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The importance of labelling

Product labeling is essential for any business that sells consumer products. But why? Sure, certain industries require product labels by law, but is there anything more to them?

Absolutely! When used right, labeling helps promote sales and reach new customers. And in this article, you will find out just how to go about this.

Rectangle mirror silver label applied to a glass bottle containing blackcurrant liqueur with a stack of sticker sheets next to a tilted glass

What is the purpose of labelling?

Labels serve an important function. At face value, product labels communicate basic information about what a product is, what it contains and how to use it. You will often find nutritional information, a batch number, and expiry dates on labels.

The information presented on a label is often regulated by the law, especially when it comes to food items or potentially hazardous or poisonous products. Labels are usually required by law. Especially if you are selling food items, you need to know what labels you need to inform and protect consumers. If in doubt, you can checkout the UK Product labelling law.

This not only keeps customers safe, it also allows them to make an informed purchase decision. With the complete information printed on your labels, your customers are more likely to trust your brand.

However, you can use custom labels in so many different ways. When used right, labelling allows for the identification of your products and can really boost the perception of your brand.

What are the benefits of labelling?

When we look at labels in more detail, they are essentially an effective sales promoting tool that can help you spread awareness for your brand and products.

Create a great first impression

Product labels can give your business a more professional look. The truth is, when it comes to making a purchase, we do judge a book by its cover. And an attractive label can encourage potential buyers. A professional-looking product presentation ignites trust and confidence, even if you have just started out.

Make them match your branding

Labelling can also be used to create a unique brand identity for your company. By using creative fonts, colours and the right label material, you can make your product labels stand out from the competition. This will help customers remember your product and increase brand loyalty.

Differentiate product ranges

Why not use your labels to differentiate between similar products? Not only can you create a stunning aesthetic, but make it super easy for customers to spot which products are part of your limited edition or premium range. (Pssst, holographic labels are the perfect way to add some extra pizzazz and make your product stand out).

Highlight unique selling points

You might need product labels to inform customers of standard things like ingredients and expiry dates. But you do not have to stop there. You can also highlight the unique selling points of a particular product. This means customers do not even have to deep-dive into your label. Simply add three product highlights to the front of your label.

What are the four types of labels?

When you are starting to look into labels, you soon realise that it can be a whole new world. Which material is best for you? What kind of adhesive do you need? Do your custom labels have to be waterproof? How will you use your labels? What type of label do you want?

Below, you will find a brief overview of each type and include plenty of examples. After this article, you will know exactly what type of label you will need for your product packaging.

Descriptive label

Descriptive labels are just as they sound: it describes what the product is and what it does. It should give your customers exactly the information they need to know in order to use your product correctly.

These types of labels aim to describe what the product is and what it does. This includes the product's features and the product's usage. For example, if you have a new type of shampoo that is targeted at people with dry scalp, your label might say something like "New and improved formula for dry scalp."

Informational label

Informative labels are, again, exactly what they sound like. The goal of these labels is to provide the consumer with information about the product. They are more detailed than descriptive labels and include the expiry date, manufactured date as well as additional instructions

This type of label is often found on food items, as it is required by law in many countries. For example, a common informative label is the nutrition label which tells the consumer the calorie content, fat content, and other nutritional information about the product.

Grade label

Grading labels are a bit more complicated. They describe the grade, category, or level of the product. These grades vary depending on the type of product you are buying. They can be a normal label or even a sticky seal attached to the packaging.

It can be anything from a food hygiene rating to second-hand products that come in different categories or types of a product. British salt, for example, categorizes products based on what industry they are suited for. These labels help consumers compare entire product ranges and make the right decisions.

Brand label

On the surface, brand labels can be as simple as stating your brand's name on your products. But this is where the real fun starts. This type of label is called brand label because it can be used to create a distinct identity for your product's brand and allow for easy product identification.

Last but not least, branding labels are all about creating an emotional connection between the consumer and the product. You can use label materials and designs to share your business's beliefs and values with your customers and enable them to connect with your brand.

Biodegradable paper sheet label with fruits and berries design applied to a cardboard tube next to additional sheet labels

What is the difference between packaging and labelling?

Packaging and labelling are often confused with one another, but they are two very different things. The main difference between packaging and labelling is that packaging is what you typically use to contain, wrap and protect your product, whereas labelling is applied to or printed onto the packaging and shares product information with a potential customer.

You can absolutely make both work together. Stick to a similar color scheme for both, you label and your packaging. You can even choose a material that works well with your packaging; biodegradable paper labels /biodegradable-paper-labels/and cardboard packaging are one of our favourites.

Are logos and labels the same?

No. Sometimes we think of something like a fashion label when we hear the term "label". But essentially, a label is a printed piece of paper or vinyl with an adhesive backing.

A logo, on the other hand, is a symbol that represents your business. It can be a combination of graphics and text that functions as a visual shortcut. By simply looking at your logo, customers will think of your brand and what it stands for. You can find out more about the power of logo stickers in our article "How logo stickers can boost your branding in 2022"

Now, your label design should absolutely include your logo, just as you can see in the image below. You can find more inspiration by checking out our logo labels page or even browse label design in Graphic, our free online design tool.

Clear eco friendly labels with munch design applied to a food container and a cardboard coffee cup

Why are packaging labels important?

With so many different types of labels, what makes packaging labels special?

Depending o the nature of your business, your product packaging is the first thing a consumer sees or represents the first physical interaction a customer has with your company. Use them to:

  • improve the perception of your product

  • brand bland packaging boxes

  • create a professional appearance

  • secure your packaging

Just look at how Munch used their labels in the image above. Their packaging label not only brands a simple cardboard box, it also functions as a seal that protects their desserts in transit.

And that is all you need to know about the importance of labelling. Are you ready to elevate your business with labels? Or do you want to learn more? Then these reads are perfect for you: