What is Product Labeling

One of the most important parts of production is labeling. A manufactured product is yet to be complete without appropriate labeling. The label of a product is used to properly communicate the value and information of your product to customers.

Man Reading a Product Label in the Supermarket

In fact, it’s a bridge that stands between your brand and customers; it informs them if the product is suitable for their needs. So if you want to experience your sales skyrocket, you need to focus on making the best out of your product labeling. This will make them stand out on the shelves amidst other manufacturers’ products.

In this article, we will elaborate more on product labels, discussing what they are, the types, benefits, why is labeling important, and every essential detail.

What is Product Labeling?

Product labeling is the attachment of a label to a product packaging or container. The label will contain information about the product. It provides details about the product, such as ingredients, nutritional facts, how-to-use, etc.

There is a common misconception about product labeling and product packaging. In the ordinary sense they might seem the same, but they are different. Actually, product labels are a part of product packaging.

Woman Attaching a Label on Product Packaging
Source: iStock

Packaging is synonymous to branding; it includes information like the business logo, colors, contact details, etc. Labeling is basically about the information of a particular product. This means that if a brand produces 2 types of milk, the packaging can be the same, but the labels will be different. Also, there are laws governing product labeling, especially for food and consumables.

What are Product Labels Made Of?

Generally, product labels can be made with any material that can be printed or written on. Most times, labels are done on paper or a polymer material. However, paper seems to be the most commonly used material, and it can be designed in various textures and finishes. Sometimes, they are coated with polymer layers for water resistance.

Other materials used for labeling of products are plastic, foil, latex, and fabric. Other times, it could be the combination of all these materials. In choosing the best material to use, it boils down to the kind of products it will be attached to and the elements it will be exposed to.

Types of Product Labels

The major types of product labels are in 3 categories – brand, grade, and informative label. Each of them is unique in its functions.

Brand label

Brand labels serve as a brand itself. It’s commonly used when the business is well-known and trusted, so the company uses the brand name as a label. So, if you want to start a retail business, this is not the best label for you. This product label is often used in conjunction with the brand’s logo, and trademark. A popular example is Honda. The reputation of the company is all the information customers need to make purchasing decisions.

Honda Brand Label

Grade Label

This label is often used when the product has different quality levels. Oftentimes, the grade is determined by company production standards or industry regulatory standards. Commonly used terms are alphabets like A, B, C, D, numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, or words like, Good, Better, or Best.

This label is often used when the product has different quality levels. Oftentimes, the grade is determined by company production standards or industry regulatory standards. Commonly used terms are alphabets like A, B, C, D, numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, or words like, Good, Better, or Best.

Informative Label

This label includes all the information customers could need, such as the product manufacturer, where it was made, what ingredients are used, direction on how and when to use, manufacturing and expiry dates, etc. For this reason, it is sometimes called Descriptive Label.

Good Informative Label
Good Informative Label

Types of Labeling in Marketing

There are different types of labeling and understanding the differences and use of each type will help you decide the best option for your products.

  • Shelf Label: Also known as shelf tag or shelf edge label. Just as the name implies, this type of marketing labeling is usually fixed to the edge of shelves in the store. They serve similar purposes as supermarket price tags. A shelf product label can be made of paper, metal, or plastic, and can be fixed to a shelf using magnets or screws.
  • Dry Peel Label: This label is not very effective, as it involves using an adhesive to glue it to the container. After a while, the adhesive will lose its firmness, making the label to be peeled off the surface of the container easily.
  • Shrink Label: Also known as shrink sleeve label. It’s made of polymer plastic film, which is usually wrapped around an entire packaging, and shrunk with heat until it tightens firmly to the packaging. The heat shrinking method is used to make the labels stay attached to the packaging or container.
  • Reseal Label: Just as the name suggests, this label helps in resealing the container after it’s opened. The label is attached on top of the product packaging, and after it’s opened, the label reseals it.
  • Pressure-Sensitive Label: This is one of the widely used types of labeling in marketing. It’s made of a face stock that’s composed of a liner and adhesive. This type of label is commonly applied on product containers like bottles, jars, and tubes.
  • In-Mold Label: This is a unique type as the label is literally molded into the packaging or container. The label is made like others with plastic, but afterwards, it goes through a process called thermoforming (also known as injection molding). This results in a look as if the label is part of the container. It doesn’t look like a separate part attached to the packaging.

