Label Printing

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    The 'Clear' Choice: Why Clear BOPP Labels are Ideal for Food Product Labels

    Showcase Food In Clear Labels

    When you're in the food and beverage business, an extra bit of labeling flair could be the factor that converts a browsing consumer into a repeat customer. Operating a small brand in the food industry can sometimes feel like a losing battle, with much larger organizations pouring resources into branding and marketing. However, impressive labeling options are within the budget range of smaller organizations, including Clear BOPP Labels from Lightning Labels.

    Give An Inside Look

    When people are purchasing food and beverages, they're really shopping for what's inside the package rather than the outside. A flashy appearance can bring consumers close, but ultimately it's the items themselves that will show the quality of your brand. When food product labels are transparent, they combine the best of both worlds, with great branding drawing people in and the clear segments showcasing the look of the food or beverage.

    Clear labels show that there is nothing to hide and are representative of brands that want consumers to judge them on the quality of their products. Going with the Clear BOPP material from Lightning Labels is a natural choice for food and beverage producers. These labels are water- and oil-resistant, which ensures they'll hold up in consumers' cupboards and still look good when it's time to buy another package of the food.

    Natural Incentive

    When a product is being touted for its natural and healthy qualities, clear labels can be especially helpful. A recent Nutritional Outlook overview of trends in the clean labeling field revealed that simple, minimal packaging is a rising priority. Nosco Packaging Advisor Brent Anderson pointed directly to clear and transparent packaging options as major trends in the health-conscious foods field.

    It makes sense that when consumers are seeking out foods that will be good for them, they're curious about seeing as much of those foods as possible. When two brands are selling similar items, the company with clear labels that allow consumers to assess the quality of the food within may have a credibility leg-up on one that uses text-heavy labels that cover more of the food.

    Change Your Strategy

    When pivoting to a new labeling design, it's important to ensure that the relationship with the responsible third party is thoroughly developed. Lightning Labels not only offers exciting materials such as Clear BOPP, it is a top choice for customer service, turnaround time and overall quality. Custom food packaging labels from Lightning Labels offer several advantages over competitors' options, including low-minimum order sizes. Lightning Labels' all-digital printing process makes it easy to quickly get a new design into production, meaning labeling strategies can turn on a dime.

    If your brand is confident in its food products and ready to demonstrate this boldness to shoppers, Clear BOPP Labels are a great choice. These are eye-catching labels that will hold up under tough conditions and prepare companies to enter marketplaces populated by much larger competitors. The choice of material can set the tone for a whole labeling strategy, with each option sending signals to consumers. Clear labels project authority and promise freshness.

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  • Eco-Friendly Labels Can Help Improve Your Business's Carbon Footprint

    Show Your Principles with Recycled Labels

    When people shop today, they aren't just picking out items based on the products themselves - they're making a decision to support a brand, ideally one that aligns with their values. You can reach out to eco-conscious consumers by using production methods that are earth-friendly and create a minimal carbon footprint. This focus should extend to labeling. After all, a label proclaiming that a company is committed to conservation is more convincing if that label itself is made with green principles in mind.

    Many Labeling Options

    There are a few necessary discussions around switching your brand's labeling strategy to use eco-friendly materials. The main point of concern is likely to be whether using those substances will make the labels less tough or aesthetically pleasing. Thankfully, Lightning Labels offers a variety of green labeling materials that are produced in responsible, low-impact ways while still delivering the kind of strength and flash you expect.

    Using recycled labels, made from 100 percent post-consumer content, is a great way to show that your brand is interested in protecting the environment. Recycling means breaking the cycle of producing new materials and leads to a reduced carbon footprint for all related products.

    Lightning Labels offers two different label styles made entirely of post-consumer content. Which one you choose depends on the look you want for your items. While Recycled Kraft Labels have an earthy, rustic look to them, Recycled Vellum Labels are a neutral white color that will accept any kind of colorful logo your brand desires. Both kinds of labels are strong enough for machine application, in case your brand uses automated production methods.

