box of Biscuits. Functional and eye-catching? Product marketing had taken a huge leap forward and helped usher in the era of aesthetically-pleasing packaging. Since those days, plastics, synthetics, and recyclable materials have joined the ranks of product packaging options. While the scope of container choices has broadened, one thing hasn’t changed. Labeling products is more important than ever before. Not only do labels serve the role of informing the consumer about product contents, nutritional information, directions for use and potential warnings, but they also take on the huge responsibility of conveying the first impression of the product to the shopper. Simply put, labels help sell the product more than any other marketing tool.
How appealing would it be for consumers to browse products with the simple parchment tags from days of yore tied around jars and bottles? Not very, I’m afraid. Shelf appeal is an integral part of marketing a product, and labels are the workhorse in this arena. Labels are capable of jazzing up the simplest bottles, jars, cans, and packages of all kinds, and are responsible for elbowing their way past the competition that shares the same shelf space. The labels are the first thing consumers notice when shopping, and can steer the buyer one way or the other. Talk about a lot of responsibility!
Labels carry the branding identity through the design and materials employed. Consider two wine bottle labels. One is printed on traditionally textured ecru stock with the vineyard’s name printed in luxurious gold foiling sprawling atop a hand-drawn illustration of the vineyard’s chateau. Another is a multi-colored, whimsical and cartoonish design on super glossy stock with a fun and modern font. Clearly each wine label is conveying a very different message and is attempting to attract a different demographic. Labels tell stories via stock, ink and design choices. They help reinforce brand logos and mottos. They help the consumer formulate an idea about the product inside the bottle or can without actually tasting or smelling it.
The savvy labeler, however, will consider more than design when choosing labels for a product. Understanding the environment the product will be used and/or stored in makes label stock choices crucial. A stock that doesn’t hold up well when cold or wet might not be the optimum choice for longneck beer labels that will be submersed in coolers filled with ice. Similarly, if the bottle will be used outdoors in the summer, a heat-tolerant stock should be considered.
With the vast number of options consumers have today, it’s imperative that manufacturers set their products apart from the competition. One easy way to do this is by utilizing Label Works’ freeform™labels. This unique and innovative technology allows us to cut labels in any shape imaginable. While the competition is sporting rectangle and circle labels, products dressed in our freeform™ labels will immediately capture the attention of browsers.
Looking for labels that require more than just a pretty design? Label Works has the ability to create labels with barcoding,variable copy, and the ability to be machine-applied. (Angie Nessler).
Be sure to browse through our online catalog to view many of the options we offer. Call or email us for more information about product labels, or to request a sample packet of labels.