How to promote customer loyalty through branding and packaging

Packaging is a powerful tool for brands to use not only to attract new customers, but to promote both customer loyalty and brand awareness that can propel your company to the next level.
To put this statement into context, YouTube has over 60 million unboxing videos on its platform, which shows how important packaging and labeling is to a brand, and that being creative with your packaging can make a big difference to the way your product or service is perceived.

Here we’ll talk about some ideas of how to build customer loyalty with your packaging and labeling.

Reward customers for reusing packaging

With consumers being more environmentally conscious, many are willing to pay more for sustainable products, so if your products allow it, offering customers a reward for reducing or reusing packaging is a great idea.
An example of this is Costa Coffee, who offer customers a discount on their drinks if they use one of their reusable Costa cups instead of the paper ones. Another benefit of rewarding customers in this way is that it can remind to stock up on their products.

Creating custom packaging

Involving the customer in the process of designing the packaging and giving them a say in how a product is packaged is a great tool to use to boost customer loyalty.
Send some designs out in the form of a survey and let the custom
er choose which ones they like or would be more drawn to if they saw them in a shop or supermarket; this will give the customer a sense of contributing to the product and give them the confidence that your brand cares about their customers.

 

Offer rewards for customers that buy again

Use your packaging and labels to provide customers with discount codes, news about new products and services and any relevant information about the company. Try not to add too many flyers or other leaflets as it could look messy, but adding it onto the existing packaging is a great way of enticing customers to buy from you again.

Personalising packaging

It is not unusual for brands to thank customers for their purchases, but taking this further you can personalise your thank yous to make the customer appreciate your product more.

Just a small hand-written (if you have time) or printed note to say thank you can have a dramatic effect on customer loyalty, and shows that you genuinely appreciate their purchase.

The customer may also decide to share your note on their social media pages, which is a great way of gaining more followers and positive brand awareness for your company.

Whatever you decide to do it is important to treat your packaging as an extension of your product and brand, while making sure that it abides by what your company stands for ethically.

Irish brewers voice concerns about health warnings on alcohol

Northern Irish brewers and distillers have voiced concerns about the proposed changes to alcohol labelling being debated in the Republic of Ireland, and that if those changes are put into place it could effect the growth of the sector, especially for smaller producers.

Under the Ireland Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, one of the proposed changes would see mandatory health warnings on alcohol labels, with warnings, ingredients and calories taking up to a third of the label.
Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster warned the proposed changes could cause “a significant impediment to the growth” especially for smaller producers.

He went on to say that the Republic of Ireland is a key export market for the majority of Northern Ireland’s alcohol producers and that is is important for all parties to “ensure that they do not create new barriers to trade on the island of Ireland”.

Northern Ireland has seen a big resurgence of craft alcohol producers over the last few years, with over 40 new breweries and distilleries producing alcohol. Jarlath Watson, from Echlinville Distillery in County Down talked about the proposal, stating that having to comply with a new labelling requirement would “deliver a major upheaval to our production systems costing time and money”.

For the last three years the Irish Government has been trying to pass a public health law targeted at alcohol, and wants to introduce a range of measures including a minimum unit price and restriction on the marketing of alcohol to the public.

Independent Senator Francis Black, who supports the proposal said that the alcohol industry is opposed to the legislation because it could effect their profits but that if the measures saved just one life then it would be worth it.

Food portion sizes, misleading labels and obesity numbers still continuing to rise

Food packaging labels should correspond to the serving guidelines given via the GDA and traffic light system. Issues are solely based around people misunderstanding what they’re reading and failing to follow the recommended serving sizes.
People may need to be more aware of food portion sizes and to take in consideration the information they’re being given. Daily guidelines are issued on most, if not all, food packaging in the UK, but how clear are they? Do we know what they mean?

Clearest labels issuing nutritional information for shoppers

We undertook a recent study on food packaging labels, showcasing the GDA and traffic light system. We found most people typically get confused by them or simply misunderstand the information they’re being provided with. Our survey found out which supermarket held the clearest nutritional and general information on their product labels.

