Label Printing

  • 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.

  • 5 Things Millennials Look for In Product Packaging

    Marketing Your Products to Generation Y
    Most businesses understand the pivotal role product packaging and labeling play in marketing. Everything from the colors and fonts to the graphics and wording on an item's container can influence the buying decisions of shoppers. However, when designing labels for goods, it is crucial that the seller takes into account the specific preferences of the target audience. 

    The millennial generation, which includes those born between 1981 and 2000, is now the largest demographic in the United States. According to Processor News, these individuals account for more than a quarter of the country's population and, collectively, represent about $200 billion a year in purchasing power - clearly making them an essential group for brands to market toward.

    And there are a number of noteworthy differences between millennials and previous generations. For example, they are the first to have grown up in the age of the Internet, which has contributed to their general need for instant gratification and growing expectations of getting the solutions and services they need at lightning speed. It is important that businesses understand that traditional product marketing tactics used on the baby boomer generation, for example, may not be as effective with Gen Y. 

    Below are some of the most important things millennials look for in product packaging and labeling today.

    1. Authenticity
    Given the rapid proliferation of mobile devices, increased channels of communication and instant access to the Web, millennials are more informed and connected than ever before. Therefore, they aren't as likely to take the claims made by a brand at face value. In fact, some would argue that they are especially skeptical about advertisements and promotions. They can research and compare products online and on the go, so it is important that sellers use labels that are a genuine and honest reflection of the organization. 

    In an article for Packaging Digest, Briana Long explained that research has indicated half of millennials between the ages of 18 and 24 feel that the brands they use are representative of the type of person they are. Put simply, companies should use product packaging and labeling to demonstrate their values align with those of Generation Y. 

    2. Sustainability
    Earlier this month, Bdaily pointed out that millennials are especially conscious about the environment and the impact that the products they purchase have on the planet. And, because Generation Y is expected to spend about $65 billion over the next 10 years on consumer packaged goods, it has caused brands to reconsider their approach to packaging. More companies will use eco-friendly labels and materials to attract the rising number of shoppers who value sustainability. 

    3. Personalization
    Another key quality marketers should embrace is customized packaging. Long explained that by personalizing products and labels, companies can increase interest and engagement levels among millennial shoppers. This strategy has been adopted by some of the biggest brand names in the consumer market today, including Coca-Cola and Oreo. Designing custom labels that appeal to this generation also helps businesses stand apart from competitors. 

    4. Compelling Storytelling
    Millennials have a constant stream of digital content and information coming at them across a wide range of channels. Companies need to leverage creative storytelling to entice consumers. As we mentioned above, this generation often seeks brands that are meaningful and posses some degree of value. One of the most effective ways for businesses to spark the interest of shoppers and improve product packaging is by humanizing the brand in a way that lets customers see it as being personable and relatable, rather than rigid.

    5. Innovation
    In this digital era, customers are constantly presented with new, fresh ideas and content. To appeal to millennials, a product's packaging and labeling should reflect the ability of a company to stay up to date and in the know about the latest trends and preferences. For example, as Long also mentioned, using hashtags and quick-response codes is one way for marketers to engage younger audiences and take advantage of technological innovations.

    With Generation Y quickly becoming the dominating force of the consumer market, it is imperative that brands take the time to adapt packaging and labeling to cater to young shoppers' needs and preferences. By considering what catches the attention of millennials, companies will be able to design a more effective and engaging product.

  • Personal Care Product Labels: It's About What They Don't Have

    Printing "No-Lists" On Labeling Can Influence Shopping Decisions If you sell your own line of beauty, cosmetic or personal care products, you have probably spent a considerable amount of time creating the perfect custom labels and packaging. You've thought about a wide range of factors and considered how each will affect how a shopper perceives the item. From the fonts and colors use to the size of the graphic and logo - you know that each detail plays a critical role in the marketing success of your goods. But it's not what the package looks like that matters.

    By now, most business owners realize that shoppers are interested in more than the appearance of an item. They are starting to genuinely care about the values of an organization. More consumers want to know that a product they are buying was not made using unfair sourcing practices or with toxic chemicals. That is why an increasing number of sellers are using labels to indicate that they are socially and environmentally responsible, as well as a safe and healthy choice. When people shop for various items, nowadays they often look to the ingredient list to see if it contains any harmful substances. The chemicals and ingredients contained in a product can make or break a sale. However, when it comes to making the most of personal care, bath and beauty product labels, perhaps it would better serve sellers to focus on what isn't included, rather than what is.

    Why Beauty Product Makers Use Them The requirements for brands being able to use terms buzz terms, such as "organic" and "natural," on product labels have been under scrutiny for quite some time. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently reevaluating the definition of "healthy," though it may be years before new guidelines are released. Recently, the agency announced that it will be requiring the amount of "added sugars" be listed on the nutrition facts label of food products, with many arguing that companies are upset about this mandate because using those ingredients is a way for them to make their products taste better without spending more money.

