Founder and president Julie Stauts points out, “In total, we manufacture over 100 different products in Spanish or English for the natural body care market and professional spa industry. Quality of appearance in our labels and product presentation is very key on the shelf to attract new customers to a boutique brand.”
Stauts, a graphic designer and onetime owner of a marketing company who designs the labels herself, emphasizes, “Our products really stand out on shelves, with brilliant color and clarity. There is consistent branding. No matter where people see our products, they know us. A majority of labels are professionally printed on a chrome substrate with a white layer to bring out the metallic look. Cost-wise it’s very reasonable and stands out as a high quality and expensive label. Because registration is so good, it’s easy to read text.”
She adds, “A recent addition of tubes are printed on a squeezable non-metallic substrate, and the packaging with these labels is easy to produce and very popular with our customers.”
It’s easy for new and existing buyers to locate the products in a retail or online environment, and they don’t have to squint or use a magnifying glass to read the label. Plus, the entire community receives customer service of a sort and economic support, as Emulate’s operations are helping boost an area that has been economically depressed since the loss of the timber industry in the late 1990s.
Stauts says, “We are a substantial contributor to the local economy through our employees, online sales and retail stores, shipping and a local retail store. Because our brand is well established, people will drive 50 miles or more just to come into our store.” Emulate’s expanding line of products and presence demonstrates how a manufacturer can accomplish a customer-service hat trick: 1) make products that drive good health, in and of itself a very vital customer service; 2) support local communities by bringing in substantial revenues while maintaining a low-impact footprint on the city’s infrastructure, employing a local workforce and serving as a draw for other new businesses; and 3) provide easy ways for customers to identify, understand and read about the products they’re buying.
The company model also reinforces basic realities about the importance of good-looking, professionally-produced, resilient labels and packaging. Labels are, in essence, a front door to a business. Along with packaging in general, they deserve to be well-thought-out and developed on the highest quality plane possible. Among other issues, this means:
Creating distinctive design. In the case of Stauts, who holds a graphic design degree, this is a do-it-yourself (DIY) situation. For most, however, do-it-yourself may not cut it when attempting to demonstrate professionalism and develop the design best suited to product branding.
Developing high-quality custom labels. This is another area where DIY may be a bad idea. Besides the ability to access a wide variety of label types, special effects, colors and durability options, and create top-notch custom labels affordably, there are a variety of logistics issues that DIY won’t typically address. For example, companies using machine application need their labels to wind/unwind in a certain way and possibly meet other logistics challenges. Hand-applied labels also need to be delivered in a way that maximizes efficiency and accuracy of those affixing the labels.
Staying current on new developments. As with anything else in business, specialists in a particular area are much more likely to stay on top of the latest and greatest, versus a “chief cook and bottle washer” who’s handling administration one minute, accounting the next, and marketing/branding after that.
Emulate the best and brightest when it comes to label design and printing. Your ROI will be substantial.
Mark Lusky is a marketing communications professional who has worked with Lightning Labels, an all-digital custom label printer in Denver, CO, USA, since 2008. Find Lightning Labels on Facebook for special offers and label printing news.