1. Sainsbury’s – 38%
2. Asda – 37%
3. Tesco – 15%
4. Morrisons – 10%

To make this a fair survey, we blurred out the brand on the images when conducting the survey, making it completely anonymous. It appeared Morrisons lagged behind having the hardest to understand labelling.

Traffic light system

The traffic light system on packaged foods indicates how much fat, saturated fats, salt and sugars are contained in the food you’re buying, via colours of the traditional driving traffic light. Green represents a low intake, amber being moderate and red classed as a high intake.

How it works is based on all of the above, plus grams per serving, general size and weight of the portion of food. So, for example a green coloured section (representing low) typically contains less than 3g of fat, less than 1.5g of saturated fat, less than 5g of sugar and less than 0.3g of salt.

People often get confused by the guidelines being given as the information varies from product to product. We’ve found some people believe they should only go for green labelled foods, as it will benefit them and their health. Whilst this all sounds perfectly reasonable, there are general rules to follow. This may not be the case to just consider green labelled foods; you want to have a good clean balanced diet.

The traffic light system is probably not a way to substitute and follow a healthy plan; it’s more of an indication of how many fats, saturated fats and sugars are in your food and the salt intake you’re consuming.

GDA system

The GDA (guided daily amount) system is in place for people’s attention and for consideration. The numbers are based off the serving amount it suggests, per every serving, but some people are unaware of how it all works.

Taking Kellogg’s cereal, Crunchy Nut, as an example: this displays 45g per serving in which it gives you x amount of fat, x amount of saturated fat, x amount of sugars and so forth. But given the fact majority of people don’t typically measure their food intake, this information can lead people to believe this is what they’re gaining from every single bowl of cereal they’re having, whereas each serving isn’t measured accordingly.

If not followed accordingly, this can disrupt and affect fitness plans and diets. When committing yourself to a strict calorie-based diet, you want to be achieving the results you intended and making the numbers fit with your new diet. Faults happen due to people not measuring or considering the serving amount issued.

In most recent news, the topic of obesity has been brought to the forefront as numbers are still continuing to rise in Britain. The talks of 400, 600, 600 should be in place as a plan of attack, when battling against obesity in the UK. This entails 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 to be consumed for dinner.

It’s found that overweight and obese children may be eating an extra 500 calories every day whilst adults are consuming an extra 200-300 calories per day. It’s arguable some schools won’t issue proper food guidelines to their pupils, but the area of focus should be understanding what the information is telling us from the packaging.

Portion size serving recommendations have also seen an increase over the last twenty years. Pasta for example, typically ranged around 500 calories twenty years ago, to now in present day, one serving equals over 1,000 calories.

How to design packaging that stands out from the crowd

Packaging is the perfect blend of form and function; it not only protects the contents from damage and tells the customers about the product, but it’s also a powerful tool for advertising your brand. In its essence packaging should inform consumers of the product benefits while making it attractive, especially in today’s competitive environment.
Packaging is the final finishing touch to a product and it must first and foremost protect the contents from damage, but it can be so much more with the right planning and design. Whether it’s just a sticker or hang-tag, or custom made packaging, these little extras convey an attention to detail and should not be overlooked.
Here, we’ll discuss how to make your packaging stand out from the crowd, convey your message through branding and attract customers.

Packaging and Branding

Packaging does its job in its naked, unadorned state, but to attract customers it must convey a meaningful message. This is done by adding brand logos, useful information about the product and key visuals that appeal to your target audience.

Before getting the full value out of your packaging, you need to have your brand identity planned. You should look at colour palettes, font styles, brand logos and your brand message carefully, making sure that all of these components stand on their own and don’t get lost in the bigger picture. Is your logo big enough? Does your message and ethos stand out? And is your imagery clear and concise.

Types of Packaging

Due to today’s technical advances, packaging now comes in a range of sizes and styles. Bigger companies usually have the capital to customise all aspects of their packaging, but for small companies and those starting out it is best to start with a simple design as tooling for custom packaging can become expensive.