    These eco-friendly labels are an especially good choice when your products have been made out of recycled content or produced in other ways designed to create a minimal carbon footprint. Packaging is an important product, and it could compromise your brand's dedication to ecology if your products aren't packaged in a sustainable way.

    Show Your Commitment

    April is Keep America Beautiful Month and, therefore, a great time to declare your brand's allegiance to minimal environmental impact and low-carbon emissions. A recycling focus that extends to labeling is a pillar of such a commitment. Individuals assessing your items next to competitors can feel confident that they are choosing a brand that values sustainability.

    Even though April is already underway, it's not unreasonable to announce a new labeling strategy for Keep America Beautiful Month. When you work with Lightning Labels, turnaround times are minimal due to Lightning Labels' all-digital processes and commitment to domestic facilities. You can assure your customers that eco-friendly labels will be on the shelves soon and really mean it, because Lightning Labels turns orders around in days, not weeks or months.

    Conservation and recycling are great goals to align your brand with because they have unlimited resonance - ensuring that the planet is well taken care of will always be relevant. If you're ready to make this connection, there are options out there that suit your needs. When switching to more sustainable materials doesn't mean sacrificing quality, you can't lose.

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  • Custom Roll Labels Provide an Easy and Efficient Label Solution

    Custom Roll Labels - An Easy Way to Receive Your Labels

    Custom labels are an important part of branding for any company responsible for creating consumer products, so if this your field, you'll have to scout for third parties that can fill that role. When your business finds an efficient and experienced labeling partner, the care will show in how the labels themselves are produced. No element of your order will be left to chance.

    The roll-based format employed by Lightning Labels has its own benefits for businesses. Whether you're applying labels by hand or via a mechanical process, you'll find efficiency and utility benefits to getting roll labels instead of a sheet. The following are a few points to consider about this format, and signs that Lightning Labels really cares about its customers.

    Why Roll Labels?

    Why does Lightning Labels use roll labels? The following benefits are yours for the taking when you work with Lightning Labels for your custom labeling project.

    Less waste: Roll labels from Lightning Labels are an efficient way to get your order, with less extra material to create waste. Your labels will come on a roll of paper known as the release liner, which will easily disengage from the label. The release liner of your roll of labels will generally be 50-lb white paper coated in silicone. It's suitable for either hand or machine application.

    Quicker printing: Lightning Labels, true to the "lightning" in its name, prides itself on speed. Every part of the production process has been tuned to achieve a rapid pace, from the use of domestic facilities to the digital-only nature of the printers. Rolls enable quick print labels and play into the need for speed.

    Material options: When you work with Lightning Labels, you have plenty of choices for label materials and finishes. Custom roll labels can be earth-friendly options made from recycled content, or they can be chrome-finished and stunning designs that will give your products a modern edge.

    Management of large quantities: While Lightning Labels' all-digital processes enable customers to affordably order small quantities of labels, there is no problem with making a large order, either. When companies opt to buy many labels at once, they'll be thankful for the convenience of receiving their labels on a roll.

    Time to Make the Call

    When considering your next run of labels, you have to make a few key decisions. Will the order be large or small? Are the labels going to be applied by hand or a machine? Which material and finish will complement the company's branding and appeal to customers most effectively? No matter the answers to these questions, Lightning Labels' flexibility and commitment to quality make it an ideal partner to call.

    When you receive your custom roll labels, you can rest assured that this method was chosen to maximize the effectiveness of the product. With minimal waste, ease of management and a wider variety of options available, this is a great way to receive an order. The question now is what kind of product you'd like to promote next - the possibilities are endless.

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  • Earth Day is April 22: Celebrate with Recycled Labels

    Give Customers an Earth-Friendly Option With Recycled Labels

    While there's never a bad time to care about the health of the planet, April 22 is an especially apt moment. This is Earth Day, set aside to celebrate the planet and protect nature whenever and however possible. People will be looking for ways to show they care about keeping the environment healthy, and if your products are wrapped in eco-friendly labels, you'll have a head start on the competition. In the lead-up to Earth Day, you can team up with Lightning Labels to put a more naturally friendly face on your items.

