Why Labels are so Powerful

Although many feel ‘judging a book by its cover’ does not reveal the true nature of any product, the reality is that many consumers identify with labels when making the decision to purchase. In a study by Simone Mueller and Gergely Szolnoki* on the impact of labelling and packaging on market price, it was revealed – after studying the habits of 521 German wine drinkers – that branding and labelling have the biggest impact on consumer’s buying choices.


To begin with, there are a wide variety of label types and purposes, these range from price marking labels (to display price), sheeted labels,  blank labels, (which can be printed with any design), product packaging labels, (used for labelling a product), barcode labels (used for displaying a products barcode, read more about Barcode Labels here), computer sprocket punch labels (used in dot matrix printers) and more. View examples of various label types here.

This is important to know as not only are labels used for the above practical purposes, but they also play a fundamental role in swaying the buying power of consumers in a certain way.

The Impact of Labels

As was evidenced in Mueller and Szolnoki’s study, the power of labels in driving consumer purchases cannot be underestimated. A product label can literally be the deciding factor between a customer choosing your product or any others on offer.

1. Capture Market Attention

In every field, markets are saturated with competing product brands which means those trying to enter this tough playing field will need to make a statement. When looking at shelves of similar products, an eye-catching label is definitely a major advantage for any organisation. Even if you have a fantastic marketing campaign that enables you to charge out onto the field, without an adequate label, customers in the store are just going to bypass your brand. (Read more about the Label Design Trends for 2020 here.)

2. Brand Recognition

From the Simba Chips Lion, to the instantly recognisable red and white Coca-Cola beverage, a good brand name always has an iconic label attached. Elements such as a unique font, attractive colours and interesting patterns or icons all work in a company’s favour. It’s important to find the unique balance between making your product label stand out but keep the brand integrity attached.

3. Accountability

Consumers want more from their products than merely what meets the eye. This is where affiliation with organisations charged with instilling accountability is becoming far more important. Consumers are now looking to support local industry which means checking the label for the colourful tick denoting its ‘Proudly South African’ commitment, or ensuring no animals were harmed in the making of the product, so that little bunny on a cosmetic label – indicating Beauty Without Cruelty – could be the deciding factor when it comes to product selection.

4. Brand Differentiation

Just as brand recognition is so important in capturing the target market and retaining it, so too is ensuring that your brand differs from others, making it instantly distinguishable. This became abundantly clear in the South African market when Brandhouse brought its Amstle Lite product onto the market. Following SAB’s hugely successful launch of the ‘extremely cold’ Castle Lite, with its green and silver colouring, Brandhouse followed suit, using similar colours and the same spelling of ‘lite’. Although Brandhouse was originally ordered by court to change the label, they won on appeal and will be retaining the original look. The concern with such similar labelling – for alcoholic beverage giant SAB – was that consumers would mistakenly purchase the Brandhouse beverage, thereby cutting into their market unfairly. **

5. Product Information

Touching on the importance of accountability, the rise in internet use has led to a rise in consumer awareness on various fronts, which means that details such as product ingredients are now carefully scrutinised, where before consumers would possibly overlook this information. Labels are vital tools in providing consumers with whatever information they require before deciding on whether to purchase the product. (Read more about this here Do you Really know what’s in your food?)

Although a company may be selling the best the market has to offer, without the necessary labels to capture consumer attention and retain it with useful details, the product will not move off the shelves.

Once you have decided which label is right for your product, it’s important to find a reputable Label Printer to partner with. Rebsons Labels has more than 50 years experience in the Label manufacturing business and can offer the best labels, service and price. Contact Rebsons Labels today for a quote on your label requirements.

Get in Touch

You may also like:

QR codes and Barcodes

What is the difference between QR codes and barcodes for your business? So, you’ve done your research and decided that QR codes are the best

Read More »

Brochure Download

Fill in your email address and we will send you our latest brochure.