After a long, hot summer I couldn’t wait to get back into my winter clothes. I unearthed my favorite pair of tights and promptly stuck my finger right through them rendering them unwearable. I look inside for the tag to get the brand, size, etc. so I can buy more pairs for the season and guess what? None existed. How frustrating.
As I usually do, I put on my marketing hat and thought, Huh? Why aren’t these labeled? Then I realized that more of the products I use lack the same labeling, thereby handicapping me and millions of other customers from repurchasing our favorite products and services from companies that I’m sure would like our repeat business. We are the 20% in the 80/20 rule. In the academic part of my life, I teach university marketing courses. Marketing 101 says that ‘packaging is the silent salesperson’ and with good reason! Packaging should, of course, contain any instructions necessary to use your product safely, but more than that packaging is your branding. It is an opportunity for you to tell your story and tether customers to business with your contact information, logo, slogan, etc.
If an egg company can figure out how to brand every single individual egg, then certainly others can.
So, here are some suggestions for anyone who works in an industry where such labeling is necessary to create and maintain an engaged customer base that keeps purchasing from you – not your competitors:
1. Eye makeup pencils/lip pencils – please put your brand/color on the cap, not on the bottom of the pencil where I can no longer read it after months of handling and sharpening it down.
2. Pantyhose/socks – as stated above, I’d personally appreciate it if you sewed a label into the waistband telling me your brand, the color and size I just purchased.
3. Goodies from farmers markets – there are many farmers markets where I live that I love to visit and always buy something such as soap, or a gift item for someone, or even a pot of herbs. When I run out, or want to purchase more I can’t because in a big farmers market I don’t know how to find you again (or find your website). Several years ago I purchased a tin of specialty organic tea from a vendor at a market. The top had a label, but only the flavor, the bottom was blank?!?! Recently I saw them again at the market and inspected their tins — sadly, still no labels.
These are just a few examples, but I think you get the idea. Why not take a lesson from the big consumer packaged goods corporations and label everything you sell? This is not the time to be shy.