Monthly Archives: January 2015

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    Catch Consumers' Attention with Custom Specialty Food Labels

    Food LabelsLabels: A Key Product Marketing Component

    When it comes to product marketing, it's hard to overstate the importance of vibrant, crisp labels. After all, even the tastiest specialty foods will go unnoticed if their packaging doesn't attract the attention of consumers, despite the fact that the specialty market is booming in the United States. In 2013, sales of specialty cheese and cheese alternatives at American retail stores totaled nearly $4 billion, while specialty frozen and refrigerated meats, seafood and poultry brought in $2.26 billion in revenue that year, according to figures from Statista. Specialty coffee, coffee substitute and cocoa sales exceeded $2 billion and specialty bread and baked goods also proved popular, as they generated sales of approximately $1.75 billion over the same time period. Not only will lackluster labeling cause shoppers to miss out on specialty treats simply because the packaging isn't sufficiently eye-catching, but the companies behind these delicious offerings won't be able to benefit from the profits that come from selling their wares.

    Take Food Labels to the Next Level

    In order to ensure that companies reap the maximum possible returns on investment - and that consumers enjoy all these firms' specialty products - the food labels on these items need to be on point. So, what does that mean, exactly? In short, labels should be:

    • Clear
    • Concise
    • Attention-grabbing (eye-catching colors, large font, etc.)
    • High-quality
    • Professional
    • Informative
    • Durable

    Simply put, although catching a shopper's eye is the first step - and an extremely important one at that - this is by no means the only ingredient in securing a successful sale. For instance, labels that look cheap or low-quality may be a turnoff for people browsing the aisles, as might packaging that fails to provide consumers with the important details they're looking for. Conversely, labels that deluge shoppers with information could also cause them to walk away, so striking a balance between too much and too little is crucial in this regard.

    How Can Custom Labels Help?

    Lightning Labels' custom labels will help specialty food companies hit the mark in terms of every characteristic outlined above. Lightning Labels prints high-quality, vibrant and professional-looking packaging that can withstand the chilly conditions of a fridge or freezer just as easily as the cool, dry environment of a pantry.

  • How Reliable Are EnergyGuide Labels?

    Energy Savings Labels' Accuracy Depends on Location, Expert Finds
    When they're shopping for appliances, many consumers keep an eye out for the yellow EnergyGuide labels that are required to be attached to the products in accordance with federal law. As CBS explained, the tags provide two key pieces of information - they indicate how much energy each appliance uses and offer an estimate of annual operational costs. But how accurate is this data?

    According to Lucas Davis, an economics professor at Berkeley, the answer to that question depends on where people live.

    "They show information based on national average electricity prices," Davis said of the stickers, as quoted by the media outlet. "The problem is people don't have [any] idea how much they spend for electricity so they have no idea how to make that conversion."

    For instance, the price of electricity in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania is higher than the national average, the news source pointed out. Because of this, the estimates printed on the labels that detail how much appliances will cost residents of these states to run per year are too low.

    EnergyGuide Labels Still Serve A Purpose
    Although the estimated annual expenditures on the tags can't be reliably counted on in terms of accuracy, the Federal Trade Commission-mandated labels have still proven to be a useful tool for comparison-shoppers.

    "We found people who saw better labels, made better decisions and they saved money, a lot of money," said Davis, the head of a team of researchers who have studied the labels for the past two years, according to CBS.

    Could State-Specific Label Printing Solve the Inaccuracies?
    One way to circumvent the confusion based on displaying national cost averages on the labels is to create state-specific labels that offer more accurate information. However, developing 50 different sets of labels and ensuring they all end up on products that will be sold in the correct states is a tall order - such an enormous undertaking, in fact, that the FDA has deemed it simply not possible.

    For now, at least, it looks like appliance shoppers should be taking the yearly cost estimates printed on those distinctive yellow energy savings tags with a pinch of salt. That being said, at least the numbers can prove useful in terms of identifying the options that will be cheapest to operate.

  • Organizational Labels for Use in the Office

    Custom Labels are not Just for Products
    Most businesses are familiar with custom labels in that they're typically printed for product packaging, but that is not the only purpose they serve. Custom labels and stickers have a number of different uses, including for organizational purposes. These items allow enterprises to track equipment more effectively throughout the office.

    For example, numbered stickers could be attached to company hardware. When employees want to use equipment, they would need to sign them out with the number posted on the sticker. This helps improve accountability throughout the workplace and gives employees an extra incentive to return equipment. If items are not returned, businesses know where to begin their search for them.

    This seems like a trivial use of stickers and custom labels, but misplaced equipment can actually cost businesses a significant amount of money, both directly and indirectly. For instance, losing a high-value piece of equipment such as a tablet or laptop can cost firms hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace, but the even bigger deal is the damage this misplaced equipment can do to productivity. The longer firms have to spend looking for lost items, the less time they have to devote to mission-critical tasks. Companies may even need to reschedule meetings or appointments if they are missing the tools they need.