    Recycled Labels Add the Finishing Touch

    Recycled labels made out of responsibly manufactured materials are especially critical for companies that celebrate good causes or promote conservation. If your business stands for protecting the earth, labels that seem to synthetic may create cognitive dissonance. You want every element of your products to be in line with your values, and that extends to the labels. Lightning Labels offers four different eco-friendly materials, so when it's time to place an order for custom recycled labels, consider using one of the following:

    Kraft Labels: These labels give your products an "earthy" feel, as they are made out of paper rather than harsh-seeming polymers. They are produced from 100 percent post-consumer waste for a minimal impact on the environment. Keep in mind that these labels are not laminated - products that have to stand up to oil and water should use another of our materials.

    Vellum Labels: Like Kraft Labels, our Vellum offering is not laminated and is made from 100 percent recycled materials. Between these two options, you can get specific about what you want the texture and feel of your labels to be, while sticking to an all-recycled policy.

    Biostone Labels: These ingenious labels reject both polymers and paper - there are no tree products included in them at all. They are really made out of stone! These labels, like the above, are non-laminated.

    White Earthfirst PLA: When you want a flexible polymer label, but don't want to harm the earth, turn to White Earthfirst PLA. PLA means polylactic acid. This biopolymer comes from corn rather than petroleum-derived chemicals. These labels are versatile and useful, whatever your line of business - they're suitable for all the main uses of our product labels, except for direct application to candle containers.

    Time to Celebrate

    Taking a more earth-friendly approach to your labeling in time for Earth Day may seem like an impossible goal for this year - after all, April 22 is just around the corner. However, when you're working with Lightning Labels, extreme speed is part of the deal. Lightning Labels works from domestic facilities instead of outsourcing its operations and employs all-digital printing methods. This means turnaround times and minimum order sizes are low.

    When your products and image revolve around a love for Mother Earth, having a label that isn't eco-friendly could raise doubts. Put customers' minds at ease while helping the planet by using one of Lightning Labels' four natural label materials. These are the perfect finishing touch for a responsible modern brand.

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  • Consecutive Number Labels Keep Track of Everything!

    Consecutive Number Labels Allow For Precise Tracking

    When you order from Lightning Labels, you have the option of receiving consecutive number labels, perfect for a number of tracking functions that any business can harness. Whether you're interested in precisely noting your inventory levels, hope to create a desirable limited-edition product or just want to issue parking permits with their own unique numbers, this kind of printing is for you.

    Investing in bar code labels and other tools for easy internal counting of information will enable you to simplify the storage, transport and stocking of your products. When you're working with partners that require products to be individually traceable, this is a powerful potential solution. While this is a popular use of consecutive number labels, it's not the only one. Passes and permits are more effective - meaning easier to keep track of and harder to falsify - when they are individually numbered.

    Numbering for Products

    When you want to mark individual packages of products - or note items as part of series - consecutive numbering from Lightning Labels is the way to achieve this feat. The numbers can be for your own benefit or meant for customers to see. In the former case, the digits or bar codes are employed by you and any companies you partner with to track inventory levels or movement through the supply chain. The visibility that comes with inventory labels is valuable and helps you keep an eye on stock without exerting great effort.

    You can also aim consecutive numbers at consumers. Letting shoppers know one of your items is part of a limited run - with the individual numbering to prove it - can create an exclusive and premium feel around that product. Maybe it's a bottle of this year's maple syrup harvest, or an object in a seasonal color scheme. Whatever your particular line of items is, you can employ consecutive numbering to make the offerings stand out from other, potentially larger companies' goods.

    Numbering for Passes and Permits

    If it's up to you to issue passes, permits and other credentials that recipients stick onto their car windows or clothes, you can take advantage of Lightning Labels' consecutive numbering offerings. Parking sticker labels with consecutive numbers can be tracked, with each individual sticker corresponding to a single recipient. This aids in your record-keeping and stops forgeries. Furthermore, when you issue these or other permits with consecutive numbers, it's easy to see at a glance how many you've given out and how many remain available.