Just because you are starting off with a generic shape or size doesn’t mean that your packaging has to look plain, the packaging can still be customised with bespoke logos and branding, custom labels and stickers or tags.

Designing your packaging

brandingHiring a professional packaging designer can help you plan out the best way to approach your packaging and can give you valuable guidance on layout, sizes and colours to get the most out of it.

You can of course design your own packaging and labels, after all, you designed your products. Start by making some templates of your chosen packaging and make various design layouts. You may also want to print out your designs and make mock ups, making sure that the product fits securely and that the colours match your brand.

Mars leaves ENL nutrition labelling initiative because of lack of widespread support

Food giant Mars has pulled out of the Evolved Nutrition Labelling (ENL) enterprise, citing a lack of widespread support and lack of credibility and consensus as the main reasons. The company is now calling for an EU wide labelling system for food.

The ENL initiative was unveiled last year and in similar to the traffic light system used on UK food labels. It uses a colour coded system, giving customers information on sugar, salt and fat content in food and drinks. One of the main differences of the ENL system is that the colours would be assigned to portion sizes below 60g unlike the UK system which works on a ‘per 100g’ system.

“To this end, we will continue to engage and lead in advocating for an EU-wide, interpretative approach to nutrition labelling. We need a pan-European solution, for all EU consumers to benefit from it and to reduce complexity and cost to businesses.”

FoodDrinkEurope has also called for a coordination throughout EU member states, stating that the introduction of national food labelling systems (such as those in France and the UK) undermines the EU single market.

Should alcohol have mandatory health information on labels?

The Royal Society for Public Health which is dedicated to the public’s health and wellbeing is calling for a change in the way alcoholic drinks are labelled. The RSPH claims that there is an “awareness vacuum” on how alcohol affects health and wants to see alcohol producers include the government’s guideline of no more than 14 units of alcohol a week on their labels.

The RSPH also suggests having a drink-drive warning on labelling and that the use of a traffic light colour coding system (similar to those used on many food items on UK shelves) could help drinkers be more aware of the effects of alcohol and help them to make better choices when it comes to their drinking habits.

But John Timothy, from the Portman Group, the responsibility body for drinks producers in the UK disagreed with the RSPH’s findings, saying:

“There was little public interest in a radical overhaul of drinks labelling and strong opposition to cramming more information on packs”.

Mr Timothy reiterated that the Portman Group continually updates its advice to alcohol producers so that consumers are given accurate, accessible health information.

What do you think?

Do you feel that alcohol should have a traffic light system like food products, should the government take a harder stance and ban branding on alcohol like they do to tobacco or are alcohol labels fine the way they are?

Let us know in the comments below.

Personalising Your Wedding Favours

Wedding favours have become a common tradition, just like the first dance, wedding speeches and drunk guests, and are a great way to treat your guests and show them that you really appreciate their support.

In the build up to a wedding there is so much to think about that wedding favours can become an afterthought, but with a bit of planning you can present your guests with a favour they will remember forever.

Here are a few handy hints for picking the perfect wedding favours and some different ways to personalise them for your guests.

Making Your Own Wedding Favours

If you opt to make your own wedding favours, it is important to consider how much time and extra work it can involve. Be sure that whatever you choose is easy to create as you will be making lots of them for your guests. Make a few samples first to help you know if you are on the right track and if you have enough time to make them all. Once you have the process perfected, why not enlist the help of some family and friends to take the weight off.

Also, make sure that you have a few extra wedding favours ready as backups in case some get damaged or lost before the wedding day.

The great thing about wedding favours is that you can be as creative as you like, and with any type of gift putting the extra thought into it really makes it a unique gift. One thing to consider before starting a project like this is to ask yourself it if would be something that you would enjoy and is it something that you would be happy to receive.

Edible Wedding Favours

Edible wedding favours such as sweets and snacks are a popular choice that your guests can enjoy on the day or take home to enjoy later. Think small when choosing edible wedding favours, things like fudge, chocolate truffles and mini jars of homemade jam are perfect gifts that can be personalised with labels to mark the special day.