    And it seems there are certain ingredients that can be used in a similar way for beauty products. The Wall Street Journal reported that parabens, phthalates and sulfates are among some of the substances that offer makers of personal care items advantages, such as extending the shelf life of products, with no extra cost. However, as with sugar and GMOs, shoppers are becoming increasingly aware of goods that contain certain ingredients. A 2015 CEB Values & Lifestyles Survey found that almost half of consumers look at the ingredients listed on the labels of personal care products, with shoppers in their thirties and forties being the most likely to do this, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    The problem is that some of these chemicals are quite difficult to pronounce, let alone understand. This is why some are recommending that sellers take a proactive approach in labeling personal care products by listing what the item does not contain. There are multiple ways to go about this. For example, of the business owners The Wall Street Journal interviewed, one said she has a prominently displayed "NO" printed on the front of the product label with the most important common ingredients consumers are told to beware of, whereas another uses a 0 percent label because the number has the same meaning in all languages.

    Labeling With Caution It can be extremely difficult for an organization to know exactly what chemicals are used in every single ingredient, but it is imperative. It is a challenge even for global companies and well-known brands. For example, earlier this year, Honest Company, owned by Jessica Alba, faced backlash for allegedly using synthetic ingredients it specifically claimed not to - a mistake that was ultimately blamed on its suppliers.

    Although consumers are becoming increasingly demanding of healthier ingredients in products, they are becoming just as adamant about businesses being honest and transparent about in their labeling. If you are looking for new ways to make your line of personal care products stand out, adding a "no list" to the label could be an effective strategy. However, when designing your custom labels for bath and beauty products, it is important to make sure that any claims you make are 100 percent accurate and verifiable.

  • What You Need to Know About Labeling Cosmetic Products

    FDA Warning: Provide Proof of Label Claims or Remove Them If you sell your own line of products, you already know how important creating quality, custom labels is. The item's packaging should be a lot of things - attractive, unique, appealing, informative, etc. But, above all else, you need to make sure your labels are honest. And that is one of the many policies the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for enforcing.

    This week, the agency issued a warning to Reviva Labs regarding the labeling on eight of its products, NBC News reported, which is just one step it has taken in its broader effort to implement stricter regulation of cosmetics. The FDA typically doesn't govern beauty or makeup items, but will intervene when the product makes a promise that is of a medical nature. Some examples of this include:

    • Regenerating collagen
    • Firming or plumping skin
    • Making age spots less noticeable
    • Brightening skin tone
    • Eliminating bruises, spider veins or rosacea
    • Reducing oil or acne on skin

    According to the news source, the FDA warned Reviva that it must pick one of two options: change the cosmetic bottle labels so they no longer make any of the above claims or provide sufficient evidence that supports them. Put simply, the organization argued that if the brand's products are actually capable of changing the texture and appearance of a person's skin using "special new peptides and additional ingredients," then these chemicals need to formally registered and approved as a new drug.

    "We are in the process of changing our [website] copy and eliminating all claims to which the FDA refers," Reviva President Stephen Strassler said in an email to NBC.

    Cosmetic Bottle Labeling: Guidance and Tips As the FDA explains on its website, registering cosmetic products and formulations is voluntary (though many sellers choose to because consumers likely won't trust an item that isn't regulated by the agency). However, registration is mandatory if the product is or contains a drug. In that case, it must adhere to certain requirements.

    The agency also adds that although it is legal to manufacture your own cosmetic and beauty products at home, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is done so in an unadulterated environment, meaning color additives are not misused there's no possibility that it could be contaminated with filth, the packaging does not pose a safety hazard, etc.

    Also, under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA does not permit the selling of cosmetic products that have been misbranded. Items that fall under this category include ones that contain incorrect or misleading labels or that have not added the necessary information required by this act.

    When designing and printing cosmetic bottle labels, it is highly recommended that you clearly state whether or not the product has been tested for safety, all ingredients and the place in which it was manufactured.

    Even if you are a small-business owner and doubt your products would ever warrant an investigation from the FDA, it is wise to stay on the safe side and cover your bases by adhering to industry standards and regulations.

  • May is National Photography Month

    Use High-Quality Photos to Promote Your Brand

    May is National Photography Month, which is a great time to begin focusing on the development of more eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing branded materials. If you have made the investment in high-quality photos for your products, don't skimp on high-quality labels to promote your brand. Simple imagery and clip art just won't cut it these days, as consumers are looking for more modern, high-definition pictures and video content.

    High-quality photos on the right labels are excellent when trying to transform the brand's messaging and image, and this month could represent a good opportunity to get these campaigns going with interactive marketing tactics.