    Organizational labels can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from signing out equipment to marking different shelves. The key is understanding that labels are not just for product packaging - companies can use stickers and labels to improve other areas of operation just as easily.

  • GMO Labeling Bill Up for Debate in Arizona

    State Bill Proposes Inclusion of GMO Status on Food Labels An Arizona lawmaker is heading a push that would require manufacturers to include some foods' genetically modified status on their labels.

    State Representative Juan Mendez was the primary author of House Bill 2462, which he recently submitted to the Arizona legislature alongside five of his colleagues. If passed, the law would require raw agricultural foods to sport the label "Produced with genetic engineering," while processed foods containing products of genetic engineering would need to be labeled as "Partially produced with genetic engineering," "May be produced with genetic engineering" or "Produced with genetic engineering." The legislation would also prevent any genetically modified food from being labeled as "natural."

    Proposed Legislation Has a Precedent It's far from the first time that this type of legislation has been submitted at the state level. As Tucson Weekly noted, a similar measure, Senate Bill 1180, was championed by state Senator Ed Ableser in 2013, but it fizzled while in committee. According to the Center for Food Safety, more than 70 bills have been introduced in over 30 states with the goal of banning genetically engineered foods or mandating the labeling of such products. To date, three states have passed the laws, although only one - Vermont - has actually set a time frame for the bill to take effect. As the Phoenix New Times explained, the other two states, Connecticut and Maine, included trigger clauses in the legislation to prevent it from being enforced until more states jump on the bandwagon.

    A Consumer's Right to Choose Speaking with various news outlets, Mendez underscored the idea that he is not against genetic engineering, but he believes shoppers should be fully informed when making food purchasing choices.

    "Saying no to labeling means I don't think I should have the choice to know what I'm consuming," he told the New Times.

    In a separate interview with KTVK, he stated, "I just want there to be a label so that you have a decision to make."

    Concerns have been raised about whether the proposed labeling change would increase costs on the manufacturer's side that could get passed along to the consumer, but Mendez doesn't believe prices would be affected, as reported by KTVK.

  • Use Product Labels to Attract New Year's Resolution-Makers

    Product LabelsHealthy Products Are A Central Part of Numerous New Year's Resolutions

    Every year, many people's New Year's resolutions include losing weight, improving fitness and generally adopting a better lifestyle by buying healthy products, eating well and being more active. In fact, according to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, losing weight was last year's top resolution, while staying fit and healthy came in at No. 5 on the list. Researchers found that although nearly half (45 percent) of Americans make New Year's resolutions, most of them fail to follow through on these vows, with just 8 percent succeeding in achieving their goals.

    The Importance of Clear Product Labels

    For shoppers determined to become part of the 8 percent and see their New Year's resolutions through by making healthier selections all year long, product labels are extremely important. However, facing a wall of brightly packaged variations of the same item can quickly get overwhelming, and consumers may feel intimidated by the sheer number of options available to them - especially if they're not used to pinpointing healthy choices. This is where clear product labeling is key. If your product is low-fat, low in sodium, gluten-free, vegetarian- or vegan-friendly, doesn't contain saturated fat or has any other selling point that's likely to appeal to people who are eager to make more healthful selections but aren't quite sure where to start, be sure to prominently advertise this attribute on the label.

    Health Labels Can Make or Break Resolutions

    Health labels can be a critical part of mobile-users' resolution adherence. It's no secret that mobile device ownership is increasing by the day - even if you haven't seen any statistics on the topic. The fact that more and more people seem to have their smartphones permanently attached to their hands serves as proof enough. Mobile health and wellness applications have taken off in a big way over the past few years, coupled with the rise in smartphone adoption, and a lot of people rely on apps such as MyFitnessPal and Lose It! to track their exercise and caloric intake. Many of these apps include features that allow users to scan health labels and upload the nutritional information of each food product they ingest in order to add the data to their daily intake diaries. Unclear labels can impede this process, making it harder for resolution-makers to stick to their goals.

  • Protect Your Product from Inclement Weather with Waterproof Stickers

    WaterproofWaterproof Labels Relay Important Information Regardless of Weather

    With waterproof labels, the days of squinting at stickers that have been damaged by inclement weather are over. At this time of year, rain, snow and generally miserable conditions are the norm in many parts of the country. When everything's soggy from rain, covered in ice or buried under snow, it can be difficult to make out the contents of a product label. This could lead to reader confusion and possibly the eventual misuse of an item, which might cause damage to the product itself or, even more concerning, to the person using it.

    Why Use Waterproof Stickers?