    Affordable Short-Run Printing

    When you opt for consecutive number labels, you're likely only looking for a limited amount. This could pose problems if you were working with a partner that offers unreasonable rates for short print runs, but that's not how Lightning Labels does business. With all-digital processes in place, even modestly sized orders are affordable. Next time you're looking for an inventory tracking aid, a print run of parking passes or a batch of labels for limited-edition products, you can contact Lightning Labels. There are a variety of uses for consecutive number labels, and it's easy to see how they'll benefit various company types.

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  • New Digital Press Means Consistent, High-Quality Labels

    Lightning Labels Scales Up Its On-site Label Production

    To keep up with increasing demand for high-quality custom sticker and label printing, Lightning Labels has added a new digital press to its Denver facility. This means that even as new customers come aboard, turnaround times will remain fast. All the benefits associated with digital label printing, from flexibility to quality and beyond, have powered the market. Companies have found near-unlimited uses for custom labels and stickers over the past few years, and Lightning Labels has been there for them every step of the way. With new equipment in place, the company is ready for the next stage in the market's evolution.

    Benefits of In-House Printing

    Purchasing another custom label printer for its own facility represents a conscious choice by Lightning Labels to focus on serving its clients directly, without contracting the printing itself to a third party. By scaling up its in-house production instead of outsourcing, Lightning Labels is able to offer its signature quick turnaround times. Contracting another printer can also increase shipping costs. To better serve its clients, Lightning Labels prints all its products itself, in U.S.-based facilities.

    Companies Choosing Digital

    The new custom sticker printer is a top-of-the-line digital press. The many advantages of working with a digital-only printing partner have become clear to companies over the past few years, and the latest hardware addition will ensure that many more clients can experience these advantages in the months and years ahead.

    When working with traditional four-color printing, companies typically face many more expenses. The use of old-fashioned presses entails the creation of plates and hardware setup processes. Offsetting these costs may involve upping minimum order sizes. Any company looking for small or medium orders of labels may find traditional printing isn't feasible. Add this to the high resolution possible with today's digital hardware and the ability to add custom touches to labels in a single print run and the choice is clear.

    Customer Service Also On The Rise

    Helping more customers isn't just about having the hardware for the job. Lightning Labels has also added to its customer care teams to ensure that every account holder has a great experience. More employees have joined the customer service section in recent months. In the sales department, a whole new team has emerged to make outbound sales. Lightning Labels is proud of its top-quality hardware, but it is people who really make a business, and customers will be happy to engage with these newly expanded teams.

    Ready for What's Next

    Every season brings another reason to use custom stickers and labels. Companies, organizations and even individuals interested in ordering these products can indulge their creativity quickly and affordably by working with Lightning Labels. Equipped with a top-quality label printer, Lightning Labels can become the partner these creators need, turning around orders in lightning-fast times and providing the type of flexibility and cost-effectiveness that can't be matched by printers that have not fully embraced digital processes. Whether for a special even, a seasonal promotion or as a permanent face of a product line, labels and stickers can be just the thing to add visual interest.

  • 3 Ways Label Printers Influence Your Business' Success

    How Your Label Print Provider Affects Your Products

    As a business owner, the companies you choose to work with play a critical role in the overall performance and success of your brand - especially when you rely on them for certain products and services. Within supplier networks, there is a domino effect: If you do not have a good experience with a particular vendor, it impacts the experience you are able to offer your customers. This is why choosing the right label printing provider such an important - yet often overlooked - aspect of the selling and marketing process.

    To gain a competitive advantage, you must be strategic about which providers you choose to do business with in designing and creating your products - and their packaging and labeling. Below are a few of the biggest ways that your printing partner can affect the success of your brand.

    1. Speed and Delivery

    In this highly digitalized world, we are used to finding - and getting - the goods and services we need with just the touch of a button. Consumers and businesses have become increasingly demanding - and rightfully so. Digital technologies enable process improvements and better workflow efficiencies that enable organizations to speed up their operations and, therefore, delivery of products and services.

    When it comes to product labeling and packaging, consumer preferences are ever evolving. You may often find yourself needing to make last minute changes, or having to edit or update them on-the-go or with very short notice. Even if you do not own your own company or plan to sell your products, it is likely that you need your custom labels or stickers by a certain date - for a special occasion or event, for example. Either way, when it comes to label printing and delivery, time is of the essence.

