What Are The Differences In Product Label Types For Packaged Goods?

Label-making has come a long way over the past few years, and printing color custom labels is easier and more affordable than ever. Whether you’re selling homemade food items, handcrafted clothing, or any other type of custom-made product, specialty product labels set your products apart from the competition and save you money.

Here are the types of labels you typically see on the shelf for custom-made products:

Prime labels

Primary, or prime, labels are the visual hook that help make sure your products get the attention they deserve. This the main label you are probably familiar with when you see most packaged goods. Your prime labels should convey the essence of your product and reinforce your overall brand image and message. Also, studies have shown that color labels will increase brand recognition by as much as 80 percent — and up to 90 percent if customers base their judgments on color alone.*

Secondary labels

Once customers have taken your product off the shelf, the next step is to reassure them that they’re making a wise purchase. This is where secondary labels take over. Secondary labels provide specifics such as ingredients, nutritional facts, disclaimers and compliance text, and selling points/deeper descriptions of products.

For example, for a food product, your secondary labels should list ingredients and nutritional facts to address customer concerns about what they will be consuming and to comply with regulatory requirements. For clothing, secondary labels could provide size and materials.

Bar codes

On most secondary labels, the bar code can be a very important element. Many stores require bar codes on all items they sell. Plus, a clearly printed bar code makes sure every store identifies your product correctly and charges the right price for it.

A bar code that doesn’t scan may frustrate retailers or make customers want to return your product back to the shelf. Every bar code must be printed clearly so there’s zero chance of a bad scan.

Don’t forget shipping and overbox labels

All labels can make an impact and help your brand –  even if they aren’t on the product itself. Consider adding an advertisement or offer to your shipping and overbox labels. The addressee will be look at the label and notice your message right away – allowing you to make an impact long before your actual product is in-hand.

Read on about this topic by downloading “Labeling for Specialized, Niche, and Local Customer Marketing”. This paper explains how to transform your label printing to in-house on-demand color labeling for high-mix, low volume specialized goods, and how to customize messages to specific markets for a noticeable impact.

* Singh, Satyendra (2006). Impact of Color on Marketing. Management Decision, Vol. 44, Issue 6, 783-789.

Three Reasons to Rethink the Concept of Your Meeting Spaces

By the year 2020, millennials will make up a full 50 percent of the U.S. workforce. And while you may have heard that millennials are disrupting everything about the modern workplace, the truth is that they share quite a few high-level values with older generations.

Like most of us, millennials want to work with people they like and trust. They want recognition for a job well done, and they want to seek out new opportunities and challenges. And when it comes to office collaboration, they prefer impromptu huddles over large pre-planned business meetings —because, as we all know, it’s much easier to get things done in a small group.

In fact, the influx of millennials into your workforce may provide the perfect opportunity to rethink your approach to conference rooms and meeting spaces from the ground up. Here are three big reasons why.

Workers demand mobility more than ever before

Some parts of your workforce, such as sales, have always been highly mobile. But in a modern organization, you’re constantly coordinating efforts among on-site and offsite employees. A growing number of companies don’t even assign workspaces to employees anymore, letting them work from anywhere they like, as long as each project gets completed on time.

These trends are nothing new, but they’re increasingly being applied to meeting spaces, too. Many organizations are rapidly phasing out conference rooms in favor of collaborative offices known as huddle rooms, where quick, casual, often unplanned meetings can happen as needed.

Millennials prioritize spontaneous teamwork

There’s probably no one on earth who actually loves long weekly staff meetings. But millennials are particularly up-front and outspoken about their preference for quick, informal huddles that take place as needed, solve a concrete problem, and then disperse. An increasing number of companies are introducing rooms designed to make spontaneous teamwork as easy as possible.

These rooms are typically just large enough for three or four people. The setup is simple: a table, a few chairs, and a screen for presentation and collaboration. Wireless and mobile technologies, along with social and collaboration software, make it easy for teams to pull assets they need from the web or office network, put them on-screen, and hash out the details.

Your workforce is geographically dispersed

The benefits of huddle rooms don’t stop at your office door. Today, even the smallest startups have workforces dispersed around the globe. This creates a clear need for workspaces where small groups can interact, whether those groups share the same building or work on different continents.

The prevalence of remote meetings provides one of the strongest arguments for huddle rooms. The schedules of your global workforce may not always line up with your weekly strategy session meetings, but huddle rooms will make sure they can still easily brainstorm, share information, and collaborate on documents with teams in your office.

To read on and find out more about how huddle rooms can empower your team members to collaborate more effectively, check out this Epson white paper, Huddle Rooms: How Demographics & Technology are Impacting Workspaces.

How Color Can Help You Communicate

As a business owner, you’re always on the lookout for simple, cost-effective ways to promote your business. Here’s one you may not have thought of: adding a dash of color to your marketing materials.

According to the US Small Business Administration, color increases brand recognition by 80 percent. In fact, a whopping 93 percent of consumers say “visual appearance” is the primary factor they consider when buying a new product.

