Labeling Easter eggs are semi-hidden features that allow customers to connect dots, reveal a design element, or further engage with a brand. So, it’s there purely to create a story, or to delight shoppers. However simple it may seem, it still has the potential to be a powerful labeling design tool for building a loyal following.
Labeling Easter Eggs Improve Shopper Engagement
People like feeling like an insider, and solving a puzzle, or spotting something others don’t catch. When you incorporate Easter eggs, shoppers will be more inclined to spend time with your item in-store and physically engage with it. Then, this increases their chances of purchasing the product.
Of course, hidden designs are easiest to incorporate by shrinking the motif down for a patterned background. However, if one of your labels features a pirate ship, incorporate it into your next design by having a massive sea creature crush it in its grip. Not only does this make for a unique Easter egg, but it incorporates storytelling and a touch of humor into your label design.
3. Use Labeling Technology to Link Customers to Fun, Lighthearted Content
Or take the customer off the label and use hidden NFC technology, a QR code, or even a simple QR code to link them to bonus content. This content could include behind the scenes video, a humorous blog tutorial for using your product, or a game app specifically designed for your products.
Promotional beauty labels differ from other industries’ promotional labels in a few ways. First, typically, the size of the label tends to be smaller for cosmetics and some other beauty products than, say, food or beverage items. They also get tucked away in a store, so customers aren’t immediately drawn in upon entering the store. Also, it’s not typically industry standard to include cartoonish graphics for holidays or events the way it is in other sectors.
Promotional Beauty Labels That Pop
Some beauty labels will use elegant, subtle graphics around seasonal holidays. So, to stand out, do something drastic. For Valentines, create a velvety, vibrant red label that makes shoppers reach out and touch the packaging. The more haptic techniques are used, the more successful the promotional label, after all.
Or take your current design up a notch and use holographic techniques such as Cast & Cure or Motion Coat to take the design to another level. So, it doesn’t require an entirely new redesign to spice things up, just creativity. Again, these techniques create a sensory experience that shoppers won’t be able to resist.
More Subtle Promotion
Foiling is a simple way to elevate your design. It glistens in the light and creates luxury appeal. So, what are some other ways to make subtle changes with a big impact?
Use labeling technology such as NFC technology, a QR code, or even a simple URL to connect customers to added value. This doesn’t drastically change the label design but also increases engagement. Then, share promotional content such as seasonal tutorials, ever-changing social media accounts, or apps.
Another way to add value is to add pages to your label with booklet-style labeling. Now, promotional content and added value are provided behind your standard design. Plus, this technique again engages shoppers’ senses when they open up the panels.
Sci-fi lovers everywhere will easily get drawn into this neon, out of this world matcha, don’t you think? The art style, the vibrant coloring (achieved with inks like this ice white ink), and even the minimalism elsewhere on the package draw the eye and engage the imagination. Then, the neon is re-enforced on the container label with a neon green font. So, consider how subtle touches leave a lasting impact.
We all know Dracula, and the various mediums the character pops up in. However, the fanned label clearly references the movie depictions of the character. The simple black and white scheme also creates a timeless, or even perhaps vintage look. So, while the font is modern and simple, the overall look creates a vintage movie vibe.
Assassin’s Creed Concept by Aly Bassam and Creative Partnerships
Try diving into creative collaborations on a big or even a small scale. You don’t need to partner with a blockbuster movie to get the rights to feature their characters. No, instead, if you’re a small brand, look local. Attend local film festivals and share locally produced shorts by using labeling technology. As a result, customers will want to pick up your product to connect with the link provided. It’s the same concept as brands that feature unique art on each label.
Add spook to your promotional Halloween label for next year. Or, use these principles to add festive spirit to other holiday label designs. A little effort to enhance a promotional design goes a long way.
Of course, when designing a new promotional label to excite customers, use imagery that associates with the event. In this case, a whole Halloween scene creates a truly immersive experience. Or, subtle inclusions of a graphic like an eyeball over the dots of eyes keeps the design process much more simple. This way also makes the branding much more recognizable which is key for smaller brands.
