What Do You Do When Your Competitor is An Inch Away?

On a typical grocery store shelf, dozens of competitive products are residing in close quarters, inches apart, vying to be selected and put in the shopping cart. Competition is fierce.

The goal of having a product in a store is to have the product be purchased, not to just stay on the shelves. The question is – what is the main thing that comes into play when a consumer is looking at a shelf of similar products and chooses one to buy? Along with popularity, price, and ingredients, one of the main components of the choice is based on the products’ visual appeal. Does it look good? Does it look better than the others on the shelf?

Other than the actual product inside (if you can see it), the products’ label will enhance the visual appeal. Businesses often spend a lot of time brainstorming for the perfect label design that represents the product as well as the company or brand. Don’t minimize the importance of the product label to increase your sales! Here are a couple tips for food product label design to help your products get through the checkout lane more often than your competitor.

Know Your Audience

You need to know what your customers are looking for before you begin to draft design ideas. Food labels must do what every other type of product label does, but much more. It must promote fresh and quality ingredients, sanitary processes, and convey a delicious taste. You must understand the expectations of your audience. If they want an Italian dish, they’re looking for Italian colors (green, white, and red) and Italian images or lettering. If they want a healthy meal, they may want to see whole grains and vegetables. You can also capture a snapshot of your target audience on the label – think of a baby on baby food, or a tough cowboy on beef jerky packages.

Think about other aspects of your target audience, such as income level. Therefore, an economy can of soup is packaged to look generic, while a higher-end name-brand soup includes high-definition images, fancy lettering, and well-known logos. Relatively the same product packaged and labeled differently for different customers. There are many other things you could learn about your audience, take some time to study and think about it.

Know Your Competitors

Audience expectations can really help you pinpoint the type of label design you should move toward. But there’s another thing to take into consideration – what are your competitors doing? If they’re all following a common practice, such as making Italian product packages using red, green, and white colors, then the whole grocery aisle starts to look the same.

You want to stand out and get noticed – so you need to think differently. This isn’t to say you should ignore audience expectations, but you should meet them in a new and eye-catching way.
Whether it is a quote, picture, or object that represents your product, it should be straight forward and easily recognizable. It should trigger a certain emotion – like reminding the customers about a warm, home-cooked meal, or the great spice of a Mexican salsa they had on their vacation. Your product should communicate to the audience both how you will fulfill their expectations, but also show how you’re different than the product next to you.

The Finished Label

Once you’ve developed a label design, you’ll need to get it produced. This is another decision that could greatly impact customer response to the product. If the label isn’t printed well or the material looks cheap, it could cause the customer to choose your competitor.

There are a lot of variables that come into play when custom printing product labels. Companies such as Columbine Label Company in Denver, Colorado, can take your label design and determine the best process to use for the label printing. They’ll decide based on several questions, such as: What will the packaging be? Is the product hot or cold? What is the shelf life of the product? They will determine what printing material and printing processes to use to make sure the label looks great over time.

The best next step is to contact Columbine Label and have them offer a quote and suggestions. They’ll help you get your eye-catching label on that product so you can get it sold!