Black text on a white page is an efficient way to communicate basic information. But as a small business owner, you want to do more than just inform people. To turn a potential customer into today’s buyer, you have to make an emotional connection, and color is one of the most cost-effective ways to do that. Here are nine ways your color choices can bring new life to your marketing materials.

Yellow

If optimism was a country, the national flag would be yellow. Studies have shown that yellow actually triggers the release of serotonin, one of the chemical’s responsible for happiness and contentment. Maybe that’s why smiley faces are always bright yellow!

Business Tip: Yellow is a potent color, so use it as an accent. Too much yellow can be overpowering.

Orange

Orange symbolizes strength, playfulness, ambition, and youthfulness. Orange has the much of the same feeling of cheerful exuberance as yellow.

Business Tip: Consider using orange for the “call-to-action,” in a brochure or product catalog.

Red

If you want to command attention, red is the color for you! Red is the color of alarms, flames, and above all, romance. It’s been proven that the color red escalates the body’s metabolism.

Business Tip: The attention-getting nature of red stimulates people to take action — and that’s a good thing for any business owner!


Purple

Combine blue and red and you get purple: the color of kings. Purple can make your customers feel cool, calm and prosperous.

Business Tip: Purple signifies credibility. It’s an excellent color to use in a flyer with a customer testimonial.

Blue

Blue creates a calm, contemplative atmosphere. It’s the color of a pristine lake, or a cloudless sky. It’s also most people’s favorite color.

Business Tip: Blue appeals to a wide audience, imparting a sense of balance and harmony to any printed material.

Green

As the most dominate color in nature, green represents fertility and abundance. It’s associated with growth involving that other kind of green — money. And it’s one of the easiest colors for the human brain to recognize.

Business Tip: If your goal is to communicate growth, green is the color you’ll want to use.

Brown

Brown is a conservative color, representing humility and quiet confidence. The right shade of brown is reminiscent of fine wood and leather.

Business Tip: As a neutral shade, brown is useful in balancing out stronger colors. Use it to communicate a feeling of luxury.

Gray

As the ultimate neutral color, gray selflessly intensifies any color next to it, helping adjacent colors to “pop.”

Gray communicates strength, sturdiness and longevity.

Business Tip: Gray is a great alternative to black or white. Use dark gray text to imbue your printed marketing material with a feeling of strength, reserve, and timelessness.

Every detail helps when it comes to marketing materials. Colors effect mood, and can be a sole or contributing reason for product selection in many cases. Examine your schemes carefully when designing your next brochure, packaging, or flyer, and use your hues as a force multiplier – helping to increase the success of your important visual communication tools.

Epson provides a complete lineup of industry-leading print, scan, project and point-of-sale solutions that are reliable, intuitive and cost-effective for your business. Learn more by visiting Epson Business Solutions for Small and Medium Businesses here.

Six Printable Sales Tools You Can Use Now to Help You Close Deals

Use tools and print materials increase sales for your small business (even if selling is not your forte).

Some people were born with the ability engage anyone in a conversation, deflect objections and recall pitches without hesitation.

For the rest of us, selling is necessary, but not always convenient or second-nature. Yet we find ourselves selling every day as part of the role of running a business.  Where do you hone your skills in the limited time you have with the list of other jobs you do — such as accounting, inventory management, and customer service?

Students know that having reference materials on-hand while learning new tasks is an effective way to become more comfortable with the unknown. Here are six powerful selling tools you can use to help you along the the way to support your pitch.

  1. A Self-assessment questionnaire

Most  successful sales conversations begin with a discussion about the customer’s needs — not necessarily about your product or service. Try creating a self-assessment questionnaire customized specifically for that customer. Make a grid and list the most common reasons people buy from you. These are the pain points, or problems the customer wants to solve. Beside each item, leave room for them to check off the items that matter most to them. Or better yet, leave room for them to rank each issue on a scale from one to four.

The first item might ask how they found your business. Did they try any other products or services? Then move on to their reasons for considering your product or service. Be sure to include questions about timing. How urgently do they need a solution? What will be different for them when they find it?

Once they have filled out the questionnaire (keep it short!), you have a handy reference tool to keep the conversation on track. Tick off each item as you discuss it.

  1. A comparison chart

If you suspect your customer is talking to your competition, create a side-by-side comparison chart. Before the appointment, create a list of all the features included in your product or service. Then add a column for two or three of your competitors. Do an honest appraisal, awarding your competitor a check mark in the areas where they meet the criteria. Hopefully your company ends up on par or with more checkmarks than your competitors, but this is an opportunity examine the market together and help your client through their research.

  1. A shopping checklist

You can use a similar technique to capture your customer’s attention by creating a list of all the items that are frequently purchased with your offering. Many times it is helpful to guide your potential customer through these details they may not be thinking of already. These suggestions might take the form of “You’ve got the hotdogs, don’t forget the buns”, or “Before our service technician arrives, be sure to put the dog in the yard”, and so on. Remember, no matter how dry that list may be, you can always use graphics and color to highlight the document and brand your company.

