An effective label design can grab the consumers attention.
Let face it, the label on a product packaging is your last chance (and often the first) to capture the consumer. Why not encourage them to linger and absorb all the product is offering? You only have 2-3 seconds.
Customers are influenced by a myriad of factors including the price, product size (or perceived size), structural packaging (closures/resealing), appealing photo’s and much more. But here I will focus on creating a label design that will influence the bottom line. This checklist is applicable for all product packaging from food to pharmaceuticals.
When entering the retail environment customers are likely to be in one of three mindsets:
- on a mission
- in browsing mode
- in a another world entirely.
So before considering the label design start with considering:
The design should position the product in the category where there is a gap.
Research the competitor products and implement lessons they have already learned. This can save a truck load of money so examine all aspects of the competitors label or packaging design.
Identify triggers and embrace your primary target audience. Did you know first impressions form in less than a second? First impressions last and they are also quite contagious. A good first impression of product on shelf will impact on the connection to the brand.
The right label for a product can make a big impact on the sales. Appeal to the heart of your core consumer and speak the language they can relate to. Finding your target market pain points and making a connection via the label design is a process. It’s not a science but a skill.
Packaging design is ONE OF THE FOUNDATIONS of your brand image. It should inspire promotional concepts for advertising, signage, banners, flyers and all aspects of your marketing toolbox.
OK so here it is… The Label Design Checklist:
One of the biggest trends today is the consumers’ desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The values of a brand need to be genuine and immediately understood.
Knowing what a brand stands for will influence the consumer more than anything else. Even the price. Many consumers will actively seek environmentally sustainable brands, Australian only brands, natural or organic brands.
There is no doubt that the value of the brand is more important today than ever. Think about brands that have risen to fame very quickly: Nudie, Freedom Foods, Thank you, Who Gives A Crap and I Quit Sugar. All of these have a identified the values they stand for and are aware of customer perception.
Emotional impact is critical to connect with the consumer. Once you are clear on the brand values then identify what context will your product labels be seen in?
- Will it appear as a megabrand appealing to the masses? Be a boutique specialty brand, budget conscious economy level or luxurious high-end?
- Will a theme connect best to your customers – vintage, natural, retro, clinical, medicinal, hand crafted?
- Fresh ideas and being socially minded are a great way to capture the heart of younger consumers.
Conveying the unique selling proposition is key to every sale. Not only does the USP engender brand loyalty but it can disrupt the buying cycle and win you a new customer. In this case the botanicES is infused with the key USP ‘natural caffeine’. This is a truly unique is a natural skincare range which utilizes coffee bean extract to reawaken skin. The beans are sourced from a coffee farm in the Byron Bay hinterland, on Australia’s east coast.
So the unique selling proposition is that it is infused with Australian coffee extract.
4. GIVE MORE
Clearly highlight real product benefits. On the front label display only the best. Don’t overload with information as it will be too small to read. These may be things like:
- Skincare: No Synthetic Fragrance, No Parabens, No Harsh Chemicals, No SLS, No Animal Testing
- Food: Cholesterol Free, High in Anti-Oxidents, Good Source of Fibre, Preservative Free
5. BE KIND
Being a responsible brand is highly
attractive to consumers. An endorsement graphic can make or break a sale for many consumers. There are SO MANY it is hard to list but hear are a few examples:
- Societal: Fair-trade Approved, Supporter of Planet Ark, Buying Branded Milk
- Animal Treatments: Grass Fed, Free Range, Palm Oil Free, Vegan, Ethical Fishing
- Environmental: Fair-trade Approved, Supporter of Planet Ark, Forestry Conservation
Brands with a thoughtful attitude are growing. Brands which harm the environment, people or animals are on the nose. Using a symbol of what you endorse on the labels (front and back) will influence many consumers.
6. APPEAL TO THE SENSES
Consider how you will appeal to the all senses of your consumer. People and animals have five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. Taste is essential for food and beverage products. Scent is primary for beauty products whether they have a fragrance or are fragrance free. Touch is highly valued with products like toilet paper and tissues.
7. TELL YOUR STORY
Remember to utilise the brand story on the label design and in all forms of marketing. I have a whole article ‘What Is A Brand Story’ sharing the importance and details for creating your own.
Is your label design compliant with the labelling laws of your country? Food and beverage labels in Australia need to adhere to the Food Standards Code: Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). The FSANZ user guide should referred to in conjunction with other user guides developed for the labelling standards specific to your state. Often these are distributed via the State or Territory Health Department.
Cosmetic and pharmaceutical products must comply with TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) regulations. You can view the Therapeutic Goods Order No. 92 – Standard for labels of non-prescription medicines here.
In addition, Australian food and beverage products need to adhere to the Country Of Origin Labelling (CoOL) User Guide.
Sure there are loads of online free label templates online but are they tailored to your brand values? Are they compliant with labelling regulations? For templates that remove all the stress check out the basic and premium range I offer.
9. FLEXIBLE SYSTEM
A well designed label will have a flexible system for a range of sizes and formats. Vertical, horizontal, small and skinny or wide and tall. This system should also be transferable to other packaging platforms. For example from a label to direct printing on film or pouch. A product is always transported in an outer box and the branding should connect here too.
Well designed labels will also function across a variety of marketing mediums – digital and print.
This range from Rainforest Bounty has three sizes. As you can see they all feel like they are from the same brand. The label family can easily expand into any format as there is a flexible design system.
10. BONUS TIP
Technically not ‘label design’ but reusable, unique or unusual structural packaging can have a massive impact – think resealing, closures, recyclability. NEWS FLASH!! Plastic is not popular so if you must use it make sure you promote ways to reuse your package.
By creating memorable experiences your brand can compete with the big players.
Yes, price is always going to influence the sale of a product. But the label design also can impact on sales. Whether converting a new customer to your brand or securing a repeat purchase pattern, the emotional connection to your brand is vital to survival.
Consumers do use their emotions to evaluate brands. They are influenced by personal experiences, values, age, income level and many other demographics. EVERYTHING about the way the product is presented should fulfil the needs and desires of the core customer.
If you found value in this article you may also be interested in my article, ‘5 Ways to Increase Sales for a Retail Brand’.
* Note: all examples in this article were designed by Evolve Brand Design.