    You want a print provider that leverages digital technologies that allow you to easily, conveniently and seamlessly place orders online and complete every phase of the label design and creation process - including proofing. As with any item, when you place an order you expect to receive it on time. You need to partner with a company that can - literally - deliver on that promise.

    2. Quality

    You are certainly already aware of the powerful role labeling and packaging play in the marketing of a product. Both these elements greatly influence the overall perception someone has of the item - and this is true for both its functional and aesthetic aspects. It is crucial that you use high quality label materials not only so that they grab the attention of shoppers, but also to ensure that they do not prematurely crack, peel or deteriorate.

    Therefore, you should choose a label provider that uses best-in-class printing technologies and offers a wide selection of adhesives, glosses and finishes. Otherwise, you run the risk of selecting a material that doesn't look good or work well with your particular product.

    3. Flexibility and Agility

    Personalization has emerged as one of the biggest trends in packaging and labeling today - and is just one example of how important it is that you are able to tailor and customize your marketing materials quickly and efficiently. The label needs you currently have for your products may be entirely different from those only a week or two from now. In this rapidly changing environment, the organizations that succeed are those that are able to respond and adapt on an as-needed basis. And that means working with a label printer that allows you to choose from a dynamic range of services and products. The more options you have available to you, the easier it will be to ensure you are able to create and print the exact type of label you need, when you need it.

  • 5 Questions to Ask About Your Custom Label Design

    Preparing Product Labels for Print

    When designing custom product labels, you have to make a lot of decisions. The images, colors and font you choose are just the beginning. And while perfecting the labeling and packaging may seem less important than creating a valuable product, the truth of the matter is that not many customers are going to purchase the good if it has a lackluster exterior.

    Successful marketers understand that taking a detail-oriented approach to the packaging and labeling of a product is necessary to ensure shopper engagement. They leave no stone unturned, no element overlooked.

    Before finalizing your product label design, there are a number of questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not it is truly ready for the print and ordering stage of the process.

    1. What is the first thing I notice?

    When you spend a long time designing the perfect label, getting caught up in the various details, it is easy to forget that what we see may not be the same as someone who is viewing with a fresh pair of eyes. It is helpful to take a step back and consider what someone seeing it for the first time would notice first. Is it your brand's logo? Are your eyes brought to the image on the package or the text?

    You only have one chance to make a first impression. Use visual-spatial techniques to ensure you have designed the label in a way that guides the shopper to view the most important information first. Better yet, get a more accurate assessment of this by asking for the opinion of people who haven't seen the design yet.

    2. Is all included content absolutely necessary?

    When it comes to creating product labels, most of us have very limited real estate to work with. Therefore, it is important to make effective us of every inch of space. Take a look at the label and package and ask yourself whether everything you have chosen to include serves a specific purpose. One of the most difficult decisions a marketer can make is determining which information is relevant. You don't want to crowd the label with too much text, but you also don't want to leave out any element that shoppers may find important. This is where having a sound and comprehensive understanding of what kind of information your specific target audience values becomes crucial. Furthermore, if you are struggling with having too much information you want to include but not enough label space, consider adding a QR code.

    3. Am I being honest?

    If there is one thing marketers today should learn from the handful of labeling controversies that have emerged over the past few years, it is that consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of product labels and that many value honesty and transparency. Depending on the type of product you are selling, there may be certain regulatory requirements to adhere to. Make sure you have read up on the latest industry standards to ensure compliance. However, it is also important that you can verify any claim made on the label - whether it has to do with the benefits it provides, ingredients, sourcing practices, nutritional value or something else. Don't expect consumers to simply take your word for it, as mislabeling a product can damage your reputation and lead to legal ramifications.

    4. Did I use the best possible label printing materials?

    You already know how important a role packaging and labeling play in the marketing of a product. However, what many sellers tend to overlook is how heavily the quality of label and packaging material can influence their appearance. When choosing a label material, keep in mind that you should be considering both its aesthetic and its function. A high-quality substrate can be used to make an item stand out, as can advanced digital printing techniques. Additionally, label adhesives are designed specifically for certain products and applications. If you don't choose one that is compatible for the package you're applying it too, it can crack, peel or deteriorate prematurely, thereby impacting the perception the consumer has about the quality of your product.

