Our customers share tips on how to get the most from stickers and labels

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Whether you promote in shops, at fairs or online, the presentation of your products speaks volumes about your business. And while the packaging is often only treated as a necessary way to protect and carry products, it’s a vitally important tool to stand out and create a memorable first experience with your brand.

Stand out with eye-catching labels and packaging.

Custom labels make your products recognisable and entice people to take a closer look. A recent Luminer consumer survey found that 68% of shoppers notice peel-off labels because they “stick out” from the package.

But standing out is just one step. If your products are on a stand or shop shelf, you only have a few seconds to convince people to take a closer look. So, it’s worth making every bit of text work to explain what the product is and its benefits.

The same Luminer survey also found that 60% of shoppers are unlikely to buy a product when the label doesn’t provide enough information.

Expert advice for designing labels and stickers.

In the following sections, small business owners share their experiences of making interactions with their businesses more memorable by using customised labels and stickers.

1. Consider each product’s “job”.

It’s a good idea to try to plot different scenarios on paper to imagine where people come into contact with your packaging. Then map the printed products you use against all possible interactions with your company. Someone ordering online will first find you via a social network or search engine and receive a box through the post when they eventually order. This is an opportunity to thank them personally on a postcard. Whereas someone attending a trade show will be passing different booths with many more products competing for their attention. In this case, it’s important to package and label your products in an eye-catching way.

“Our stickers feature the company logo and to accompany these we include a business card and postcard within each package. The business card includes our logo and contact information (website, social media channels, email). The Postcard features our logo and on the back, we write a hand-written thank you note to the buyer.”

Abby + Matt, co-owners of FromWood2Good

Abby and Matt’s takeaway tip: sketch out the info you plan to include on each product before you start designing.

2. Think about how people feel when they first see your packaging.

Make sure you reflect your values in everything right down to your labels and packaging. For example, if you promote healthy eating and sustainability, you might choose earthy tones for your food packaging and a script font for product labels. Pepino Deli achieves a high-end look by using craft-style paper to package food to go.

“We want our customers to feel like they are experiencing a luxury and authentic product. Ultimately the packaging that leaves our store is our advertising, and we want people to say ‘wow’ and ask, ‘what’s that you’ve got/where’s that from?”

Victoria Nicholas, Owner of Pepino Deli

Victoria’s takeaway tip: Try to imagine people receiving your product for the first time as a gift or gesture.

3. Choose colours that reflect your brand.

It’s important to keep your colour palette consistent across all of your marketing materials, right down to little details. That small rounded label may be the first thing someone sees related to your brand, so even though it’s a small product with limited space for information, it should communicate your values.

“We kept our circle stickers and business card designs very clean and simple. Our Bake:Time logo on a white circle sticker and for the business cards we added a marble grey background with the Bake:Time logo and contact details on the front and a cheeky #treatyourself on the back of the cards.”

Telina Philben, Owner of Bake:Time

Telina’s takeaway tip: Create a colour palette for your brand and stick to it. This keeps things consistent and makes it recognisably ‘you.’

4. Decide what you want your labels to communicate.

Try to think of this regarding both the information you need to share like the product name, ingredients or origin as well as the emotions you want your labels to convey when people read them.

“Fun, happiness, celebration, love! That’s a lot for one little sticker, but that’s what our brand is all about, and the stickers definitely help.”

Ashley Greeno, Owner of Cookie Crate

Ashley’s takeaway tip: Ask someone to take a look at the design of every product and tell you what words spring to mind before you decide on your final design. Stickers are important too as they may be the first thing people see when they “meet” your brand.

5. Make each interaction special.

“It was important to us that when our customers receive a package with our products they remember the full experience. What we mean by that is: receiving the package, opening the box, opening each product they bought and seeing the product for the first time. We wanted each of these steps within the experience to be memorable for our customers, so they could tangibly feel the love we put into everything we do at FromWood2Good. As a local, small-shop owner we wanted to convey this in our packaging, so each buyer feels welcomed to our community.”

Abby + Matt, co-owners of FromWood2Good

Abby + Matt’s takeaway tip: Think about every step of unpacking your product. There’s an opportunity to delight at each stage.

6. Create packaging as good as its contents.

“We want to communicate care and attention through our packaging and stickers – if we go to the trouble of creating beautiful packaging – can you imagine what’s inside? I think that the stickers transform our products. They give them authenticity and build trust. Our packaging shows that we pay attention to the details.”

Victoria Nicholas, Owner of Pepino Deli

Victoria’s takeaway tip: Next time you’re in the supermarket, take a look at which products on the shelf convey good quality. See if they have anything in common and consider applying these characteristics to your own packaging.

7. Borrow ideas from inspiring brands.

Think about when you received your smartphone. Unboxing a new phone is one of those interactions where you actually notice the product packaging. Try to emulate that memorable first impression in your own packaging. What was it that made the experience different? Perhaps it was the silky texture of the box, or maybe the quirky tone of the instructions.

“It’s true when they say, ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.’ Two companies that inspired our packaging experience are Stitch Fix and Style + Spirit.”

Abby + Matt, co-owners of FromWood2Good

Abby + Matt’s (other) takeaway tip: Take a photo whenever you see great packaging ideas and add them to an inspiration folder. This comes in really handy when it’s time to design a new printed product. It also gives you a good idea of what to write.

Tiny details make a huge difference. And while it’s easy to match a whole suite of printed products with the same information, that doesn’t always consider the job that each printed product has to do; like attract, inform or both. Remember, every product interaction is an opportunity to stick in peoples’ minds, so make the most of every chance.