Are Your Labels Drawing Attention?
When the sales for your business have plateaued and you’ve checked everything but you still
can’t figure out why, you may have missed one little detail. Regardless of whether your
marketing team is large or small, many companies consider the labels on their products as a
minor detail compared to their overall marketing plan. They see labels important only as a
place to display their logo and brand name. When they have this preconception, they’re only
leaving money on the table.
Packaging and especially the great labels affects purchasing!
Did you know that most shoppers will miss your advertising, and even more will miss your
web site? Shocking but true. Labels however, are the most crucial element of your business
marketing game plan because most times your product labels are the FIRST CHANCE your
potential customers will have to see in person what your product has to offer. If your labels
aren’t drawing the attention of shoppers as they search the shelves for what they’re out to buy
from the get-go, your product may just as well be invisible!
To prevent this from happening, your product labels not only need to draw attention, they
must be attractive and enticing enough to compel costumers to stop with interest long enough
to reach out, hold your product in their hands and take a closer look.
When you are collaborating with the label designer on your team, here are 10 factors to
consider to ensure you’re both working from the same page.
No matter how exotic or creative you want your product to appear from the design of the
words on your label, those words should be clear and easy to read at first glance. Readability
forms the first connection between your product and your potential costumer through their
2. Word Fonts
Coming up with the ideal fonts for the words on your labels is no small feat and becomes a
fine balancing act between readability and interest. The shape of the letters in words on your
labels should be psychologically compelling enough to convey the key positive feeling or
conceptual benefit you need your customers to connect with your product.
Graphics are pictures that can be either illustrations or photos. Graphics allow you to show
your customers exactly what they’re getting in the best, most attractive light possible. Careful
consideration must be taken when deciding which kind of graphic, either illustration or photo
would be most appropriate to accomplish this. Illustrations work best for children’s products
like toys, cereals and treats. And why do you think most processed food products usually
include a mouth-watering photograph of the food that’s in the package? Its been said that
people eat with their eyes and buy with emotion. When a compelling photo is matched with
artistically created fonts that convey an enticing feeling or thought you want your customers to
experience, you have a winning combination.
The right selection of colors, or simply the use of one single color, on your labels creates a
primordial connection between your customer’s desires and what you have to offer.
“Selection” is the key word here. Many factors play a part in which color or color combinations
are selected that work well with the color of the packaging. If the packaging is transparent
plastic or glass, a transparent label base can be used where the colors of the fonts and
graphics overlaid on the clear label complements the color of the product inside. To grab and
then hold the attention of someone who is casually strolling the aisles of a supermarket,
corner convenience store or big box retail outlet, you need to use color well.
Your label designs need to fit with the material of the labels themselves and what you need
them to accomplish. Within this category you’ll also need to answer the following questions to
decide what kinds of materials are most appropriate for your labels:
● Oil and Water Resistant?
● Paper Stocks?
For example, many wine bottle labels are trying convey an old world look. To accomplish this,
wine companies use a textured cream paper on which a handcrafted image is placed.
6. Label Finish
You can choose either a glossy or matte finish for your labels and each one can dispense a
certain “image” you want your product to project. A matte laminate finish for example, can
create a more classic look that is very easy to read. A gloss finish on the other hand, will add
considerable depth and intensity to the colors on the label and provide a shiny, even “3-D”
look for more impact.
7. Label Size
The size of your label usually depends on the shape of your container. If you are using a
round container for example, you have a choice between one large label or separate front and
back labels. Front and back labels can elegantly separate the front, eye-catching branding
information from the ingredient and regulatory information. They’re usually more expensive
than a large wrap around label. With a wraparound label you can achieve the same effect
however, by keeping the front "panel" with the key branding information on one side. This
way, consumers can instantly see the front panel as they are perusing the products on the
8. Label Shapes
Unusual label shapes are guaranteed “attention-getters”! By “unusual”, label shapes can
range from weird to deceptively simple unconventional shapes. Ever noticed a Heinz ketchup
label? It turns out to be a very simple “keystone” shape, but in its simplicity, it has real
subliminal power that in turn grabs people’s attention. So well in fact, that Heinz has been
using this shape for the last 130 years and shoppers have come to equate the shape as a
symbol of quality…as far as ketchup goes that is!
Themes don’t actually attract attention, but they sure do hold it! If the theme of your label
matches the theme of your product, this complimentary combo creates a feeling of cognitive
satisfaction in the customer’s mind which in turn, tends to hold their attention long enough so
that they’ll decide to try it, even if they’ve never even heard of it before!
10. Contact Information
OK, while “contact information” sounds pretty boring at first and the furthest thing away from
the ability of a label to attract attention, it works very similar to the way themes work—it holds
the customers’ attention, and ultimately invites them to come back to your brand. When a
back panel label includes a customer care 800 phone number, a web site, the physical
address of the company, a promise of quality and a customer care email address, the
implication is powerful and strongly implies that the company is always ready to stand behind
So first things last:
The bottom line for you to consider when you’re working with your label design team is to
start by checking out what your competition’s labels are doing. From there, you can make
your labels unique and distinctive from your competitors in an appealing way for your potential
customers. That fundamental difference will be your foundation to building your own attention
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