Practical Wedding Favours

Practical favours are another popular choice as these can easily be personalised and are great trinkets for guests to keep, reminding them of your wedding day for years to come. Some ideas for practical wedding favours include bottle opener keyrings, personalised soaps, engraved shot glasses or cookie cutters. You can even make a charitable donation in your guest’s names, giving them a card explaining the work the charity does and the people or animals they help.

Whatever you decide on for your wedding favours there is one golden rule that shouldn’t be ignored. Try to avoid putting your names, photos or wedding date on everything, as this could turn an otherwise useful gift into a cringe worthy trinket.

Personalised Labels and Packaging

The one exception to this rule is the packaging for your wedding favours. It’s absolutely fine to put a personal touch on boxes and bags, ribbons, wrapping paper and labels. Personalised packaging not only makes a great presentation piece, it is also less likely to put guests off.

Whatever you choose as your wedding favour, be creative, choose something that you would want to receive yourself and have fun, and remember, that personal touch is sure to make an impression with your guests long after the special day.

Britain’s obesity crisis – could Brexit be the key to rethinking food labelling?

Traffic light labelling on food, we’ve all seen them when we go shopping, but did you know that it is not mandatory for producers to use this system on their packaging and that only two-thirds of products on our supermarket shelves currently carry this kind of nutritional information.

According to the Local Government Association this is fuelling unhealthy eating habits and Britain’s obesity crisis. They propose that Brexit is the perfect time for the UK to standardise food labels, thus making nutritional information mandatory on all of the foods and drinks we consume. As it stands, the EU is in charge of regulating product labelling, but the UK government may choose to implement its own guidelines when the UK leaves the European Union.
In 2013 the Department of Health announced the traffic light labels designed to allow consumers to quickly see how much fat, saturates, sugars and salt are in a particular product, but this is only a voluntary system meaning manufacturers can ignore it.

This has been blamed for the obesity crisis gripping Britain because some manufacturers use the traffic light system and others use more complex schemes giving nutritional information in percentage guideline daily amounts (%GDA). This can cause confusion for consumers who may be unwittingly buying products that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

The Faculty of Public Health has previously stated that the %GDAs labelling schemes can cause confusion and impede consumers from making healthy choices as it suggests that these daily amounts are targets to reach, whereas they are actually limits not to be exceeded.
Why is food labelling so important?

According to latest figures, almost two thirds of British adults and a third of children are overweight or obese and that figure could rise substantially unless precautions and information is provided.

The traffic light system adopted by a range of manufacturers is a great way for consumers to quickly see the amount of fat, saturates, sugars and salt is in a product and make an educated choice as to what to buy.
Clear nutrition labelling on the front of food packaging is an important way to educate the population and to help consumers make healthier food choices. The fact that some manufacturers choose a different nutrition system can make it confusing for consumers.

Creating effective designs for your labels

Whether you are looking at designing labels for commercial products, wedding favours or handmade products it is important to get every detail right, not just because of the branding or marketing efforts, but to avoid revisions and reprints that could become expensive.

Here, we will discuss some helpful tips to consider when designing your next label project.

Using colour, texture and typeface to convey your message and brand

It is best practise to design all of your printed media such as labels, flyers and stickers in CMYK as opposed to RGB; this will produce more vibrant colours and darker blacks giving a more professional look.

Typeface and colour choice are also important considerations when designing labels because some combinations can make it harder to read from a distance, especially metallic or reflective labels which may be eye-catching but could be difficult to read when combined with certain colours and textures.

There is also the perceived psychological interpretation of colours when designing labels and stickers for products and packaging. Silver and gold labels can project luxury, sophistication and a hi-tech feel, whereas rustic-looking labels are ideal for conveying earthiness, reliability and sustainability.

Designing the label with the container in mind

This may seem obvious to many people, but making sure that the label fits the product container is easily missed by designers, especially if they have a great idea and jump straight into the design phase without studying the packaging.

Proper measuring is as important as the actual design when making a label that compliments the product. What shape is the container? Round, square, tapered or textured, these considerations must be taken into account in the design phase to ensure that the label fits smoothly and gives all of the information needed to the consumer.