    5. What message am I sending?

    Similar to how people who see your label for the first time may notice something different than what you do after looking at it for a long time, you may find that the design of your label doesn't send the message you originally intended it to. There are many factors that contribute to how a shopper perceives a product, such as the color, font and images. Being mindful of the type of personality your brand is embodying with its product packaging is crucial. Take color psychology into account and use it to your advantage. For example, companies that want to demonstrate trustworthiness often use shades of blue, whereas brands that want to position themselves as being eco-friendly and/or healthy leverage green and earthy tones.

  • Personalizing Product Labels for Better Value and Engagement

    Building Consumer Connections Through Customization

    Digital technologies have significantly transformed the way marketers reach, engage and connect with target audiences. The rapid proliferation of mobile devices, increased reliance on connectivity and prominent rise of the Internet of Things have made it so businesses are now presented with enormous amounts of data - information they can collect, organize and analyze to gain enhanced insight and information on their customers.

    This advanced visibility leads to sellers making more informed and strategic decisions about their products. They are able to fine-tune virtually all aspects of the production and selling process in a way that gives shoppers a better, more personalized experience. The more brands know about their audiences, the better able they are deliver the goods and services they need - using the strategies and channels they are most likely to respond to.

    In this highly digital environment, brands have to compete, perhaps more than ever, with other companies to gain the attention of consumers. This is why so much attention is being paid to the packaging and labeling designs of products. The way the goods are presented online or on the shelf can make or break whether or not a shopper notices an item, let alone purchases it.

    As technology and software become more sophisticated, the expectations consumers have are increasing. Digital developments have made it so the shopping experience of today's customers is all about convenience and customization. It is imperative that brands are able to leverage unique and creative ways to create custom labels and packages that not only stand out to shoppers, but are able to establish a connection with them in some way. And this is why personalized packaging is becoming such a staple among marketers today.

    Earlier this year, Packaging Digest named personalization as one of the top and fastest-emerging packaging trends right now, due in large part to the way it allows brands to reach consumers on a personal level and meet a lot of their growing expectations.

    Benefits of Personalized Packaging and Labeling

    Print Week recently reported that personalized marketing increases customer loyalty and generates 31 percent more profits than other types of marketing materials. Thanks to digital printing technologies, adding this kind of value to marketing campaigns has become easier than ever before - and is why it has become a strategy used by companies across a wide range of industries, particularly those in the food and beverage market.

    As Print Week pointed out, the use of personalization in labels and packages is incredibly versatile. This method can be used to not only grab the attention of shoppers - say, for example, by printing names on the product like Coca Cola Company does with its soda cans - but also to promote or generate buzz about a particular product or event, gain brand exposure or spread awareness. Adding to the attractiveness of the personalized packaging strategy is the wide range of content that can be printed on the label, as well as how the campaign is run. For example, a company could print the logo of different NFL football teams during the fall based on the city or state the item is being sold in. During the holidays, businesses could allow customers to go online and upload their own images or messages to print on a product label and give as a gift.

    Another way personalized marketing is being used to benefit sellers today is that it allows them to further gain insight into consumer shopping and purchasing patterns. Print Week explained that the more consumers interact and engage with a product, especially if it is with a smartphone or via social media, the more a company is able to learn about their preferences and tastes and, therefore, further customize and target customers based on that information.

    Mastering the Art of Customized Marketing

    At the end of the day, the real driver of personalized packaging and labeling is that it is based on relevance. To be perceived as relevant and thereby valuable to shoppers today, brands must be strategic about their customization efforts. Personalized marketing materials are still in their infancy and it is a trend that will likely continue to gain traction among companies.

    However, to ensure a successful campaign of this nature - whether it be for a limited edition line of products or a long-term strategy - marketers must be able to operate quickly and efficiently. This is why it is imperative that sellers that want to offer personalized products work with a printing provider that allows them to adapt and edit labels and packages in real time on an as-needed basis. They must also be able to ensure a quick turnaround on the print ordering and delivery process.