Essential Elements of a Product Label

To be a good product label, it must have some essential elements, which includes:

  • Brand Name: This is very compulsory. It lets customers know who they are buying from. When they do and get interested in your product, they become loyal to your brand, which results in more sales.
  • Product Name: The first words customers read is the name of a product, meaning that it must be on the label. Usually, the product name doesn’t come alone, it comes with a brief description to inform customers of what the product can do.
  • Series Name: This is very important if the product is part of a series. It’s not necessary that it’s boldly written in large fonts like the brand and product name, but it must be clear enough for customers to notice.
  • Packaging Size: Depending on some location, packaging size is essential. Customers should be informed of the size and weight of product they are buying. This can be helpful especially for recommended products, as well as foods and beverages.
  • Contact Information: Want to know how to increase foot traffic in retail stores? Include your contact details in the packaging. This will help customers locate your store to get more products, ask questions, and get first-hand solutions to complaints. It also assists government agencies to locate your company if there’s any issue with your product.
  • Barcode: Sometimes called Universal Product Code (UPC). It represents data in a visual, machine-readable form that makes it easy for retailers to know product information. This includes prices, manufacturing dates, tracking of the products in the warehouse, etc.
  • Quality Certifications: For specialized industries, there are organizations that assess the quality of products and certify them. Your product label should include the certification gained from the industry regulator body.

Functions of Product Labeling in Marketing

Product labeling has many functions, especially if you are just starting a small business and want your products to stand out among competitors’. The functions and advantages of labeling in marketing include:

  • Provide Information: Labels serve as information provider to customers. They can simply read the label to understand if the product meets their needs or not. This ensures informed decision making and makes the process faster.
  • Help Customers Compare Goods: Customers prefer selecting amidst several options. They will always choose products with better quality and this is done by assessing various products labels, comparing and differentiating them to select the better option.
  • Organized Product Categorization: By specifying the different quality of products allow customers to make informed decisions. Using grade labels inform customers of the classes of products, making them choose their specified grade.

Why is Labeling Important in Marketing

The importance of labeling in marketing is numerous. Let’s explore the major importance one after the other.

  • Increased Sales: A good label gives your product and brand a good reputation, which results in increased sales, especially if you have tight competitors. Given that you are successful in having attractive labels, more potential buyers will be captivated to try out your products.
  • Identifications: Labels give products their identity, starting from the brand name, product name, product description, series, etc. These are what makes your products unique from others. For example, in a supermarket shelf, there are many products and brands, but labels ensure easier and faster identification.
  • Provide Instructions: Crucial information like how-to-use and ingredient compositions of products are written on labels. These are important information that helps to use the products appropriately.
  • Prevent Allergic Reactions: Using the wrong products like food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic are prone to causing allergies. But with the information provided via the labels, customers will be able to ascertain if the products are safe for them.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Product labeling gives you freedom from legal pressure. Complying with industry regulations of attaching informative labels on products saves you from bigger problems that can be costly. When your product is misbranded, regulatory organizations will inspect your facility, and when they notice that your products are not labeled, there are repercussions.

ZhSunyco Electronic Shelf Label

Today, there is a more effective and efficient way of displaying product information rather than using paper labels. This development was made because paper labels are not usually very legible and the information on them can become stale, for example, the company could have moved to another location.

Nowadays, electronic shelf labels (ESLs) are best used as they perform the function and offer the importance of the traditional product labels, and in fact, they do more. Electronic shelf labels, which are also known as electronic tags or digital shelf labels provide more information than paper labels can display, providing customers with more information to make decisions.

ZhSunyco is a worldwide remarkable electronic shelf manufacturer that focuses on helping manufacturers streamline and boost their business activities. Our ESLs are uniquely created to integrate with your business management. This helps to reduce your expenses, achieve more with less human labor, and increase your profit tremendously.

ZhSunyco Electronic Shelf Labels
Source: ZhSunyco

Do you want to optimize your product labeling through the best and most dynamic method, contact us today to get started.

FAQ about Labeling of Products

  • How Long Should Product Labels Last?

A good product label should be able to last through the product service life. Also, the label of products should be able to withstand conditions that the packaging or containers are exposed to. For example, a water bottle label should be able to resist immersion into ice water.

  • Product Packaging Label vs Price Label

Product packaging is the material and design used to encase and present a product. It includes the container, box, and wrapping used to hold the product, as well as the graphics and logo on the product. On the other hand, a price label is a tag or sticker that includes the basic information about a particular product. It tells customers all they need to know about the product.

  • Are Product Labels Different from Stickers?

Oftentimes, labels can be referred to as stickers. But labels usually depend on other information to give it meaning or context. Stickers, on the other hand, don’t necessarily need additional information on the items they are attached to.

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