Fall 2019
Visual Cues By Debbie Eisele

Signs, labels and tags help retailers with sales and brand identity

Merchandise displays and labels are an integral part of the sales process to engage consumers by using visual cues. Creativity is encouraged, but retailers may take into account several considerations when selecting product signs and labels. For a deeper understanding of the importance of these items, Gift Shop turned to Arch Crown, a manufacturer of tags and labels for the gift, jewelry and optical industries.

Multiple colored tags. Photo courtesy of Arch Crown.
String tags provide retailers versatility, are easy to write on and offer a variety of styles and shapes. Photo courtesy of Arch Crown.

Signs relay critical information, which assists in merchandise marketing efforts. “Important components are that the sign is readable and understandable and have no spelling errors,” said Jessica Hoff, director of sales and marketing for Arch Crown. “In a broad sense, you can’t navigate your life without labels. Labels give details that are important to consumers — cost, materials used to make up an item, size, and country of origin to name a few. Without a label, it would be impossible to know that information.”

Labels also act as an employee. “Think of how many more people you would need in your store to direct customers to the item they’re looking for, or answer simple questions that can be on the label,” she explained. Labels may also assist retailers with inventory management; accurately and easily manage stock levels with barcodes printed on labels and use of thermal transfer labels for barcodes makes checking out at the register much faster and may decrease errors.

Custom-printed booklet style fold-over tags by Arch Crown.
Custom-printed booklet style fold-over tags by Arch Crown.

Hoff suggested avoiding the use of direct thermal labels, as print fading occurs, especially when exposed to heat. “Some displays use bulbs that give off heat and that will create more work, since the labels will need to be reprinted,” she said. 

Thermal transfer labels are popular and an alternative to direct thermal labels. “You can print on them with a thermal transfer printer and the ink will never rub off or fade,” noted Hoff. “You can even put the printed label in the ultrasonic cleaner or under steam, and the print still won’t come off or fade!” Thermal transfer labels are available in a variety of colors, which is very handy for a retailer who wants to color code items by age, identify consignment pieces, or by styles, to name a few reasons.

Ply-Lam thermal transfer computer tags from Arch Crown
Poly-Lam thermal transfer computer tags, like the ones shown here from Arch Crown, help ensure text and bar codes will not rub off and are a good way for retailers to color-code, offer special promotions or for displays and inventory control.

Brand identity is important for businesses, and signs and labels are part of that identity. Professional signs should be a reflection of your brand. Hoff emphasized all purchases taken home from a store reflect the brand identity as well. “I’m always shocked when I hear an item leaves a store without a branded tag, in an unbranded box, and in an unbranded bag,” she said.

Tags and labels are a cost-effective tool for generating name recognition and to let gift-recipients know where an item came from. Personalized printed tags and signs can also assist in advertising merchandise and in identifying each unique retail environment — even outside of the brick-and-mortar location.

Custom printed labels offered by Arch Crown.
Dress up packaging with a personal touch that’s sure to get noticed with custom printed tags and labels such as these offered by Arch Crown.

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the former managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.

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