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Label Things We’re Thankful For
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Label Things We’re Thankful For

It’s Thanksgiving, so we’re discussing all things labeling that we’re thankful for, especially when it comes to building authentic connections between brands and shoppers. As a result, shoppers get more value out of products and brands outshine their competition. So, as you read this, consider the ways your labels give you an advantage. Also, consider the ways in which your competition is outshining you with these methods. Some are simple and even free! There’s no reason you can’t adopt them moving into the new year.

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Why We’re Thankful

As we mentioned, good label design is win-win for both the customers and the brand. That’s why this post reshares some of the most impactful ways to beat out your competition. Thoughtful and value-oriented design can mean something different for each industry and even each brand. So, the next time you’re designing or redesigning a label, consider the added value you can create.

Wine Traders' Labels - Moya Bordeaux, Gaby, Gaby Cuvee, DuParkInnovative Labeling Techniques

Innovative labeling techniques range from simple foiling to tactile coatings, and even holographic patterns. They enhance fonts, create lifelike graphics, but also add a luxury element to a design. As a result, techniques are extremely versatile in enhancing any branding. Regardless of how they’re used, they communicate that an immense amount of care went into creating the product. Plus, they create haptic interest and the more shoppers pick up your items, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

 

Pomagranate resealable Label by Great Lakes Label

Resealable Labels Produce Fresh Products

Whether you’re trying to keep produce fresh, or wet wipes moist, effective resealable labels are key. A label that reduces its tack over time means air gets into the package and ruins the product. So, ensure each and every use is like the very first time. Plus, ensure the pull tab offers ease in opening. You want your product to be accessible too after all. Again, creating a quality resealable label adds value to the product and provides customers with a greater sense of satisfaction in using the product.

 

Costa Farms Label by Great Lakes Label

Expanded Content

Booklet-style labels offer more pages to provide customers with information on the product and other added values. Labeling design space often feels limited as space is usually small. However, once panels open up to reveal more space, brief tutorials, translations, content links, and more can be provided. So, instead of trying to cram as much information on a front-facing label, it now is intelligently segmented. As a result, this makes it easier for customers to digest the information as well. Now there’s no need to skimp out on details. You can provide each customer with greater value.

 

Labeling Technology

In the same regard, link to more content using NFC (Near Field Communication), QR codes, or even simple URLs. Now content space is digitally limitless, and so are the means of engagement. From video tutorials, to blog posts, or even branded apps, provide customers with value throughout the lifecycle of the item they’ve purchased.  QR codes and URLs are even free to add! So brands just need to carve out a small space to include the graphic or text. That’s a simple investment when you consider the customer payoff. You’ll help customers find more value in your item, create a greater sense of brand loyalty, and even outshine your competition in-store.

 

wetstick label - great lakes label - strong label stocks for photo ready packaging

Durable Label Stocks

If your product is bound to get wet, even through condensation, ensure it will withstand moisture. The WetStick label uses such a strong adhesive chemistry that it can even be applied underwater! So, no more peeling or disintegrating labels. Again, it’s all about providing value and care. Show customers you’re committed to giving them the best experience possible when they use your products. It’s a simple touch that goes a long way.

 

Authenticity in Design

This is much more intangible but also makes all the difference. Is your brand trying to mimic others in your industry or simply working to keep up with the latest trends? You might find your labels falling flat if that’s the case. As a result of mimicking, you’re not finding authentic value for your items and for your customers. Once you figure out what sets your brand apart, maximize it. Lean into humor, sophistication, or local flare. Enhance that with the content you share on your label or the art style you use. Once you create labels from that authentic voice, shoppers will take notice and the right demographic will appreciate what your brand stands for.

 

moya wine label - wine traders - great lakes label

Developments in Sustainability

Sustainability is critical. That’s why FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and recyclable label stocks are becoming more and more popular. Again, this aligns with shoppers’ values and provides them with added benefits. Little changes like the label stock you use end up creating a massive overall impact. Once simple change at a time. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of foiling, it still excites shoppers to see positive changes made.

 

spectrophotometer - thankful for color management

Accuracy & Consistency in Label Printing

Color management is a crucial component to printing professional grade labels, but also for building trust with shoppers. In fact, customers are far less likely to buy an item from the shelf if the group of products features inconsistent color. We use a spectrophotometer which digitally tests color for consistency. So, everytime you print, you can count on it matching every single other batch of labels.

 

Learn more about what Great Lakes Label offers and how to incorporate various techniques into your label design. Download our e-book, Complete Labeling Solutions.

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3 Ways to Design Labeling Easter Eggs
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3 Ways to Design Labeling Easter Eggs

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.

