Labeling communicates quality, but it’s often overlooked or underrated.
Picture a well-dressed, well-groomed man in an expensive suit. Now picture him in the same suit with his shirt misbuttoned and untucked on one side and his hair uncombed. This change affected your impression, right?
The same is true of your bottle labels.
A sharp-looking label is only as good as its application. If it’s crooked, wrinkled, ripped, bubbled, or otherwise marred or coming off, that’s what people are likely to notice and remember about your brand.
One survey showed that 33% of shoppers are inclined to reject a product simply because they don’t like the label. Imagine the impact of a damaged bottle label. Consumers could decide you have poor quality standards and opt to purchase a competing product instead.
Let’s do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
As with many things in life, there’s a way that seems easier but winds up being harder in the end, and there’s a better way that may take a little more upfront investment but will pay off quickly. Here’s a look at both options in terms of how to apply bottle labels.
Option 1: The hard way.
Many start-ups and small companies think handheld or manual labeling is the best option. As budgets are formulated and priority purchases set, investing a portion of the budget in labeling machines is most often not be on the table, so instead, less-expensive (and consequently, less-productive) equipment is used. However, it’s important to consider all of the costs. Hand labeling could actually be more expensive, once costs like labor, waste due to incorrectly placed labels, and production speeds are factored in the equation.
If you’ve counted the costs and still believe hand labeling is best the best method for your bottle labels, be sure your employees know how to apply the label and understand the importance of getting it positioned properly.
Here are a few tips on how to apply a bottle label that might help (go here for additional, in-depth tips).
- Choose where you’ll place the label.
- Clean and dry the area to ensure that the adhesive will stick.
- Make sure your labels are at room temperature (unless you’re using labels designed to use with extreme heat or cold).
- Lay the bottle down on a surface where it won’t roll, with the lid pointing away from you.
- Remove the backing liner and hold the bottle label on both ends – avoid touching the adhesive as much as possible.
- Align the label over the area of the bottle where you want to place it.
- Press the bottle label evenly into place, starting with the middle, then working out from the center toward each side.
- Smooth the label making sure it adhered completely.
- Let the label cure for 72 hours.
Even if your staff knows how to apply bottle labels, getting it right every time is tricky. You might try using labels with repositionable adhesive, so employees have a second chance if needed. Be aware that clear labels are especially prone to unsightly bubbles. You can gently try to push the bubbles to the label edge with a plastic tool, but it may be better to use a labeling machine if you want to use clear labels.
Condensation is another concern that impacts improperly adhered labels, causing the labels to lift up on the edges or fall off all together. Once again, using the proper equipment that reliably and completely seals each bottle label edge to edge, is the best solution for this dilemma.
The reality is that even the most eagle-eyed, expert-labeling humans are more prone to error and fatigue than machines. And they simply can’t match the speed. Not to mention, most employees can be better utilized in more productive ways.
Thankfully, there’s another way that makes it surprisingly simple for anyone to learn how to apply bottle labels correctly every time.
Option 2: A better way.
Automated labeling machines can transform an organization in a blink. Semi-automatic labeling machines are the next step up from handheld or manual labeling. These are free-standing machines that still require a bit of manual labor on your part, as you feed products through the machine in batches. But the labeling process goes very quickly, potentially increasing your production by as much as 300%.
Perhaps an even better option is to invest in a fully automatic, inline labeling machine. This equipment requires less labor to operate and boasts a ridiculously simple setup process. A fully automatic bottle labeler integrates with your current production line and can handle a speedy, constant stream of bottles, for a potential productivity boost of up to 500%.
Knowing how to apply bottle labels really becomes a matter of choosing the best labeling machine for your product and purposes. There are a few key considerations to keep in mind, including package type/shape and label type/shape. Most bottle labels are best served by a wrap-around labeling machine, but in some cases, you may want to use a top and bottom, front and back, or shrink sleeve labeling machine.
Which bottle labeling application method is right for you?
Even if you can clearly see that a labeling machine is the way to go, deciding whether to invest in bottle labeling equipment is a big decision. It’s likely that you have questions like:
- How do I know when it’s time?
- Which machine is right for my product?
- How much will it cost?
- What ROI can I expect?
The best way to get the info you need is by scheduling a consultation with a bottle labeling expert that can walk you through your options and answer your questions, point by point.
Pack Leader USA has the knowledge and experience to help. We can show you and your staff how to apply bottle labels easily and perfectly every time. By now, you’ve probably guessed that our proven method to accomplish this is to add a labeling machine to your line.
Still on the fence? Seeing is believing, so we invite you to visit our resources page to watch instructional videos of these amazing bottle labelers in action.