    By partnering with a digital labeling print company that uses best-in-class technologies, brands will be better equipped to adapt their personalized campaigns in tandem with emerging trends and specific needs of their consumers.

  • Should Your Product Labels Include QR Codes?

    Utilizing Digital Technologies For Packaging and Labeling

    The use of QR, or quick response, codes in product labeling and packaging has gained significant traction over the years. There are many benefits to printing QR codes on labels. This scannable technology allows shoppers to use their smartphones and mobile devices to learn more about an item. The codes can also be leveraged as a promotional and/or marketing tool. For manufacturers and marketers, it offers a solution for minimizing the amount of information they print directly on the package while still providing consumers with the necessary information the brands either want or need to disclose.

    When designing custom labels, sellers have a very limited space to work with. And because the packaging and labeling of products plays such an important role in grabbing the attention of shoppers, it is essential to make sure that every inch of the space is used strategically. Many people struggle with deciding which elements they should include, with an obvious concern being that the label will look too crowded or cluttered. However, determining whether or not a QR code would be an effective use of label space can be difficult - and there is no one simple answer. Generally, though, it depends largely on the type of good it is, as well as what industry it exists within.

    For example, a lot of the QR code's recent popularity can be attributed to the increased demand for more transparency in food and beverage labels. As Food Dive pointed out, one of the biggest initiatives that have fueled the use of scannable label technology is SmartLabel, a proposed solution to mandatory labeling regulations, such as the new GMO law, that makes it so companies let consumers know all the ingredients and sourcing information they may want to know without directly printing it on the product package. There have been mixed feelings about this strategy, with some arguing that using QR codes is unfair and inefficient because it favors only the shoppers who have smartphones. It's safe to assume that the SmartLabel advocates, which represent a large portion of food and beverage companies, prefer this method because having to disclose the use of certain ingredients or materials in a product may imply it isn't a healthy option, therefore hurting sales.

    QR Code Controversy

    The benefits of using QR codes and other digital technology in labels are easy to see when you consider how complicated and complex the regulatory environment can be. For example, according to Computerworld, wine makers can legally add as much as 200 ingredients to their wine products without disclosing the use of them on the label.

    However, when it comes to deciding whether or not to print QR codes on your labels, there is another important question to consider: Will consumers actually use them? Food Dive reported that, in 2014, 34 percent of consumers in the U.S. had used QR codes while they shopped and that, between 2014 and 2015, the number of scans made per person increased an average of 7.5 percent. Furthermore, the source noted, Hershey conducted research on SmartLabels and found that the general consensus among participants was that the QR codes are valuable when they provide information that the shopper wants to know, rather than a promotional video or marketing content.

    On the other hand, The Center for Food Integrity released research report findings that showed only about 8 percent to 9 percent of consumers prefer to receive food information from QR codes. Most preferred instead to have this information available on the product label or package, especially if it relates to the health or safety of the item.

    "When we did qualitative work, how consumers want to access information is almost as diverse as the number of consumers, which creates both an opportunity and a challenge," CFI CEO Charlie Arnot explained to Food Dive.

    Important Factors To Consider

    The important takeaway from the research findings is that, if you are going to include a QR code in the design of product labels, it is crucial to make sure that it is one that provides the consumer with valuable information. Furthermore, in order to determine this, it is necessary to first gain a sound understanding of what exactly your audience and potential customers find meaningful in regard to the type of item you're selling. For example, if it is food or beverages, using the QR code to offer them detailed listings of the ingredients and nutritional values may be a good idea.

    Another key factor to consider is whether or not your target audience uses smartphones and, if so, how. Understanding not only the technology-related activity but the purchasing behavior and patterns of your ideal customers is necessary in determining whether QR codes make sense for your product labels.

    When you're creating custom labels, you need to make the most of the space you have to work with. If there is a lot of important information that you know some shoppers may be interested in learning about, a QR code can be an effective tool in offering that without making the design look too cluttered.

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