Most of us have been frustrated at some point when trying to remove labels from a recent purchase. In a recent US study by Soonmark involving more than 800 consumers, eight out of ten respondents said they had experienced a difficult time removing a label in the last year*, with kitchen-related purchases the worst offenders. More than half reported a sticky residue left behind on a product, and four-fifths said they had felt frustrated when removing a label.
Brand loyalty can be jeopardized by a retail label that delivers poor customer experience, which might include permanent marking or extended time spent removing the label. Product returns can also rise as a result. Yet many buyers of labelling are still unaware of the importance of choosing a suitable removable labelling material – opting for the wrong removable construction or even a permanent label instead. The challenge for label converters is twofold: how to create awareness and resulting demand in end users, and how to access the resources they need for dependable removable label applications.
When to use removable labels
Removable or temporary labels can provide tracking, pricing, product identification or promotional information. All must be easy to remove when no longer needed. Example applications include promotional/retail (price tagging, magazines and books); window stickers; auction house labels; and administration labels.
Selecting a removable labelling material
Removable labels can be selected predictably given the right information and resources – and with a methodical approach that takes note of all relevant factors. Those factors include all of the following:
·Material of the substrate - e.g. stainless steel, glass, ceramics, wood, HDPE, polypropylene or polyester
·The product it is being applied to - e.g. is it flat, curved, textured, corrugated, coated with varnish or oils
·Label facestock - which may be paper or film
·Fragility of the product it is being applied to
Get any of these wrong, and the resulting issues include a torn paper facestock; substrate ghosting (a faint area of discolouration left behind); adhesive residue; and ‘butterflying’ (where label edges detach).
Soonmark advises and collaborates with converters and end users to make sure that the right solution is chosen for individual removables applications. Such close technical support is important, because relatively small variations can make a difference (so what worked last time might need to be adjusted this time, unless all factors are unchanged).