How Important are Labels? In a word: Very.

7 in 10. That’s the number of customers that, entering a store, haven’t made up their minds about what they’ll be purchasing. This is where your label becomes your product’s most important asset.

Labels are crucial decisions.  Your label is your point-of-purchase brand advocate. It must be appropriate to target customers while sticking out on store shelves. The goal is knowing what makes your customers tick. If that sounds like labelling your label audience… well… it is.

Let’s look at some key factors in successful label design.


Know Your Customer

Different types of people respond differently to visual cues. And your label is the ultimate visual cue – a choice among other choices, elbowing for attention at the decisive moment. The better you can define your niche, the better.


Do your customers skew…

  • Male or female? Beef jerky and rice cakes are labeled very differently. It’s not sexist – it’s demographics!
  • Millennials, Gen Xers or Boomers? Three generations, three radically different  This makes label design challenging for products as universal as, for example, pasta, but easier for items like, for example, denture adhesive.
  • Educated & sophisticated? Do your customers hold their teacups with extended pinkies? If so, loud labels may be a turnoff.


The next area of demographics is values. What matters most to customers purchasing the type of product you offer? Do they prioritize…

  • Organic and locally-sourced ingredients? The “farm to table” crowd responds well to rustic packaging.
  • Durability? A strong, bold label for a sturdy, reliable product.
  • Price? Remember: bargain shoppers still want value. If your label looks cheap, they may decide saving a few dollars isn’t worth it.


Materials Matter

Let’s start with this sentiment: No one picks the wine whose label is peeling off.

Selecting the right labelling materials is a balance between artistic vision and reality. Start with a vision for your label, and let that vision dictate the materials you use – within reason.

Different materials require different approaches to your label’s overall look, feel and impact.   So instead of selecting the material first, let your ideas – your design – guide you towards the right materials. This allows you the creative freedom to design based on want rather than need.

But of course, be realistic. Your design needs to be physically possible – meaning the label must be reasonably compatible with your packaging materials. A peeling label is a failed label.


Dare to be Different

For customers, zeroing in on the right product is a two-step process. First, one of the myriad brands will get their attention for a brief instant. From there, that brand has a few seconds to close the deal. Pass both steps, and you’ve got yourself a customer.

The first step is imagistic. Selecting a colour scheme that stands out from competitor’s is important, and communicatory images (like an image of an orange on your orange juice label) help a lot in grabbing a consumer’s attention. On the other hand, sometimes a label stands out because of its simplicity in a sea of complexity.

The second step is your USP – your unique selling point. Your label is a five-second pitchman explaining what differentiates your product from others. Insert “best”s, “most”s and “only”s here.

Looking to get started on making the right label for your products? Contact us – we’re here to help.