    Waterproof stickers convey instructions, warnings and other important information regardless of the weather and are less susceptible to fading and wearing away over time. It's already galling enough to put away your summer patio furniture after the fall rains have well and truly set in - you don't need the additional trouble of washed-out instructional labels causing you to take an educational guess and snap a patio umbrella's delicate spokes as a result.

    Durable Labels From Lightning Labels Offer A Solution

    If you're in the market for durable labels that withstand the worst of the winter elements, look no further than Lightning Labels' water- and oil-proof polypropylene BOPP label base and high-gloss laminate. The BOPP base comes in a variety of options including clear, white and metallic to ensure the labels' functionality doesn't compromise their style. Additionally, although this may be hard to imagine in the depths of the winter season, the sun will be back someday, and its strong rays can also have an adverse effect on stickers. Luckily, Lightning Labels also offers UV outdoor gloss to prevent text from fading and colors from becoming washed out.

  • Custom Labels Personalize Shopping, Drive Consumer Engagement

    Coca-Cola Drives Engagement With Personalized Labels
    After its launch in Australia in 2011, the "Share A Coke" campaign enjoyed great success in more than 50 countries across the globe before it finally landed in the United States last summer.

    Instead of going on autopilot and picking up 20-ounce bottles displaying the generic Coca-Cola, Diet Coke or Coke Zero logos, shoppers had the opportunity to look through personalized labels emblazoned with the 250 most popular first names of American teens and millennials until they found names that meant something to them. As an alternative, labels with generic terms such as "BFF," "Buddy" and "Bestie" were also available. Meanwhile, shareable bottles containing either 1.25 or 2 liters of the popular soft drink sported group names such as "Family" and "Friends."

    Coke made sure that consumers with less popular names or unusual nicknames weren't left out in the cold by providing people with the option of adding custom labels to virtual bottles on, then sharing the results via four of the largest social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. 

    Nutella Piggybacks on Label Printing Success
    More recently, chocolate and confectionery manufacturer Ferrero SpA launched a similar initiative involving its hazelnut spread, Nutella. As Food Production Daily reported, the company's Facebook campaign proved hugely successful, attracting 185,000 hits from Belgians alone - quite a feat considering that the country's entire population only numbers 11 million.

    Are Custom Labels and Stickers the Future of Marketing?
    In an age when mass-production is the norm, customized and personalized products appear extremely attractive to consumers. Brands that offer this type of differentiation are well-positioned to boost engagement and cultivate customer loyalty - but if the quality aspect isn't up to par then companies can expect to fall at the first hurdle. After all, few things make an enterprise seem more unprofessional than cheap-looking product labels.

    That's where Lightning Labels comes in. We use state-of-the-art printing technology to produce high-quality labels and stickers that are vibrant, durable and won't break the bank.

  • Custom Cosmetic Label Tips to Promote Winter Skin Care

    Cosmetic LabelsWinter Cosmetic Labels Help Customers Take Care of their Skin in Wintry Weather

    If they do not already do so, customers looking to take care of their skin during the cold months of January and February need to pay particular attention to winter cosmetic labels. There are actually a number of different ways people can damage their skin, and but they can protect themselves more effectively by using the right cosmetics. For example, Everyday Health contributor Beth Orenstein noted all the different reasons people have trouble with seasonal dry skin. Here are just a couple:

    • Cold air has less moisture than warm or hot air, which can lead to dry skin (particularly lips, which need the moisture).
    • While many people blast the heat in their homes to warm up during the winter, this can actually damage their skin. Forced air systems will dry their skin the same way cold air does unless they have a humidifier.
    • Likewise, while there are few things more satisfying than a hot shower after waking up in a cold morning, it can also be bad for skin. Using water that is too hot or showering for too long can dry out skin.

    People do not often think about it, but they are constantly putting their skin on the line in the winter. They need to use the right cosmetics to keep their skin hydrated and looking good. Product labels can help cosmetics manufacturers alert customers to all the ways they are putting their skin at risk and how they can use cosmetics to prevent any damage to their skin from occurring during the harsh winter months.

    Custom Cosmetic Labels Promote Awareness

    While many brands see custom cosmetic labels as advertising tools, the fact of the matter is that they should be used for so much more. Yes, the product label is the perfect place to put captivating imagery and colors to attract the attention of customers, but for cosmetics, it is equally important to educate users. Cosmetics manufacturers may want to consider explicit usage instructions that tell customers what their products do and how to use them effectively. For example, a moisturizer should note it is for dry skin and give users some basic instructions on how to apply it, including precautions such as avoiding eyes. Labels are also the ideal spot to declare which ingredients are used in products, as well as noting other legal requirements, such as the address of the company, contact information and how much product is included in the container.