Add Spook With Tactile Labeling Techniques
Have you ever been to a Halloween house of horrors where part of the fun is sticking your hands blindly into bowls of sticky, goopy, and wet substances? Well, consider your label a space to create a similar experience. The above labels are simple samples to show you various techniques in action. The orange juice is a minimalistic standard label, while the green juice uses a zombie pattern that’s lifted with embossing and given a glossy, shiny texture with a tactile coating. This concept engages the senses in a haptic way that makes customers want to reach out and touch it.
Halloween Easter Eggs (So To Speak)
Alternatively, add a subtle element to your standard design that makes customers take a second look. Our example of this is the red juice which features a little splatter of blood. Since it blends in with the juice itself, it will make shoppers take a second look. Plus, if foiling or a tactile coating is used overtop of the graphic, it would create an even more realistic look.
One label often feels like it’s not enough space to contain all the required copy, eye-catching graphics, and innovative labeling techniques as it is. However, there’s a lot of value to using multiple forms of labeling technology to connect customers to valuable digital content. This technology includes NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, hashtags, and even simple URLs. It may seem as though there’s not enough space to include more than one form of connectivity, however, the value it offers your customers make the design effort worth it.
When Only Using One Label, Cut The Fat & Optimize Authentic Connection
Take a good hard look at your design. QR codes, URLs, and hashtags don’t take up too much space. So, if you’re having difficulty finding room for two of those options, you are likely packing too much information and graphics into your design. Unless, of course, minimalism is your goal. In that case, find ways to blend the digital connections in with other copy. However, for those with busy design, it’s time to make space for the digital age.
Only have space for one label? Layer it up. By using peelable promotional labels, the digital content printed on the backside has the potential to be continuously updated. So, keep the cover the same, yet create seasonality with your packaging. Alternatively, booklet-style labels open up to reveal even more content space. This provides even more value for customers and engages their senses in a haptic marketing sense.
Also, consider testing all designs to gauge which form of technological connection is best for your demographic. By creating several designs and testing with unbiased customers, you get an accurate picture of how to best design using the space available.
Shoppers have always spoken about the products they love, but these days it’s also done on a public online stage. So, take advantage of it. As a result of creating beautiful and helpful packaging, you’ll get customers who market it. Yes, even go above and beyond the competition. Don’t just offer a product, build that experience.
Social Media Influencing
Obviously social media has completely changed the marketing landscape. Now when people like your product they also promote it on their social media pages. The brands they like almost inform the brand influencers build for themselves. So, make your packaging worthy of the product placement. Not only do you have the option to pay influencers to promote your product, but fans will create their own user-generated content for you when they’re excited to show it off. Artistic packaging makes it far easier for the later to enthusiastically occur.
Word of Mouth and Blatant Recommendations
Online and off, an unbiased recommendation from someone you know is a very convincing way to try something new. So, when you create packaging that goes above and beyond to serve customers, they’ll post online reviews, discuss their experience in person, and even post positive comments on your social media pages. This type of engagement must be earned through value. Shoppers need to be inspired, educated, entertained or assisted in using the product to find this level of connection with a brand.
The Importance of Brand Values
First, communicate the values your brand holds dear. Even product specific values. This information is communicated through association logos, on-theme product photography, and of course, label copy. Selling vegetable noodles? Communicate that it’s a fresh, healthy, and quality product by using imagery that connects shoppers to a clean, professional restaurant environment. So, whether they realize it or not, they understand the values of the product with a single glance.
Innovative Labeling Techniques
So, how do you design a label that looks beautiful enough to enthusiastically promote? Enhance it with labeling techniques. There’s so many to choose from, so consider the purpose they hold. Create more realistic images with embossing and foiling. These classic techniques make your sunshine motif glisten in the light, or your metallic bolt graphics pop off the surface. Then, create a more unique dimension with tactile coatings. Or, leave your competition in the dust by using unique, holographic techniques like Motion Coat and Cast & Cure, seen above. These techniques not only glimmers in the light, but they create nostalgic and positive subconscious connections.
