Your goods are more than just products. When customers make a purchase, they're not just looking for a list of ingredients, they’re absorbing the subtle messages conferred by your product labels and the way you choose to brand your business.
Product labels don’t have to be all bells and whistles, especially if that’s not your brand image. But neglecting to use professional, eye-catching labels that reflect your business and the calibre of your products can significantly affect their value and the growth of your SME business.
According to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, 70% of consumers make their purchasing decisions in-store. Which means making sure your labels are well designed is crucial if you dream of seeing your products in large retail stores.
To help you navigate the world of branding and successfully market your business, here are five simple tips for designing labels and effectively presenting your SME products.
1) Key values
Before you get started on designing logos, reflect on the key values of your business. This will guide your branding process and provide a clearer picture of the things that actually shape your business. For example, does you business focus on locally sourced ingredients, or is it about providing a low-cost alternative? Does your business have a mission statement, like solving a particular social issue, or is it solely for profit? These questions will help you identify your business’ core principles and make it easier to decide on smaller details further down the line.
2) Think about your product
Without any knowledge of product labels, buying the right ones can be hard. A good example is to look at how small-scale brewers and winemakers label their bottles. These SME businesses will usually opt for strong, waterproof labels because they know their products encounter several temperature changes and a build-up of condensation before reaching the shelves. Keeping things like this in mind and considering every stage of the production process will help you choose which type of label you should be using.
3) Don’t go OTT
When designing your first product label, don’t make the same mistake as dozens before you and assume that a brightly coloured label and gaudy design will attract customers. For sure, a busy label with lots of colour will attract attention and build awareness in the short term. But it’s unlikely to build brand loyalty and help you create a brand image with longevity. Instead, what you should be doing is thinking carefully about each design decision and making sure each one has a specific rationale behind it.
For instance, blank spaces can be just as effective as words or illustrations. A minimalist design can convey a sense of sophistication and reflect the value of a high-end product. Thoughtfully made spaces improve readability too, which, seeing as businesses only have 90 seconds to make the right impression, is essential if you want to secure a purchase.
4) Don’t be boring
This might sound contradictory, but it’s important to toe the line between designing an overly complicated label and drawing attention to your product. Using colour in your design can help you attract attention—the right attention—and improve your chances of a customer noticing your product.
When customers are walking down the aisles, businesses have a very limited amount of time to grab their attention and encourage them to make a purchase. Coloured labels have been shown to engage customers for longer than their black and white counterparts. Specific colours have also been shown to evoke different responses. Energetic colours like red and yellow energise consumers and have been shown to increase appetite (think of those golden arches), and colours like blue and green are consistently used by brands to cultivate a sense of calm.
5) Consider your industry
Before designing your label, it’s always useful to research the competition and see if there are any noticeable themes running through their designs. Certain industries may use similar symbols to convey particular messages. For example, spicy food ranges tend to indicate heat using a row of chillies or flames. Printing labels in keeping with these industry-specific symbols will help you galvanise your position in the industry and make it easier for customers to trust you.
Using product labels is important for any SME business. Without building a brand or providing the right information, customers will struggle to recognise your products and be less likely to choose you over a competitor. Taking your time to design a label that reflects your brand, conveys the right messages and inspires trust will help you secure more purchases and win customer loyalty.