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The Mariposa Blog

Monday, June 4, 2012

An article from Lightning Label newsletter shared by our Purchasing Manager, Larry Jones:

Label Your Way to Brand Loyalty

Have you ever heard of the Box Tops for Education program? It's a fundraising initiative that product manufacturers can support by printing specified information on the top flaps of their product boxes. After consumers use up the products in these boxes, they raise money for the school of their choice by turning the box top flaps in.

Box Tops for Education allow participating manufacturers to contribute to a worthy cause. As an added benefit, it builds up the value of their brands by positioning them as companies who positively impact the communities where their products are sold. Since consumers are more likely to trust companies, who demonstrate that they care about people, not just profits, this is a great way for manufacturers to increase brand loyalty.

Savvy product manufacturers can increase brand loyalty and give them an edge over their competition in a similar fashion. The premise of these types of programs (or campaigns if you prefer to call them) is to give buyers reasons to hold onto product labels even after they have recycled or otherwise discarded the rest of the packaging. They essentially find ways to increase the value of the product labels themselves. Although Lightning Labels always encourages manufacturers to give something back to the communities that keep them in business, brand loyalty programs don't necessarily have to focus on charitable causes to be effective.

For instance, manufacturers could reward consumers with coupons or rebates every time then return them to the manufacturer. A different approach would be to create a point-based system that encourages people to buy more products in order to acquire enough labels to "earn" prizes. Manufacturers could take this concept one step further by branding the prizes. When I was four or five years old, my Mom saved up enough Kool-Aid labels to earn a plastic pitcher shaped like the Kool-Aid Man. We absolutely loved it, and I have fond memories of Mom using the pitcher to serve Kool-Aid at birthday parties over the years. Mr. Kool-Aid became quite the celebrity in our circle of friends!

To maximum the odds of such programs being successful, product manufacturers should consider the impact they will have on their bottom line until they increase customer loyalty enough to increase their sales. Even when sales start to increase, they should ensure that the cost of running the program is worth it. For instance, if charitable donations are too generous or prizes too expensive, the program could ultimately result in a loss. The fact that the program could fail should definitely be top of mind as well. One of the first steps that should be taken when planning a campaign is to consider if the company can afford to take the hit if this happens.

I think it goes without saying that the products must be something people will want or need to repurchase. Food products, for example, are always excellent candidates for these programs. Candles? Perhaps. Steer clear of items with long shelf lives such as First Aid kits.

What might be overlooked is that the quality of the labels can make or break a campaign's success. Hiring a graphic artist who will create eye-catching label designs for the campaign is essential. Having the label design printed on durable materials with inks that stay put are also a must. Buying custom labels from a professional label printing company will ensure that product labels draw attention to all types of brand loyalty programs. Even if buyers don't end up participating in these programs, they will be more likely to chooses products with fabulous attention-grabbing labels than ones with mediocre packaging labels. And that, my lovely readers, is a win-win we can all appreciate.


Lisa Swain- Director of New Business Development


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