It is also important to decide how much of the product you want to show, an example of this is if you are using an opaque container then a larger label can be used, whereas if the product is in a transparent container such as jam or honey then a smaller label may complement it better.

Creating designs that are distinctive and memorable

Creating label designs that are distinctive and memorable will make your products stand out from the crowd and is a great way of attracting customers to buy and promote your products. Whether the products will be sold in stores alongside competitors’ products, sold through a stand-alone website or through an online buyer and seller community, presentation is key.

A clean, eye-catching and distinctive design can be the difference between a sale or not, so ask yourself these three questions to see if you are on the right track during the design process:

  • Is the labels design distinctive compared with its competitors?
  • Does the label clearly and accurately reflect the product and the brand?
  • Will the products target audience find it captivating enough to purchase?

Get feedback from customers

Creating your label design and getting it to market is only the beginning of the marketing efforts and being proactive with the design will ensure that your products stay relevant to your customers and will continue to attract your target audience.

Invite your customers to take part in a survey asking what about the packaging attracted them to the product in the first place. This information is a great way to spot changes in the market, mood and lifestyle of your customers meaning that future label designs can stay relevant even with changing demographics.

The information gathered can also be used to learn from any mistakes from the initial design such as hard to read fonts, colour clashes and whether you are using the right type of label.

By putting into practise some of these suggestions when designing your labels it will undoubtedly make your designs stand out from the crowd and will produce a process to make future label designs not only more relevant but also more efficient.

The impact of technology in education

Technology is forever expanding, from the way we communicate to everyday work ethics and skills. It makes an impact across education, proving to be an invaluable resource in schools for student’s learning development. Pupils now have the ability to produce progressive results by using online research as well as the latest software programs and tools, a far cry from the traditional methods of pen and paper, and literature in print.

Parental perspective

Whilst there may be many advantages to technology in education, there can also be certain drawbacks too, which has created cause for concern for some parents. 28% of parents worry that technology in schools can lead to a reduced attention span, whilst an alternative study found that 88% of parents believe that the technology available to students has pushed them forward to learn and take full advantage of their education.

How is technology changing education?

Whilst technology benefits many areas of learning, parents are considering the pros and cons of it’s continuous rise. They believe their kids are lucky to be involved in this generation with the advances of the latest technology, however voice their concerns that it may take over their surroundings and cause distractions towards learning.

Tablets and iPads have changed teaching and learning, creating a much more interactive environment that both student and teacher can benefit from and get engaged with. For students to physically hold, touch and swipe through their work is a great interactive aspect in lessons. The simple user interface can be easily picked up by all ages, and touch screen tablets incorporate a different style of teaching that can prove to be a turning point in various levels of education.

Generally, the consensus is that both teaching and learning can be made fun with technology; it becomes much more interactive and engaging. Teachers are able to direct individual learning needs with the aid of technology, however, there are many drawbacks of incorporating the latest tech, too.

What are the drawbacks?

Using technology too frequently, or constantly staring at screens too closely can lead to strained vision. There can be a lack of attention given by students, as well as the risk of technology being a distraction, affecting work and concentration levels. In severe cases, some students are lead into injuries and lack motor skills. Of course, there is always hardware or software problems, causing delays that are sure to be a drawback for students.

Is the investment in modern technology worth it?

That said, the benefits of technology are clear to see, certainly when it comes to developing everyday skills that are the bread and butter of modern society. Some forms of software programs cannot be implemented in traditional methods, so a whole host of possibilities become available for education and learning. Through the latest software, students of all ages can access a huge variety of fantastic tools and resources.

The instant access to information is a huge benefit for students, even when at home, students can gain information through research and fast access. There’s also opportunities for individual learning. Technology can easily create long distance interaction, communication and learning.

Having the ability to improve on skills such as communication, problem-solving techniques and reading and writing allows us to bring education into the modern world with minimal restraints.

The overall outcome for students using technology should be, to use in moderation, if possible. If students are able to take extra care and not over-use the equipment, technology will be beneficial, not a hinderance.

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