Labels: A powerful tool

31st January 2014 - Fine Cut

In today's increasingly digitised world, many may think hard copy has had its day. 

However, while innovative computing technology may have transformed the way by which many sectors advertise and market their products, interact with customers and carry out their day-to-day operations, there is still a place for more traditional methods.

Even now, the power of labels cannot be underestimated. With many companies focusing increasing amounts of time, money and effort into more modern strategies, it is arguably more important than ever that resources reserved for the more traditional ones are appropriately - and effectively - utilised.

Our dedicated team at Fine Cut are here to help you with all aspects of the production process, right from design through to the finishing touches, to ensure that your label has the greatest impact possible. 

But what evidence is there that a good label is really worth it?

A strong message

When people think of a product that uses the power of labelling to get across a strong message, there is one in particular that springs to mind - cigarette packaging. 

While the debate about branded versus unbranded packets may continue, most individuals will be familiar with the messages on cigarette packets, urging people to kick the habit - whether that takes the form of a verbal warning or a stomach-churning picture.

A scientific study published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that graphic warning labels can indeed help to improve smokers' ability to recall the health risks of cigarettes. It didn't just put people off the behaviour, but also made them remember a message - something that can be transferred to other contexts with a different message.

In another study by Cornell University food and brand laboratory researchers, it was revealed that organic labels could in fact skew buyers perceptions of food when making purchasing decisions. Referred to as the 'health halo effect', the phenomenon is also evidence of the power of a strong brand, with the connotations of just the word 'organic' able to have such an impact. That is, a brand and a message delivered via a label in a traditional retail environment.

Spurring action

A strong message given via a label may not only educate; it could also cause the consumer to make a change.

Research from  Washington State University (WSU) found that while diet and exercise were the primary factors in helping an individual to lose weight, a third influence was reading the labels on food packaging.

"People who are trying to lose weight want to know what they're buying and preparing, and many do better if they use labels to find what they need to know," commented economist from the university Bidisha Mandal, assistant professor in the WSU School of Economic Sciences.

As anyone who has ever tried will know, losing weight is a challenge and if research shows that something as a simple as a label could help with this, then arguably the humble label's power should not be underestimated.

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