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If you are part of a mature brand, especially one that is well-known and loved by customers, then you know how critical it is to have an appealing and distinctive label on every product.

In fact, you know that your loyal customers have a strong appreciation for your labels. Its originality makes it easy to see on store shelves, but lately, you’ve been wondering if it’s time for an upgrade.

Make no mistake. Changing the company’s label is a major step, one that deserves some reflection and careful consideration. Missteps can be costly in more ways than one, so it is to the benefit of your brand to make a decision only after doing quite a bit of research.

Before you begin, it’s wise to give some thought to why it might be time to update your labels. Many companies do so in an effort to find a new way to delight their customers. An especially attractive or eye-catching label also might appeal to new customers. This motivation is common with brands that genuinely believe that their products make people’s lives easier and better. The people who own and work for the brand love the products, and they want to share this joy with others. Sometimes, a revamped label is necessary to convey this.

On the other hand, your brand might be thinking about updating its labels out of concern that your products just do not look as distinctive as they could. Is older, out-of-date labeling making your products look tired? Styles change fairly rapidly. Even if your labels were re-designed just a few years ago, they may already look stale.

It’s also possible that there have been significant improvements and updates to your products. If so, then it is smart to change your labels to reflect this. You definitely want both existing and potential customers to know all about the latest upgrades to your product, and a new label can certainly put forth this message.

Relabeling Is a Complex Choice

If you have been paying attention to marketing trends and those that relate to packaging in particular, then you have probably noticed a few things. Mainly, it’s common and expected for styles to come and go. Trends appear and disappear with almost the same high rate of speed. Your competitors may be switching up their labels every two or three years.

With all of this going on, it can be incredibly difficult for your brand to stay abreast of all the changes. Additionally, refreshing your company’s labels can be a long-term process. From the first basic concept changes to actually seeing those new labels on store shelves can require one year or longer. During that time, many packaging trends may come and go.

It is for reasons such as these that most companies do not do much in the way of re-branding every time the weather changes. Instead, they put a great deal of effort and hard work into designing a label that they love and that they believe will stand the test of time.

Unfortunately, any label can become outdated at some point, making the need to update an absolute necessity. Think of it as an evolutionary process rather than a revolutionary one. The process is slow, but the final product will be a noticeable improvement over what your brand had before.

Is It Time to Refresh Your Brand’s Labels?

If your gut is telling you that it is time for an update to your product labels, then it’s wise to take several things into consideration. When you are deciding about redoing your labels, think about each of these factors:

  • The heritage and history of your brand
  • The main goal of refreshing the label
  • The desires and needs of your existing customers
  • How effective your current label messaging is
  • What competitor’s labels look like
  • The retail environment in which your products are sold

If your brand is a well-established one, then you probably have a solid foundation as far as your strategic brand message. Performance data may highlight for you which messages worked well and boosted profits and which ones underperformed by comparison. Use this information and spend some reflecting on things such as your brand’s core message, the emotional appeal you would like your label to project, any aspects of your packaging that are particularly eye-catching or unique, and the most effective parts of your current labels.

Use these concepts to help you design new and improved labels.

For instance, think about the heritage and history of your brand. Where did it begin? How did it get from there to where it is today? Review past label designs to see if there are certain cornerstones to your brand’s message that you want to continue to include in your new labels. What steps can you take to ensure that your new labels will stand the test of time, at least for several years?

As you weigh the main goal of the label refresh, know that you are running some risks by making changes. However, there may be steps you can take that will minimize this risk. This means that you may not want to choose a new label design simply because it’s cool or looks great. The whole process is more complicated than that. A successful re-labeling depends upon going deeper than surface aesthetics. Do some research in an effort to determine how each of the prospective new labels will perform in the competitive marketplace. How will your existing customers react to the change?

In fact, trying to predict how existing customers will react to the new labels is central to the redesign process. How well do you really understand your customers and their perception of your products? Do they feel an emotional connection to your products? Are your products integrated with their lives? You definitely do not want a refreshed label to be off-putting to your customers, yet you know that it is time for a change. Accordingly, it is essential that you strike a balance between familiarity and moving forward into new territory.

How Effective Is Your Brand’s Message?

As you continue to consider whether or not it’s time to re-label your products, think about your brand’s current messaging. Does your brand have a central message? Is the brand’s message different from the customers’ perception of the message? If you and your customers agree on what your brand is and what it is not, then your messaging to date has been pretty effective. In your new labels, you’ll want to make certain that your brand’s message continues to come shining through.

Look at Competitors’ Labels

As you continue through this process, spend some time visiting stores in which your products are shelved alongside competing products. Which labels stand out the most on the shelf? What are some of the unique and eye-catching aspects of the designs? Is there an element in a competitor’s label from which you could draw inspiration? How could you improve upon it? How can you make your brand’s superior quality clearer to customers?

Retail Environment Plays a Role

Before finalizing the design of your new labels, think about how and where your products are displayed. Just like brands, retail stores frequently update and improve their layouts and how products are placed. How will this affect the perception of your products?

Are your products usually kept on a top or bottom shelf? Are your products small, giving them the potential to disappear in a sea of similar products? Will your products be kept behind glass? What is the lighting like in the stores where your products are sold? How will this affect the appearance of foil effects or embossing on your new labels?

When you visit stores to look at labels on competing products, be certain to explore how shelf placement and lighting affect how attractive and eye-catching the different labels are. How can you use things like display space and lighting to your advantage with your redesigned labels?

Considering a Refreshed Label

How do you know that it truly is time to redesign your brand’s label? Doing so may be necessary at any of these times:

  • A competing product emerges with confusingly similar packaging
  • It’s been years, even decades, since the last rebranding
  • The shape or size of the packaging is changing as well
  • New product benefits need to be introduced
  • A new formulation improves the product’s performance

Get Information on the Latest Design Trends

At Mid-Atlantic Packaging, we stay on top of the latest styles and trends in packaging. This makes it easier for us to provide reliable advice to clients who are considering updating their labels. Whether your brand is considering just a slight adjustment or wants to revamp their label from top to bottom, ask Mid-Atlantic Packaging for help today. Our design team takes the stress out of the process and helps to ensure that you are thrilled with the results.

Visit our custom packaging page to get your personalized quote.