Plus, how your techniques appear online is crucial. This not only highlights the design elements but offers an authentic, transparent shopping experience. When the product arrives on your customer’s doorstep, they’ll want to know exactly what’s inside.
Booklet-style labels offer more content space to expand on helpful information or to provide translations. Plus, when customers open up the label, it engages the emotions on a haptic level. Now, they are not only delighted by the satisfaction of being able to open up the label, but the information inside provides added value. This is a simple way to even step above your competition and stand out. Offering simple tutorials inside is another way to turn shoppers into your marketers.
Durability in All Conditions
No customer is going to become your marketer when the label is peeling off the container. Use water-resistant labels like The WetStick™ featuring an adhesive chemistry so strong, you can apply labels underwater. Don’t skimp out. Go for quality stocks and labeling options that last well past the grocery aisle. When you don’t invest in quality, loyal customers post undesirable pictures of your disintegrating pool-side label. That’s not very re-postable. So, do yourself and your customers that favor. This also goes for heat resistant labels, using UV inks and on and on.
Lastly, labeling technology like NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, and even hashtags connect customers to more value. Send shoppers to your custom created video tutorials, blog posts, and apps that offer inspiration, information, and community connection. This goes a long way in finding even more value and longevity with a product. Plus, when the information provides more fulfillment, customers will come back for more. Take the extra step, go above and beyond your competition, and the return on investment will show. Plus, the physical engagement with the packaging engages the senses in a similar way that labeling techniques do. This may just be the very thing that turns your customer into your very own marketer.
Less than 25% of the respondents in the survey identified packaging as a major contributor in fuelling online sales, even as 73.5% opined that e-commerce/online shopping is an important medium for brands and products.
However, does this truly mean that there’s no room to make packaging part of the products’ value when shopping online? Short answer, no. When packaging offers no value, this statistic makes sense. So, outperform your competition by thinking outside the box and create labels and packaging that excites. Don’t just throw together something flashy. Consider the needs of your demographics and how packaging also works to offer them solutions.
What Constitutes E-Commerce Packaging Appeal?
Online images only show so much of a product. For many products, the packaging isn’t even included. However, if label design isn’t an asset to your product, consider the opportunity available. Afterall, brands that go above and beyond to surprise and delight their customers have the competitive edge.
Offer More Than The Product’s Value
Don’t create a label that accomplishes the bare minimum. Sure, labels offer value no matter what. However, pushing boundaries are required to surprise and excite shoppers. Labels are often overlooked spaces despite the possibilities of creative problem solving being endless. It’s hard to come up with ways to take your design to the next level, so here are some options.
Play With Lighting When Creating Product Photography
Good lighting is everything in product photography. When flatly lighting textural techniques like embossing or tactile coatings they end up looking indistinguishable from the rest of the label. As a result, the unique quality of the design is proven irrelevant. Same goes for any techniques that shine in the light. They need to glisten in product photography so customers know what the product looks like in real life. Not only does it misrepresent your item, but it communicates that an authentic shopping experience isn’t a priority for your brand.
Experiment With Video
Lighting is often still tricky where glare is concerned. So, this is where video steps in to offer better value. Instead of showcasing the product in a single picture, spin it in video form so that customers get a better sense of it as a whole.
Video is also a crucial, popular format to capture shoppers’ attention. More video is consumed online than any other form of media. So use a form that statistically they prefer. This also shows shoppers that your brand puts their needs first and will go above and beyond the competition to provide excellent service.
Unboxing Videos’ Impact
Unboxing videos have been steadily increasing in popularity. It’s no surprise that they highlight the packaging in an honest, unfiltered way, at least when the videos are uploaded by customers. However, not only will your customers share this experience through video, but you should share it as well. When some listings don’t show the label or packaging, this video will make it clear to shoppers what to expect when the item arrives at their doorstep.