Don Anselmo face labeling easter eggs with tactile coating- Label by Great Lakes Label1. Use Inks & Coatings to Reveal Details

Transparent coatings add texture to a product and reveal their design in the light. So, when shoppers walk by the item, it glistens, revealing itself. Another way to add a shimmering reveal is by using neon inks, glow in the dark inks or ice white inks.

Shipwreck wine label - Great Lakes Label2. Incorporate Hidden Designs

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.

 

Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers.  We offer a variety of inks and coatings that create a label that excites customers. Download our e-book, The Resource Guide To All Things Inks & Coatings.

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Promotional Beauty Labels Differ From Others
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Promotional Beauty Labels Differ From Others

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 - THYK hair label with motion coat - Great Lakes LabelPromotional 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.

Peony hand soap label with mirafoil - Great Lakes LabelMore 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?

Labeling Technology

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.

Booklet-Style Labels

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.

 

Learn how to use even more marketing strategies to create labels that will delight customers! Download our e-book, The Marketing Guide here.

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Get Inspired: Cinematic Label Designs
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Get Inspired: Cinematic Label Designs

Help customers make nostalgic connections, or even engage their curiosity, with cinematic label designs. Technology and innovative labeling techniques have both advanced in a way that allows designers to create labels that truly engage the senses. So, then customers will associate the positive memories they have with your cinematic references to your brand as well. Win-win.

Neomatcha Design by Chiara Hafen
Neomatcha Design by Chiara Hafen

Neomatcha by Chiara Hafen Nods to Cinema

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.

 

Vlad Waxula Grooming Co. design by Sergio Katsevich
Vlad Waxula Grooming Co. design by Sergio Katsevich

Cinematic References in Vlad Waxula Grooming Co. Design by Sergio Katsevich

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 cinematic Energy Drink design by Aly Bassam
Assassin’s Creed Energy Drink design by Aly Bassam

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.

 

Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers.  We offer a variety of inks and coatings that create a label that excites customers. Download our e-book, The Resource Guide To All Things Inks & Coatings.

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Should You Double up on Labeling Technology For One Label?
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Should You Double up on Labeling Technology For One Label?

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.

 

One Label - R&D Wine Brand With Labeling Technology - QR Code

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.

Shenandoah double sided label - Great Lakes LabelPromotional Labels & Booklet-Style Labels Expand Content

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.

A/B Testing

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.

 

Learn how to use marketing strategies to create labels that will delight customers! Download our e-book, The Marketing Guide here.

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Designing Labels For Kids’ Products
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Designing Labels For Kids’ Products

This BrandPackaging article discusses the fine points of designing labels for kids. So, when designing for kids, find ways to express that through your choices. After all, what excites kids is different than teens, and adults.

Mooville Label by Great Lakes Label - example of designing labels for kids in mindDesigning Labels With Both Kids and Parents in Mind

Kids and adults want different things out of a label. However, if you have a wide demographic, strike a balance to cast a wide net. As seen above, Moo-Ville does this brilliantly with their use of color, character graphics, and informative copy.

Pictures

The type of images you use to communicate a lot. Cartoon characters often denote a younger demographic is in mind for the product. Realistic imagery often communicates a more adult approach. That said, pastels and neons say two different things. So does a pencil drawing and a big bubbly character.

Label Copy

Often, kids will read fun copy like jokes, or links to apps. So, use labeling technology to offer more value for kids. Adults instead look for nutritional information or other details that communicate health value. Regardless of if the product is targeting adults, that information is crucial. When parents shop for their kids, that’s what they’ll be hoping to see. Again, strike a balance between child and adult oriented.

Demographic Age Matters

What’s appropriate and exciting for young children appears to be immature for teenagers. Consider which age group you’re targeting. Looking for kids of all ages to enjoy your product? Conduct A/B testing to find an appropriate middle ground. Or, release promotional versions of the same product with different app links, copy, and graphic design. Appeal to both groups using the same product and different labels.

Learn more about how we can bring your wildest label design concepts and durability requirements to life. While techniques are important and exciting, there’s so much more to your label. Download our Label Project Guide e-book.

 

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The Importance of Designing “Feel-Good” Cosmetic Labels
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The Importance of Designing “Feel-Good” Cosmetic Labels

What exactly does it mean to create “feel-good” cosmetic labels? Consider how the self-care concept has grown over the years and the importance of beauty in that regimen. It not only means that customers are seeking products that fit their needs but offer joy through their beautiful design. This Label & Labeling article goes over this cultural shift in more detail. So, in essence, when designing cosmetics labels it’s more important than ever to create packaging that engages and excites in an authentic way.

