Allocating funds to produce custom printed labels is an excellent technique to help boost brand recognition and display your company in an innovative, professional manner. However, creating custom printed labels involves more than just designing an attractive picture and text. Designing for your target audience is crucial, so you must know who is buying your products and how often. A recent study revealed that major brands are not taking into consideration the majority of the population and in turn, missing out on huge profits. So who is this critical audience that is so effortlessly overlooked? Believe it or not, it’s the elderly.
Individuals over 50 years old hold 80% of all the financial assets in the United States and account for half of all discretionary spending. Most seniors feel they are largely ignored by advertisements and custom printed labels and they have difficulty reading or opening various packaging. What companies tend to forget is that the elderly population focuses on quality, not price, and is extremely loyal to the brands it chooses. So what are the solutions to win back this loyalty? First, companies need to ensure that their custom printed labels are easy to read and understand. This can be accomplished through bolder, larger text and graphics that tell the product story. Additionally, larger instructions should be placed on side panels or foldouts affixed to bottles and jars for easier reading. Besides legibility, seniors also face problems with package interface. Companies should conduct tests to pinpoint problems with opening, using, and storing the product, so changes can be made to closures and design systems.
Who should modify their custom printed labels to cater to the elderly audience? Heritage brands with a heavy senior consumer market are obvious choices for these changes; but the truth is, all brands should review their labeling and packaging. Mature adults purchase many products for their children and grandchildren, so they need to feel like they are at least being considered. We’ve seen examples of these modifications in today’s market. Amazon works with leading manufacturers to offer “Frustration Free Packaging” geared toward older and handicapped individuals. Also, Nabisco has created new packaging for their Chips Ahoy and Oreo cookies with their easy-open and reclosable seals.
At the end of the day, companies using custom printed labels need to maintain brand identity and engage a target audience. Their purpose should be to deliver a brand promise that is honest and aspirational and makes an emotional connection. While keeping up with current trends is a great short-term strategy, trends will require that you redesign often, spending more time and money. So develop a style that is legible, simple, and effective, and stick with it!