The importance of a product’s label in the consumer perception and purchase behavior

To think that a label is just a simple sticker attached to a product is a very narrow view of the true marketing function of one of the most important elements of a product. It´s label.

The label plays an important role in building the identity and credibility of a brand/product and also in consumer behavior. Together with packaging, the label is, in fact, one of the tangible aspects of the market positioning of a brand or product, it is the first form of visual communication of a product with the public and for this reason it has a great influence in the differentiation process and in the consumers purchase decision.

In addition, labels also influence the consumer’s experience and play a decisive role in a brand’s loyalty strategy, as they allow consumers to easily identify it and choose to buy again.

Design elements such as fonts and language types, colors and, not least, the type of materials used, help to affirm and consolidate the brand’s positioning in the consumer’s mind. Therefore, it is important to think about the perception we want the public to have of our brand or product. A gourmet organic tea, for example, will have a different visual identity than a tea that does not have these characteristics.

The informational function of the label

In addition to a strong marketing function, labels also have a very important informational function, as it is up to them to inform the consumer of relevant aspects about the product, namely, how to prepare and consume the product, nutritional information, shelf life, preparation tips and suggestions, form of conservation, allergens, etc.

Studies show that consumers develop a more positive perception if this type of information is easily found and for this reason, when creating a label, it is very important that there is a balance and attention to these two functions that must be inseparable, the marketing and the informational functions.

Adapt the label to the product and its packaging

The graphic industry provides different types of materials for label production, from different types of paper to white, transparent or metallic plastic. Choosing the most suitable material implies analyzing the products first, as each one may presuppose the use of a different material. For example, plain paper labels are not suitable for frozen foods as they easily degrade in contact with moisture, harming the brand image and preventing the consumer from accessing important information.

Thus, it is important to carefully consider the characteristics of the product, namely the temperature at which it is marketed, the type and format of the packaging, how it will be transported, stored and consumed. All these aspects help to understand which material is most suitable for labels and tags.

The suitability of the label to the packaging is also a very important issue that must be very well thought out. In fact, it is useless to create a very beautiful label if this is not the most appropriate solution for the type of packaging we have chosen for the product. Take, for example, the case of a rectangular label for a product whose packaging is cylindrical. It often does not work well because it makes it difficult to see certain elements or information contained in the label.

It is for these reasons that, in the process of creating a label, it is very important to take into account the format and material of which the packaging is made of before taking any decision so that these elements are combined in a balanced way.

Tailor the label to the consumer’s needs

As mentioned above, in addition to a marketing function that, ultimately, aims to appeal to the audience’s emotions, arouse their attention and make them identify with the brand’s values, labels also have a functional and informational purpose. They need to have legible and properly arranged data for the consumer, to help them evaluate and decide whether or not to buy the product. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the main decisive factors at the time of purchase are present on the label.

It is a good practice to highlight the main features of the product and value the essential information to draw consumer attention and build loyalty to the product or brand.

Don’t forget that labels have a great marketing and communication power and for this reason they can substantially add value to your products, but they must be adapted to the needs of the brand’s target audience to increase its probability of adhesion. Thus, in the label creation process, it is crucial to invest some time doing research to understand what consumers expect to find on the label or product packaging.

The products “behavior” on the point of purchase shelves

When developing/creating a package or a label for a product, it is very important to understand how it will “behave” in the real world, that is, on the shelves of the stores where the product will be available to the buyers/consumers. Will it stand out from competing products? Will it grab consumers’ attention? Will the graphic and informational elements be readable enough?

In the creative process it is important to look for a harmonious arrangement of the various elements that make up the design of the label or packaging. You have to ensure that consumers will be able to read what is written. Here it is essential not to create visual noise therefore it is important to use the available space well to place the images, words and logos.

Packaging pre-tests serve exactly this purpose, that is, to understand how the product will actually look when displayed on store shelves. Unfortunately, there are those who ignore the importance of testing the packaging or label in a real context, which, in many cases, proves to be a bad decision, especially when you are going to produce a large print run.

Mandatory information on labels

When designing a label or packaging, it is important to know in advance what information, by law, must be included. This issue is particularly important when the product is sold in different markets/countries, as the legislation often differs depending on the country, thus forcing adjustments so that the product does not encounter any entry barriers in these countries.

All data and information that appear on tags and labels are inspected, which is why legislation must be taken seriously to avoid unnecessary inconvenience.

In food labeling there are elements that, by law, must be included, namely, the name of the product; the table of ingredients and nutritional values, place of origin identification, net weight, batch and expiration date, form of preparation and conservation, use/consumption restrictions, manufacturer’s brand and in the case of imported products the identification of the importer.

We hope to have brought some value to this article on the things to consider when creating/designing labels and packaging for your products.

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