Using Labels to Take You Places

Labels have been used for thousands of years, and in that time, they have remained fairly low-tech. Sure, we’ve developed better substrates, adhesives and ink/toner, but labels haven’t changed much over the years — that is, until recently. Some of the technology on the market today wasn’t even available two years ago — not just not affordable or practical, but flat out not available. That’s the scope of how fast label technology is moving. And with every new innovation that can help customers, there is a new opportunity for dealers to sell more.

Today’s labels are leveraging new technology to stand out from the crowd and streamline processes behind the scenes. For example, winemaker 19 Crimes leverages augmented reality to bring their labels to life, telling the story of 19 crimes that turned convicts into colonists in 1700s Britain. When viewing one of the winemaker’s labels through an app on your smartphone, the label comes alive and tells the story of one of those 19 crimes. You can bet that this catches the attention of consumers as they look for a bottle of wine to enjoy. In other instances, some businesses have implemented RFID technology into their labels to optimize inventory tracking.

Good for customers

In 2014, Coca Cola kicked off their “Share a Coke” campaign, in which the label on each bottle had a name printed on it. Valued at $80 billion at the time, Coca Cola grew 2.5% following the campaign (that’s $2 billion for those keeping score at home). Pepsi Canada had similar success with their personalized label campaign using a variety of emojis instead of names. At a time when politicians and documentarians were waging war on sugar and carbonated drinks, the campaign helped Pepsi Canada grow 10%. Neither of these companies made a change to their formula or created any new innovative production or distribution methods that helped them cut costs or acquire a new business. Instead, they came up with a brilliant marketing plan to print peoples’ names or an emoji on the label, and consumers went crazy.

Success with labels isn’t limited to global soft drink conglomerates. Labels can help business owners achieve the American dream. That’s exactly what happened to a company based out of a Florida garage. Tervis Tumblers developed a specialized cup that leverages a dual-layer design to provide superior insulation to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours. Customers can purchase personalized Tervis Tumblers with their own images embedded between the cup layers. Today, the company is worth $100 million, partially in thanks to their product’s personalization capabilities.

Good for dealers

The $15 billion a year label industry is an advantageous one for dealers who are looking to diversify their portfolio. Adding a label press or two to your dealership’s portfolio can prove quite lucrative. Each label press sold represents a half-million-dollar opportunity, with additional opportunities to pick up service and consumables dollars. On top of that, labels are an excellent way to demonstrate how you can add value to potential clients or expand in existing accounts, as well as a great way to win new business from customers you haven’t been able to attract before and flip your competitors’ accounts.

To demonstrate just how good label presses can be for dealers, take this example of a dealer in Kentucky. When the occasional label order came from a larger customer, the client would use “one of those aircraft carrier sized presses” to print the labels, then separate them manually. It was less than ideal, to say the least. Then the dealer introduced the benefits of a dedicated label press and presented the customer with some samples. The customer immediately asked how he could buy it — not how much, just how. At the end of the day, the dealer was able to provide the customer with technology that could improve their business and was paid handsomely for doing so.

Given the rapidly changing technoscape and hyper-competitive nature of the document imaging marketplace, keeping your ear to the ground for new technology that can help you grow is a good strategy. Label presses can be one of those technologies that helps you diversify your portfolio and stand out from the competition.

David Clearman is director of marketing and PLS sales at Muratec America, where he gets the chance to bring a unique product to dealers and end users. He has been with Muratec since 1995.