    Get Staff and Customers Involved

    Consider asking your staff members - not only those in the marketing and product management teams, but throughout the business - if they would like to contribute to the campaign with their own photography. No one knows your brand better than your employees, and some of them might have an interest in photography, making them an excellent source of creativity and perspective in these types of projects.

    On the other hand, customers will also have a good idea of the brand, and getting them involved in the process of gathering photos can further boost engagement between the company and its clientele. You can then use the photos gathered with quality labels to ensure that the hard work put into the photography pays off, and is represented properly in the finished product packaging.

    As a note, you'll certainly want to look into custom labels for these campaigns, as getting photos printed on stickers and other branded materials can be a bit tricky. By launching the project in May, you can align it with National Photography Month, and generate a bit more buzz about the campaign and your brand in the process.

    Seeing it Through

    Brand management teams should be heavily involved in the selection of which images will be sent to the printer for labeling purposes. Once the photos have been selected for the campaign, you can count on Lightning Labels to complete your orders lightning-fast and up to specifications. Lightning Labels offers custom label options on high-quality material to give you the best finished product possible, especially with bigger campaigns such as photography.

  • The Power of Personalized Packaging

    Customizing Labels and Packages to Consumers
    Personalized marketing is certainly not a new concept. It has quickly become a staple in effective online advertising campaigns, mainly for retailers and sellers of consumer packaged goods. 

    Earlier this month, Business 2 Community Contributor Richard Larson cited presenting consumers with personalized and connected experiences as one of the biggest emerging marketing trends in 2016. He pointed out that as technology evolves, customers' expectations are growing. They expect to have content that is highly relevant to them and tailored specifically to their needs. And there are many ways to achieve this. For example, by leveraging real-time insight and information on target audiences, businesses have the opportunity to establish more meaningful relationships and spark greater levels of engagement.

    And while there are valuable tools and strategies to use for customizing digital content and marketing initiatives to best appeal to target audiences, there is also enormous opportunity in taking a similar approach to physical aspects of products.

    How Major Brands Have Used Product Personalization 
    In an article for Media Post, Emily Canan highlighted some of the benefits of personalizing consumer packaged goods (increased revenue, enhanced brand exposure and loyalty, higher levels of engagement, etc.) for both online and offline channels. And this is why more companies are starting to use customization techniques on product packaging to further improve communication with consumers.

    As Canan pointed out, some of the most successful and well-known brands have exemplified the powerful appeal of personalized packaging and labeling, including:

    • M&Ms: Over a decade ago, the chocolate giant Mars launched the "My M&Ms" campaign, which let customers print custom sayings on the candies. Northeastern University Professor Marc Meyer estimated that this move led to over $10 million in sales, according to the source. The tactic has led to further developments that now let consumers print images and personal photos on the M&Ms.
    • Oreo: The brand recently announced its Colorfilled campaign, which lets consumers create custom labeling messages and packaging on the cookies for the holidays.

    However, perhaps the greatest demonstration of how personalized labels can give companies a competitive advantage and make products more appealing is provided by Coca-Cola Co. Years ago, the beverage company launched its "Share a Coke" campaign, which featured individual names of people on the cans, as well as tags such as "soul mate" or "friend." It was a brilliant strategy that led to enormous success for the corporation. So much so, in fact, that the brand has recently decided to take it a step further by including song lyrics on its product starting this spring, Labels and Labeling reported. Coca-Cola Vice President Racquel Harris Mason told the source that the organization is incredibly proud of the project and excited about its success, which she attributes to the people appreciating the "personal touch" of the campaign.

    Labels and Labeling added that Coca-Cola implementing this strategy indicated a transition in the labeling industry, with more brands leveraging personalization for product promotion.

    Tips for Creating Custom Packaging and Labeling
    The above examples are a just a few instances that portray the tremendous affect custom labels can have on the success of a product. Of course, it may be unrealistic or altogether impossible for some businesses to customize the label of each product with the personal name or other details of its target customers. And that's okay. There are many ways to harness the power of personalization when selling products and goods.

    The first step is to determine what actually appeals to the customer. When designing a custom label for products, rather than crafting a message or artwork that is self-serving, it can be beneficial to consider what the consumer would be more drawn to. For example, instead of using every space on the package to promote the company, sellers can dedicate some areas to unique, attention-grabbing content. 

    Another important aspect of personalizing product packaging, especially for individual sellers or small businesses, is making sure there is a return on investment.  Customization can play a valuable role in operations, but if the costs of executing the project exceed what it's actually worth, there isn't much point in pursuing it.

    To ensure personalized products and campaigns are cost-effective, organizations are highly encouraged to partner with a custom label print provider that can handle a wide variety of jobs. When choosing a supplier, companies should be careful to make sure the business can offer quick, affordable service, without sacrificing quality.

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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.