Social Media Has Impacted The Importance of The Bathroom Aesthetic

The rise of social media has created an influencer dynamic that encourages users to create highly aesthetic and themed content. Crisp, clean white bathrooms are the norm, particularly when showing off a bath bomb that bursts with color. So, consider how you want your label to blend in or stand out. Vibrant colors always stand out against a white backsplash. However, will it make your customers’ social media feed? Then again, does greyscale packaging look bland in photos? Consider that what will be right for some won’t be right for others.

 

Peony hand soap label with mirafoil - Great Lakes Label - example of feel good cosmetic labels

Innovative Labeling Techniques Enhance The Aesthetic of Feel-Good Cosmetic Labels

Engage the senses with haptic labeling techniques. Using foiling, embossing, or even holographic techniques, such as Cast & Cure, create positive, subconscious associations with your brand. Not only do these techniques enhance the features of the label design, but they also create a stunning piece for the overall bathroom aesthetic. For greyscale labels, some gold detailing is one simple way of creating an interesting luxury look.

 

Connect Customers To Information Using Labeling Technology

Another way to enhance the self-care routine for your customers is by linking them to related content. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), QR codes, simple URLs, and even hashtags all offer easy digital connectivity. Then, link customers to entertaining stories they can read in the bathtub, a beauty-related podcast, video tutorials, or community posts. This little touch goes a long way in creating a long-lasting positive impression.

 

Learn about how innovative labeling techniques can bring your spooky design to life! Download our e-book, The Complete Guide to Innovative Labeling Techniques.

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Consider Your Consumers As Your Marketers
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Consider Your Consumers As Your Marketers

This article from Packaging Europe touches on the ways modern consumers influence packaging design. This Biz Community article considers the same prospect but also examines the ways in which packaging creates experiences for customers. So, by designing the product’s packaging with a wider view in mind,  you create a full experience for customers, not just a protective casing for your item.

 

How exactly are consumers your marketers?

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.

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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.

Vegetable-Noodles-Family-with-Label-2The 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.

Bissell Cast & Cure - Great Lakes LabelInnovative 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.

 

sample beer label with a consistent brand voice online marketers and on social media

E-Commerce Presentation Can’t Be Shrugged Off

It’s important to find consistency in your in-person and online experience. Shoppers need to easily find your product and your storefront, but they also need to recognize it’s the official page. Consistent branding, copy voice, and imagery help with that.

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.

All Label Gator booklet stlye labels printed by Great Lakes Label 6Booklet-Style Labels

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.

 

wetstick label - great lakes label - strong label stocks for photo ready packaging

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.

 

Subway Snapchat label with pull tab Great Lakes Label 3

Labeling Technology

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.

 

Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers.  We offer a variety of inks and coatings that create a label that excites customers. Download our e-book, The Resource Guide To All Things Inks & Coatings.

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Why Isn’t Packaging a Major E-Commerce Draw?
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Why Isn’t Packaging a Major E-Commerce Draw?

This Packaging Gateway article talks about the lack of an e-commerce draw there is for packaging design. Their piece says:

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.

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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.

Great Lakes Label’s Video Portfolio

This is a video portfolio of labels created by Great Lakes Label.

Create Beauty in Design With Innovative Labeling Techniques

For some products, the packaging is an exciting part of the product and not simply a protective, informative container. One way to achieve this is through using innovative labeling techniques that shine in the light. There are classic techniques like foiling and embossing or instead try something your competitors aren’t using like the holographic techniques, Motion Coat, and Cast & Cure. When your label is a work of art or makes people want to pick it up, they’ll have yet another reason to buy your products. So, after you incorporate techniques into your design, an e-commerce issue becomes how to best represent the artistry of your labels.

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.

Costa Farms Label by Great Lakes LabelOffer 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.

 

Great Lakes Label Promotional Holiday Hot Chocolate R&D Design
Great Lakes Label Promotional Holiday Hot Chocolate R&D Design

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.

 

Learn more about the labeling solutions Great Lakes Label offers.  We offer a variety of inks and coatings that create a label that excites customers. Download our e-book, The Resource Guide To All Things Inks & Coatings.

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How to Label Product Photography For Ugly Food
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How to Label Product Photography For Ugly Food

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.

Digital label -Italiano dressing - great lakes label - ugly food exampleHelpful blogs on related topics:

 

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“Ugly Food” is Objective

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.

Meijer R&D Trail Mix & Nuts Bag LabelsInnovative 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.

Subway Snapchat label with pull tab Great Lakes Label 3

Labeling Technology

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.

 

Coffee tri-panel label by Great Lakes Label

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.

 

Label Project Guide E-Book Download

 

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