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What’s in a Label? How the Right Labeling Can Sway Customer Decision

August 13, 2016

Even though we’re told not to, we’re all guilty of judging a book by its cover from time to time. The same goes for product labels that we see in the store. If we see a label that is attractive and easy to read, we’re more likely to pick up the product to take a closer look. If the label is dull, difficult to read, and unattractive, we’ll probably move right past it and choose the colorful, aesthetically pleasing product instead.

Product Labels Should Tell Us a Story About the Product

Labeling on products is generally supposed to make us feel good about our decision to purchase any item. Using appropriate colors will attract the right people for your brand and set you apart from your competitors. Labels should tell the consumer a story about the product, meant to create an irresistible urge to buy. If a story isn’t clear or exciting, the consumer will walk right past it. If the consumer is shopping online, they’ll keep scrolling for something more eye-catching.

Research shows that about a third of decision making is based on packaging, which includes the typography and coloring used on the label, and the physical aspects of the packaging. Many consumers are drawn to products that are marketed as sustainable or environmentally-friendly, so sustainable or reusable packaging is especially important.

How the Buying Process Works

Choosing the right product often involves six stages, including need recognition, search for information, product evaluation, product choice and purchase, post-purchase use and evaluation, and disposal of the product.

First, consumers have to feel the need for a product. Often times, consumers don’t even know that they want or need something until they see advertisements for it. The same goes for product labels; even if a customer isn’t shopping for a particular item, they may feel the need to purchase it if they’re drawn to it by its amazing labeling.

Making the Decision to Purchase

The second stage includes the search for information, where consumers do their own research before making a purchase to ensure that they are acquiring the right product for them. The third stage involves product evaluation. Labels can encourage consumers to concentrate on specific characteristics so that the consumer thinks that certain features are more important than others.

The fourth stage is product choice and purchase, where the consumer chooses the product that they want to buy and they purchase it. This stage may also involve shopping around for the best deal on the product. Certain labels may showcase other selling points, like, for instance, that a product is on sale or offers a money-back guarantee,

Satisfaction and Disposal of a Product

The fifth stage is post purchase use and evaluation. If a customer is satisfied with the product, they might tell everyone they know how awesome the product is. If not, they may try to return it or leave negative reviews.

The sixth stage is disposal of a product. If a product’s label states that the product is 100% recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable, consumers will be more likely to purchase the product again in the future, as long as they were satisfied with the product’s functionality and disposal.

The labeling used on a product is nearly as important as the quality and functionality of the product itself. Customers like to see that a company put time and effort into making their product look good. If it seems like the label took time and effort to create, then it must be a quality product, too! 

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