  1. A fact sheet

When it comes time to talk about the features and benefits of your product or service, many get nervous. It can be easy to skip over an important selling point, or worse, run out out of things to say. Print out a simple fact sheet, and use it to keep your sales pitch on track. You can point to certain features and specs as you go along, and don’t forget to add a high-quality photo of your product!

  1. A testimonial or case study

You call tell a prospect about how much your customers love you, but having a brief testimonial sheet tucked into your sales kit is much better. It truly is the next best thing to hearing a compliment right from the customer’s mouth.

  1. A referral coupon

Walk into every sales meeting expecting to close the deal. And come prepared. When they sign on the dotted line, be ready with a printed coupon. Invite your new customer to pass it along to someone else in need of your product or service. Rather than asking for a referral, a printed coupon can be successful method of getting that all-important lead to your next customer.

The Value of Research

Before you create any of these printed materials, you’ll need to do a little homework. Create a profile of your ideal customer, include information about their age, gender, marital status, household income and zip code. Then dig a little deeper. Make a list of leisure-time activities and other lifestyle information that might influence their decision. Do they place a higher value on convenience or price? Are they committed to supporting a local business, or do they prefer to work with a national brand? Do they appreciate a personal touch, or are they just interested in getting the transaction done as soon as possible? The effort you put into this kind of research will pay big dividends down the line.

A few sheets of paper certainly can’t replace a qualified salesperson, but they can make a big difference when it’s up to you to close a deal – especially if you’ve done your research. And it’s certainly not a bad move leaving behind a sheet of something useful that your potential client will read later on.

Epson provides a lineup of products for your business, including business printers, that are cost-effective and backed by world-class service and support. Learn more by visiting Epson Business Solutions for Corporate, or see the Epson solution lineup for Small and Medium businesses here.

4 Things to Avoid When Creating Your Own Custom Brochures

In this world of hyperactive, interactive, always-connected consumers, a well-designed brochure is still an indispensable part of your marketing toolkit. Of course, customers will use the internet to find businesses and compare prices. But there is something undeniably comforting about having an attractive brochure within easy reach while considering a purchase decision.

With today’s powerful, affordable printers, a well-designed brochure doesn’t have to cost much. However, planning and writing it will take some concentrated effort. To make the best use of your time, focus on the basics.

The Four Most Common Design Blunders

The owner of a small business once told me, “Get the fundamentals right, and the details tend to take care of themselves.” That advice would easily apply to many aspects of growing a small business, but in this case, the person speaking happened to own a print shop, and they were talking about designing a brochure.

It may seem counter-intuitive for the owner of a printing business to downplay the value of their own professional design services. But as he explained, his best work couldn’t shine if his client ignored a few, basic design principles. Here then, are four of the most common brochure blunders.

Forgetting to checking grammar and spelling

We all make mistakes. A spelling error in a personal email is forgivable, but any kind of sloppiness or lack of attention to details when creating marketing materials can cast doubt on your professionalism. Microsoft Word and other word-processing programs have very good spelling checking systems, but even those tools can misread text that is specific to your business. Always have someone else to read through the text, slowly and out loud. As any writer will tell you, it’s very difficult for a writer to proof their own work objectively.

Making it difficult to read

Several factors contribute to readability. First of all, the text must be large enough. Depending on the font used, that usually means at least 11-point type. The text should be set on a contrasting background — preferably white. Light gray text may have a contemporary feel, but unless your customers have the eyesight of a 25-year-old graphic designer, you might as well be composing the words in Latin.

Resist the temptation to cram each page with as much text as you can. Group text into small, bite-sized paragraphs. Use bold headlines and bullet points to emphasize the key points you want to get across.

Considering the time that you’ll invest in writing the copy for your brochure, it would be nice to know that your prospective customers will actually read it!

Using too many colors

Reserve your palette of bright, bold, attention-grabbing colors for the headline or the cover page. The bulk of the text in your brochure should be dark grey or black. Allow for plenty of spacing between the lines — it’s more restful to the eye.

Use an illustration, a graphic element or a photograph to command attention, not garish colors.

Using Inconsistent fonts

In an effort to create a distinctive brand, some people feel compelled to use every font installed on their computer. But when it comes to fonts, boring can be good. Some common, unexciting choices such as Helvetica, Times or Garamond are the most legible. Stick to one, two fonts at the most.

Sometimes the first step in getting things right is to make sure you aren’t doing anything wrong. Once you have the basics down, you can make subtle improvements in layout and design. But be sure to master the fundamentals first.

Epson provides a complete lineup of industry-leading print, scan, project and point-of-sale solutions that are reliable, intuitive and cost-effective for your business. Learn more by visiting Epson Business Solutions for Small-Medium Businesses here.