Ideas for Creating Product Labels That Get Noticed

 

It is difficult for your product labels to stand out on the retail shelf these days. There is so much competition in every product category, how can you create a label that will be noticed? You need high quality design as well as excellent print quality, that much is a given. But if you really want to create some buzz around your product, you should try and do something unique. This article provides several breakthrough product label ideas that will really help you stand out from the crowd.

1. Tell a Story

If you buy a bottle of vitaminwater® you will notice that featured on their labels is a fun little story related to their product. They are in the ultra-competitive beverage industry and even though the name suggests a health drink they have decided to create a fun image for themselves with these clever stories on their label.

Here is an example of what they do. This is from their multi-v lemonade label:

remember "the jetsons"? all they had to do was push a button to get dressed, microwave a pill to eat a three course meal and throw astro out on that treadmill thingy to walk him. talk about the good life.

well, we created this all-in-one product, containing more of the nutrients you need, from vitamin a to zinc. think of it as a drinkable swiss army knife. ok, so we didn’t invent the flying car or legless robot maids, but come on… like that’s even gonna happen.

Notice the liberal use of slang, the all lowercase text and the conversational tone. People actually enjoy reading these labels. While vitaminwater® is a great example of using a fun story to develop a brand, they have missed an opportunity to really build on this. The problem is that when you have read the story once you would probably never glance at it again. It does give the brand a fun feel but it could be much more. Why not have several different stories for each flavor, so that each time someone purchased a bottle they could read something new. People might be motivated to buy more than one bottle at a time, to collect the different stories.

There are so many freelance writers out there that would jump at the chance to work on a project like this. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars – you could even hire a student. Have dozens of these short stories or anecdotes and you will be creating something that is truly different. You just need to allocate a small space on your label and then when we print your labels we would print a different story on each label.

2. Adapt the Fortune Cookie Idea

If creating these short stories seems like too much then you can still create an impact with short sayings. When we go out for Chinese food, at the end of the meal we get the bill and some fortune cookies. We all love to crack open the cookie and read the little saying inside. Most often the sayings are all different and we can get a good laugh out of them. This idea can be adapted on your product label.

You could have a different saying on every one of your products on the shelf. You could spend an afternoon brainstorming with a couple of people and come up with dozens of these sayings. Alternatively, you could use quotable quotes from famous people. There are plenty of places online that list these and you could incorporate them into your product label. To be most effective you should have at least 100 – this way you would be unlikely to get two products with the same quote on the shelf together.

People will look forward to buying your product to see what pearls of wisdom will be on the label today. Whether you decide to go with the fortune cookie idea or the famous quotes, this is an easy way to be different without impacting your current label design. You only need a small amount of room on your label, and you can create some real curiosity about your products.

3. A Product Label “Photo Album”

Many product labels feature some kind of photo. But why have the same photo on every one of your labels? You could take advantage of the wealth of online stock photo libraries and have a different photo on each label.

Say you make sunscreen and you have a photo of a sunny beach on your label. This is what you can do. Go to an online stock photography site like iStockPhoto.com and search for the kind of photo you want. In January, 2008 a search for “sunny beach” returned over 14,000 photos. You could download several hi-res photos for just a few dollars each, and your product labels could feature several attractive photos rather than the same one. The fact that no one else is doing this will add to the impact of the different photos on your labels.

You don’t need to buy photos – you could make your product label more personal by featuring photos of your business. For the sunscreen company you could show pictures of employees frolicking on the beach, different beaches in your area, or famous beaches of the world. Give each photo a caption and you have a new product label concept that will be uniquely yours.

There is one company that is using different photos successfully on their product - Jones Soda. Every bottle of Jones Soda has a different photo on it. They have their customers send in photos, a great way to cut down expense and get your customers more involved in your product.

4. Run a Competition

You could use a part of your label to run a competition with your customers. Here is an example of what you could do. Provide simple instructions and print a random 10 digit code on every label. Instruct your customer go to your web site to enter in this code to see if they win. There would be a different 10 digit code on every label. On the home page of your site you could have an area where your customer can enter this 10 digit code.

The best part about doing something like this is that you can start to gather some marketing information. You could try and capture an email address and other personal information once they have entered the code. There is a double benefit here. First, you have a committed customer exploring your web site and second you can have this customer enter information that will allow you to market to them in the future. You will have easily created a marketing database.

5. Numbered Labels

Polin&Polin is a small winery in the Hunter Valley wine growing region in Australia. Every bottle of wine sold by Polin&Polin has a unique number on it. They like to emphasize that they are a small, family owned winery and this helps them achieve that goal. Now, this would work for many products other than wine. If you want to emphasize the fact that your product is handcrafted, not mass produced, you could do the same thing. Just add a little note: “Bottle X of 1500” (we can do the consecutive numbering here) to your product label.

Promote Your New Product Labels

If you go to the trouble of creating a breakthrough product label you need to tell the world what you are doing. So few companies are creating individualized labels, you may well be the first company in your industry to take this approach with your labeling. So this is a great opportunity to try and get some publicity for your products.

In ten years time there could be many products on the shelf leveraging the power of digital label printing by making every product label different. This new trend has not even begun yet, so if you start now you will probably be breaking new ground in your industry. You can make individualized labels a key part of your brand. In today’s competitive marketplace it is so difficult to be different – with digital label printing you can create a product label that is truly unique.

Who was it that decided that every label for a particular product should be exactly the same? With the power of digital label printing we no longer have to live by that rule. There is a huge opportunity here for enterprising companies to create something completely new in the world of product labels.

Material Descriptions

Materials

BIOSTONE

One of our eco-friendly options that is actually made of stone—no trees are used. This material should not laminated.

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

Artwork Specifications

Laminates

High Gloss

High gloss is our most popular laminate. It is the least expensive option and provides protection for the label and a high gloss shiny finish.

Matte

The Matte Laminate provides your label with a dull, non-glossy finish. Some customers consider this achieves a more "natural" look.

Thermal Transfer

This is a gloss laminate that is designed to work with most over-printing thermal transfer printers. We do recommend you get samples first to test through your own printer before placing an order with this laminate.

UV Outdoor Gloss

As the name implies this is best used for labels that will be used outdoors. It has a high gloss finish with excellent UV resistance. It is best paired with our vinyl material for the most durable outdoor label.