You’ve got a fantastic product, fun and functional packaging, and a captivating brand image. Now all you need is a label. Do you know how to choose the right label company for the job? It may seem like a simple task, but the wrong choice can result in a label that fades, wears, or falls off—or a label that just doesn’t arrive in time to meet your product launch schedule.
Far too often, the list of criteria used for choosing a label printer ends after one item: convenience. Companies sometimes treat their labels like an afterthought, choosing the quick and simple method of finding a site where they can upload their artwork and get their labels soon after. No fuss, no muss, right?
We’re not here to knock that experience. Convenience is great. Everyone is multitasking these days, and there’s a lot to say for services that save you time and frustration.
But your product label deserves more than a few minutes’ thought.
Your label is the face of your brand. It’s the first thing customers see when they spot your product on the shelves, and it’s what they see each time they pick up your product. Your label instructs your customers how to use your product, protects users, and tells the story of your brand.
Your label is too important to settle for shoddy material and weak adhesives that will crumble and fail at the slightest temperature change or the least bit of moisture. Your brand’s reputation for quality is too hard-won to risk with a label company that won’t go out of their way to help you look your best. And your time is too precious to waste waiting for answers to your questions.
So, for sure, consider convenience when choosing a custom label printing company. But to get a great label that does exactly what you need it to do, look for these other qualities, as well:
1. Breadth of Services
Many online label printing services are fairly limited in the styles and materials they offer. The question is: Will those options work for your use case?
For example, if your product frequently encounters damp environments (such as a bottle of beer would), you will need material and adhesive that resists moisture. If you plan to attach your label to outdoor equipment, you will need material that can stretch and shrink without losing its shape.
Limited options from a label printer can also squelch your creativity. In today’s fiercely competitive retail climate, your brand needs every edge it can get to stand out on shelves and appeal to distracted shoppers. The same old rectangular label may not get the job done.
A good label printer will help bring your design inspiration to life, with a range of custom options including:
- Customized shapes and sizes.
- An extended color palette.
- A variety of materials and finishes to choose from.
- Multiple label formats, including rolls, sheets, and stacks.
- Multiple printing processes, to ensure the best alignment with your project’s needs.
2. A Partner, Not an Order-Taker
You shouldn’t have to be an expert on label printing to get a great-looking label that performs flawlessly. That’s your printer’s responsibility.
Your label company should have the experience to offer guidance and recommendations. If there’s a better way to get the result you’re looking for – more affordable, higher-quality, more durable – your printer should let you know.
It should be easy to get in touch with your label company. Whether by email, phone, or website, you need your label company to be responsive.
Consider the case of Noon Whistle Brewing Company. The Chicago-area beer maker specializes in barrel-aged brews. As soon as the barrels are opened, a lot must happen in a very short amount of time. The craft brewer required a label printer that was nimble and available on almost a moment’s notice. They did not have time to wait for voicemails to be returned.
Noon Whistle found the perfect match in the Label Printers.
“They always get it done,” founder and brewmaster Paul Kreiner noted. “[The Label Printers have] even taken the time to run the labels to me personally when we were up against a time crunch.”
Some label applications are deceptively tricky. We mentioned environmental conditions above. Other factors to consider include:
- How frequently and how roughly your products are handled.
- The risk of electrical discharge.
- The presence of damaging solvents.
- Regulatory requirements (such as those faced by healthcare organizations).
- Specialized uses, such as brand protection and product tracking.
If your label fails to perform, it could harm your brand and even hurt your end-users. The right label printing company knows what works for different applications, and if presented with a challenge, will find the right solution instead of settling for “good enough.”
Label printing is like any manufacturing process in that it can be wasteful, or it can be done in a way that conserves material and energy and makes as little impact as possible on our environment.
If limiting your environmental footprint is important to your brand, you should know that there are some label printers out there that take sustainability seriously. Eco-conscious label printers:
- Give their customers access to recycled and renewable label materials.
- Consolidate print runs to reduce waste, diverting what little waste they do generate away from landfills.
- Ship labels in smaller, lighter packaging that requires less fuel to transport.
- Practice energy efficiency. (For example, not leaving lights and equipment running unnecessarily.)
- Partner with environmentally friendly suppliers.
- Have a sustainability team or a designated sustainability point person.
Granted, it’s difficult for a manufacturer to have no environmental footprint at all. But when you choose a label company that puts real effort into sustainability, everybody benefits: your company, our communities, and the planet.
Your label is one of the first things your customer will notice about your product. Taking the time to make sure you get a label that looks great and performs perfectly is a worthwhile investment that will pay off, over and over again.
Discover a label company that meets all five of these critical characteristics. Contact the Label Printers today.