Offer Content Value on The Label With Booklet-Style Labels
If consumers don’t find the packaging a major contributor to online sales, then make it so. Offer more value than they get in the grocery store with exclusive e-commerce booklet-style labels. Provide added value through information, translations, or links to digital content. Then, make sure this online special design is promoted through impactful product photography. When customers see that your item goes above and beyond the competition and in-store offerings, they’ll change their mind about the importance of packaging online. In fact, they may find the packaging offers just as much value as the product itself. Afterall, the resources you offer inside helps them use the item.
Link Customers to Added Content Using Labeling Technology
As mentioned above, labels offering linked content also offers value that helps them use the product. So, it enhances your brand perception and makes it more likely that they’ll make a return purchase. There are a few technological options like NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, simple URLs, and even hashtags. Yes, hashtags link customers to social media pages with other customer created content. It provides unbiased perspectives and connection.
Why is it Important to Create Authentic and Empathetic Added Value?
Let’s start with the selfish reasoning. When customers better understand how to use your product, see added value in artistic design, or enjoy your blatantly displayed brand values, they’ll buy more. So, while some of these techniques cost money, it earns money too. In fact, it earns loyal customers.
The cold hard fact is that authentic and empathetic value helps your customers which is the point of your business, to begin with. So, when you give them something your competition isn’t giving them, you’ll be offering genuine care for their needs. As a result, you’ll be helping people live healthier, happier, or easier lives.
Mixing brand aesthetics is a complicated design task when the looks clash. Color schemes, graphics styles, and fonts all interplay in collaborations. There are, however, simple ways to make the label design look far more cohesive.
It’s Your Product, So Keep Your Branding When Mixing Brand Aesthetics
Simplicity is a fantastic way to ensure both aesthetics mix well. So, incorporating fonts from your logo in other copy, or colors from your logo, offer a baseline to refer to. Some logos and color schemes will match pretty well, which is great! It makes it a lot easier in that case. However, other collaborations will not be so fortunate. In that case, increase whitespace between the logos or imagery from your collaborator’s brand. It gives some rest for the eye and makes it easier to infuse some neutral colors around their portion of the label if applicable.
What do your two brands have in common? Try working from there. Are there similar colors, font styles, or graphics used? Work from there.
When there aren’t many commonalities, consider what colors, fonts, and graphics your brand uses that compliments elements in theirs? Although this isn’t a direct similarity, it provides a place to start with what elements mesh well. It just takes one spark of an idea to better weave the branding together seamlessly.
Draw The Eye Using Innovative Labeling Techniques
Innovative labeling techniques such as foiling and embossing create separation from the different design elements on your label. Plus, when they catch the light, techniques draw the eye to your product and to specific areas they’re applied to. It’s creative control over dividing contrasting elements on one label and also mixing it together. With holographic styles like Motion Coat or Cast & Cure, contrasting colors appear to fit in more with the technique used.
Candy labels require a sense of flair, fun and light-hearted joy. It’s on brand with the service the candy itself offers. So, while your design shouldn’t take itself too seriously, here are some simple ways to add practicality to your label. After all, the more value you provide customers, the more they’ll enjoy your product.
Candy Labels That Shine
Use innovative labeling techniques like foiling or tactile coatings to bring out elements of your design. Make it easy for shoppers to recognize flavor variations, product titles, and graphics. While this may seem to only accentuate the fun aspects to design, it does also provide practicality. When shoppers search in a long grocery aisle lineup, techniques glisten in the light and make it easy to spot your items. It also provides efficiency in communication variations or differentiating your brand from your competition.
Use Technology to Link To Recipes
Use NFC (Near Field Communication), hashtags, or QR codes to link customers to recipes that incorporate your items. While hashtags are useful in building a social media-based community, NFC and QR codes are more efficient at linking customers straight to content on your website. So, not only does this provide value, but it drives traffic to your site.
Expand Content Space to Offer More Value
Use booklet-style labels to expand the space available on your container. So, instead of linking customers through technology, you have the option of providing a simple recipe inside the front label. Plus, there’s room to offer inspirational imagery or use the cover as a peel-off coupon. This is particularly helpful for seasonal and promotional labels if there are seasonal offerings connected to your brand that need space to promote.
Ugly food makes for challenging product photography. How do you capture something that tastes wonderful yet looks bland, or worse yet, downright gross? In the grocery aisle, unappetizing images make it easy for customers to pass by, so it’s crucial to ensure your product looks good. Or, find a way to work around the expectations of product photography for your product. A creative compromise could simply be more effective than sticking to what is standard. As a result of choosing a new direction, your product may just stand out against your competition on the shelf.
What looks appetizing to one person, may not to another. Or, what seems perfectly normal to some, may also appear disgusting to others. Your brand’s biases also come into play. Make sure you test your labels or even try A/B testing to learn what it is exactly that is turning shoppers away. If the results are negative every single time, consider a creative approach or a strategic compromise. There are still ways to promote your product on the label, however, it does require a new perspective. When rerouting like this, it helps to consider the values of your brand, and this product, offer customers.
Avoid Picturing It Completely
When in doubt, scrap the product photography. Let’s say, for example, you’re working with an unpleasant looking brown soup. If it’s not testing well, and if it’s turning people away, then the picture needs to go. Some soup companies take this route, using a classic, pictureless design that creates a welcoming sense of nostalgia. Many shoppers don’t need to see a picture of the soup to envision it anyway. So, the nostalgia establishes the home cooked feel, the nostalgic memories, and the brand’s longtime presence in grocery stores to make up for a lack of an unappetizing picture. What does your brand offer that can be communicated in place of the photography?
Hint At It With Images of The Ingredients
One option, often seen with smoothies, is to show pictures of the fruits and vegetables used inside. Again, this establishes brand values and communicates that good, wholesome ingredients are incorporated into the product. Frequently, minimalistic and transparent labels are used to show off the product as well. So, no product photography is needed to allow customers to look straight at the juice inside. Ugly food isn’t a hindrance in this case since it serves a valuable purpose. Almost like the uglier it is the better it is for you.
Dress The Product Up a Little
Let’s go back to the soup for a second. Okay, so you really want to show the actual product on your label. Maybe the portion of the soup could be smaller, with a cute herb sprig, in a cute bowl, surrounded by delicious looking bread. Make the rest of the image so cozy and welcoming that the ugly product itself looks welcoming as well. Subconscious connections are made in milliseconds, so take advantage of every inch of space in your image. Once shoppers emotions are engaged, the positive feeling will inspire them to try your brand’s item.
Innovative Labeling Techniques
Guide eyes away from the unappetizing elements by highlighting tasty elements. Consider horned melon for a second. The green innards, the yellow/brownish spikes, and the wrinkly texture of the skin are somewhat unappetizing to look at. However, it’s all about how you show it off. Use foiling to make the green shine inside. Or, use a tactile coating so the shoppers actually want to reach out and touch the pre-historic looking peel. Then emboss the horns so they stand out. Engage the senses in new and interesting ways to captivate your customers, but also to appeal to their tastes.
Use NFC (Near Field Communication), hashtags, or QR codes to link customers to useful recipes. So, while the product may not spark an interest right away, the desire to try something new in the kitchen will. Even the fact that the brand clearly creates value beyond the grocery aisle helps. Hashtags also provide shoppers with a link to the community of people who follow your brand and use your products.
Booklet-Style Labels Offer Flexibility
Bury pictures to the inside of the label instead of featuring it front and center. Shoppers still see the product, but there’s more control over the first impression of it. Plus, it engages customers enough to open it up and once the item is in their hands, they’re more likely to make a purchase. This also provides an opportunity to offer even more value in your label design on the inside panels.
Embrace The Ick Factor
Kids packaging and promotional Halloween packaging both benefit from gross looking food. There’s an appeal to the shock of it. Alternatively, the “tastes good, looks gross” approach keeps things honest and infuses humor into label design. Of course, this route is ideal for laid-back brands whose humor is part of their added value. Still, it’s useful to consider how humor diffuses the situation and makes shoppers want to learn more.
Learn even more about how we can bring your wildest label design concepts and durability requirements to life. While techniques are important and also exciting, there’s so much more to your label. Download our Label Project Guide e-book.