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Product Attraction Starts (and Sometimes Ends) With the Label

By: James Lowry and Mark Lusky
Posted: July 16, 2012, from the September 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Your label also can be used to promote a charitable or altruistic endeavor—from feeding starving kids to contributing to various disease-fighting efforts. Alternatively, label messaging can serve as a platform for spreading the word about a particular position or platform in alignment with company philosophy and values.

3. Make the “Fine Print” Legible to the Visually Impaired as Well as the Eagle-eyed

Easily readable labels send a message that the product manufacturer is sensitive to the needs of the consuming public. American Foundation for the Blind 2010 statistics state that 21.5 million American adults age 18 and older reported experiencing some level of vision loss or impairment. While an aging population contributes to some of this, many other conditions impact younger people as well.

Of course, there are limitations because of the label’s footprint—but consider ways to maximize readability in a confined space. Big and bold keywords such as “organic” and “all natural” can help, but make sure that consumers can access information to support the claim as well.

Even if the potential buyer is young and has 20/20 eyesight, that person may be buying for an elderly family member or friend. This is truly a case where the lowest common denominator of legibility for everyone can serve a brand well.

4. Make it Accurate, Grammatically Correct and Typo Free

Surprisingly, this is the Achilles heel of many otherwise excellent labels. For reasons that confound grammarians and spelling bee champions alike, information quality often gets sacrificed in the name of quantity. Perhaps it’s due in part to “big data” overload and the prevalence of texting and e-mailing, where improper grammar, spelling and typos are the norm.

None of this, however, makes label content mistakes acceptable. First of all, for a consumer initially attracted to a label’s look-and-feel, finding a mistake can be the sole reason for rejecting a product. In that consumer’s mind, if the label is flawed—connoting lack of attention to detail or competence—the product itself may be sub-standard.

Of course, it’s proven that many consumers either don’t notice—or care about—mistakes. But do you want to take the chance of winding up on Jay Leno’s “Headlines” segment, where he identifies flawed writings across the country?

Making sure the label accurately represents what’s in the product in a professional and flawless manner should be a high priority. When it comes to proofreading, once is never enough. Make sure multiple sets of eyes review the information, and don’t forget to proof revisions.

5. Make it Unique