Is this common packaging mistake sabotaging your product sales?

I recently bought a stainless steel garbage can from a big box store. A bit of research actually went into the purchase. I wanted a certain look and feel for the new addition to my kitchen because it sits out in the open where everyone can see it. It really looked great, was the right capacity and most importantly, my wife liked it.

I took it back the next day.

The final step of product packaging

After all the work that went into designing, producing and distributing that garbage can, someone dropped the ball on the final step of product merchandising. My visit to the return desk was one of frustration. Although the item met all my requirements, I could not easily remove the product label from the can.

My options were to spend a lot of time scraping off the label, potentially damaging the can, or returning it. Like most people, I opted to avoid the hassle and back to the store it went.

Tips to avoid label missteps

What’s most surprising about the garbage can label snafu is that there are so many options the manufacturer could have selected to merchandise their product that are secure during shipping and on the shelf, but easily removed by the consumer.

As you finalize plans for how to market and label your product, here are six key questions to answer:

1. Will the consumer want to remove the product sticker?
If the label on your product needs to be removed before your customers’ use it, it’s important to select a label option that’s secure, but also easy to remove with no residue left behind.

2. What is the surface material to which the label will stick?
It’s all about the adhesives. Metal, plastic, glass, cardboard…the material to which the labels are applied makes a huge difference in what removable option you should pick.

3. How long does the label need to stay on the product?
Consider the shelf life of your product. Do you produce a lot of inventory at once time and store for later distribution to retail outlets? Or is it a pretty quick turnaround time from production to sale?

4. What environmental conditions should be considered?
Is your product subjected to heat, cold, humidity or other conditions at the warehouse, during transit or at the point of sale?

5. Do the labels need to be applied by hand?
Will your product stand up to machine application of the labels, or do they need to be applied by hand?

6. Can the labels to more to merchandise your product?
Does it make sense to add a “lift here” option to your product label to reveal more information that can sway the consumer?

How to pick the right removable labels

Make sure you work with a printing partner that knows what questions to ask about your product’s surface material, how it will be stored before and during distribution, how it will be displayed and if creative merchandising options make sense.

There are so many options from which to select to make sure your product labels stick when they are supposed to and easily removed when it’s time. Picking the right option can make the difference between a product sale or return.