    Successful Products Start With Custom Labels

    Custom labels are often the first thing customers see on products, so brands want to ensure labels are designed professionally. There is nothing more embarrassing than a label that looks cheap or shoddily thrown together. Cosmetics manufacturers should work with experienced customer printers to get high-quality labels for their goods.

  • Make Your Soaps One of a Kind with Custom Label Designs

    Soap StickersSoap Labels May Help Revive Sales

    Bar soap is back, and soap labels will help brands effectively position their soap products. Over the past decade, liquid soap and body wash were "the suds of choice," as Advertising Age put it. Most Americans preferred using liquid soap over body soap, whether it was because of price, function or some other reason. However, bar soap has made a noteworthy comeback in recent years. Citing data from Mintel, Advertising Age noted that in 2011, mass retail sales of bar soap increased 4.7 percent to $1.2 billion. While total sales trailed behind at $1.9 billion, the year-to-year growth was almost double. Many people view bar soap as almost a luxury, old-fashioned way of washing down - it does not feature the same manufactured fragrances of body washes and gives a more pure clean. Plus, bar soap can be made at home, and many Americans have made a hobby of creating their own soap, much like crafting a home-brewed beer. "People try handmade bar soap for different reasons - [for] some, it has to do with allergies, sensitivities to [mass-produced] fragrances," Cathleen Timberlake, president of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, told the news source. "But I also think there's just a big interest in products that are homemade."

    Soap Stickers are Important for Commercial and Private Makers Alike

    With sales for bar soap on the rise, homemakers and commercial sellers alike need to take another look at their soap labels. For personal use manufacturers, soap labels will help them tell the different bars of soap they make apart from one another. Additionally, custom printed labels make their product look nicer and more professional, which is important if they want to give their soap bars away to others as a gift. For commercial sellers, labels are even more important. This is their tool to stand out on shelves and make an impression on potential buyers. Not only does the package need to be well-designed, it needs to effectively convey the brand's values and messaging through both graphics and marketing slogans. Legally, the bar soap must also feature product ingredient lists so customers understand what they are buying. This is particularly important for allergy purposes, people do not want to buy products that will cause an adverse reaction.

    Waterproof Custom Design Labels Keep Branding Intact

    By working with a professional printing company, bar soap manufacturers can get custom design labels that will stand out on store shelves. Of course, for bathroom products, it is important that manufacturers also consider the environment in which their goods will be stored - the bathroom. This means it will be quite likely their soap will come in contact with water. If labels are not designed adequately, contact with water may cause the label to dissolve. By making them waterproof, however, manufacturers can ensure their branding stays intact until customers open and begin using the product.

  • Custom Bumper Stickers to Boost Your Next School Fundraiser

    Bumper StickersCustom Stickers Can Bolster School Fundraising Efforts

    When trying to raise funds for school-related activities, there is nothing better than custom stickers. Bumper stickers have nearly universal appeal across all ages and target audiences. High schoolers and college students may purchase bumper stickers to put on their own vehicles, while parents are just as likely to purchase these fundraising pieces as a means of showing pride for the schools their kids attend. For schools themselves, fundraising is an effective strategy to garner the necessary resources to execute class projects, after school clubs and groups, on-site construction and other initiatives. Bumper stickers are great for these projects because they are not substantial investments - when talking about cost per dollar, schools could potentially be spending as little as 20 cents per dollar earned with bumper stickers.

    Car Stickers Exhibit School Spirit

    You have probably seen numerous school car stickers over the course of your life, whether your passing a vehicle on the highway or walking by one in the parking lot. For parents, they might boast about their child's academic success ("proud parent of an honor roll student"). For students, these bumper stickers might feature mascots and school fight slogans or mottos. At the end of the day, these stickers are designed to play off school spirit. The great thing about car stickers, and what truly makes them universal, is that they do not even have to be attached to cars. While that is the intended use of many of these stickers, they can be placed anywhere the owner wants. That could be in a person's car, but it could just as easily be on top of a laptop, binders and notebooks, coolers, sports equipment or anywhere else. This not only allows people to display their school spirit, but also customize their property in a unique fashion. If people do want to place bumper stickers on cars, they no longer need to worry about the damage they may do to their cars either. Modern adhesives make stickers easy to peel off, so people can remove their stickers whenever they want without ruining the paint job. Perhaps they want the bumper sticker for the new year, or to celebrate the change of sports season. Maybe they are even switching schools. Regardless, they do not have to worry about their bumper stickers being permanently attached to their vehicles.

    School Stickers as a Part of Fundraising Activities

    School stickers play an important role in broader fundraising activities, but they should not be the only thing brands use. Conventional stickers, magnets with sports schedules and specially labeled school products can also be sold as a part of broader fundraising initiatives. Schools should work with custom printing companies to discover their options.

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