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Labelling is another significant means of product identification like branding and packaging. Labelling is the act of attaching or tagging labels. A label can be anything – a piece of paper, printed statement, imprinted metal, leather which is either a part of a package or attached to it, indicating a value of contents of a price of product name and place of producers or such useful information to be beneficial to the user. Thus, a label is an informative tag, wrapper or seal attached to a product or product’s package.
Labeling gives necessary information to the customers about the products. The customers can get knowledge about the quality and features of the product without tasting the product. They can recognize standard and grade of the product. Label provides information about the price, quantity, quality etc. of the product, due to which the customers buy the product without doubt and hesitation. They compare the product with the same nature products of other firms on the basis of the information provided on the label.
Label becomes helpful to sellers to sell out the product. It protects the customers from malpractices of the middlemen. Labeling is very important element affecting sales and distribution process of a product, which provides clear information about the grade, quantity, price, brand name, features etc. to the customers.In some countries, many products, including food and pharmaceuticals, are required by law to contain certain labels such as listing ingredients, nutritional information, or usage warning information.Labels are attached to the product package to provide information such as a manufacturer of the product, date of manufacture, date of expiry, its ingredients, how to use the product, and its handling.
Many types of symbols for package labeling are nationally and internationally standardized. For consumer packaging, symbols exist for product certifications, trademarks, and proof of purchase. Some requirements and symbols exist to communicate aspects of consumer use and safety. For example, the estimated sign notes conformance to EU weights and measures accuracy regulations. Examples of environmental and recycling symbols include the recycling symbol, the resin identification code, and the "green dot."
According to Mason and Rath, “Label is an information tag, wrapper or seal attached to a product or product’s package.”
According to W.J. Stanton, “Label is the part of a product that carries verbal information about the producer or seller.”
From the above definitions, labeling consists of printed information pertaining to the product appearing on or with the package.
In some countries, many products, including food and pharmaceuticals, are required by law to contain certain labels such as ingredients, nutritional information, or usage warning information (FDA). For example, a law label is a legally required tag or label on new items describing the fabric and filling regulating the United States mattress, upholstery, and stuffed article industry. The purpose of the law label is to inform the consumer of the hidden contents, or "filling materials" inside bedding & furniture products. Laws requiring these tags were passed in the United States to inform consumers as to whether the stuffed article they were buying contained new or recycled materials. The recycling logo needed to be displayed on the label. The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) is a law that applies to labels on many consumer products that state the products identity, the company that manufactures it, and the net quantity of contents.
Label may be classified into following types:
A brand label is a brand alone applied to the product or to the package. The example of the brand label are some clothes “Vimal and Raymond” or soaps carry the brand “OK”, Lux. MAUR, JUNELI, etc.
A grade label identifies the quality of a product by a letter, number or words. For instance, grapes may be labeled as A, B, or C and corn and wheat may be labeled as number 1 and number 2. Some stores grade their products as good, better and best.
The descriptive label means placing on the label details such as component part of the products, chemical analysis, weight, size use of artificial color, the percentage of wool, thread count, age, use of product, directions for its use etc. It can also be used on products impossible or difficult to grades, such as clothing, furniture, and mechanical goods. It gives instructions for washing, use, and care.
The informative label is a term which is used for labels. It carries a large amount of information. It is distinguished from descriptive labeling in the sense that it contains fuller instruction on the use and care of the product. Such labels may contain recipes, instructions for clearing and other information of similar nature.
The following are the functions of labeling:
Labelling identifies the product or brand easily. It prevents substitution of competitive product. For example Wai -Wai noodles or Horlicks are identified by label even by uneducated people.
Labelling is helpful in grading the product according to quality and features. A package of fruits and vegetables can be the example of grading.
Labelling helps to describe the product, its size, quality, quantity, and method of use. For example, a label used in medicine.
Labelling plays the significant role in the promotion of the product. The graphic designs of the label attract the customers to buy the product. For example, information about free or extra product published on a label like a free brush for the purchase of Close up, free Dabur honey for the purchase of Dabur Chyawanprash.
Labeling protects the consumer from adulteration. For example information about ingredients and date of manufacture and expiry published in a label like food items, medicine, cosmetics, etc.
Labelling helps in promotion of the product through attractive designing. The product looks very attractive when it is labelled. It is the source of attraction to the consumers too.
There is various function of labelling. Instead of them some of the important function of labeling are as follow:
A label helps to provide complete information regarding the product. It mainly includes ingredients of the product, its usage, and caution in use, cares to be taken while using it, date of manufacturing, batch number, etc.
Labelling helps to identify particular product among many. It makes easier to find out the product.For example, you as a consumer want to select CINTHOL SOAP. The task of finding the desired soap from a heap of various branded soaps becomes easier with the help of labeling.
Labelling helps in the garding of the product too. When a product has different qualities, labeling helps to find out which pack contains what type of quality. For example, Hindustan Unilever Ltd. manufactures three types of tea and to differentiate the each type of tea, the company uses Green, Red, and Yellow coloured labels.
Labelling helps in the promotion of the products too.The fourth function of labeling is to promote sales. Sometimes a consumer gets encouraged to buy a product simply due to an attractive label. Nowadays, labeling is used as effective sales promoting tool.
Labeling helps to provide statutory warning required by law. To put ‘smoking is injurious to health’ on the package of cigarette and ‘Chewing Tobacco is Injurious to Health’ on the package of Pan Masala are the examples of statutory warning. Similarly, in a case of hazardous or poisonous products, appropriate statutory warning need to be put on the label.It provides important information of the product applied in the law.
Koirala, Dr. Kundan Dutta. Elementary Marketing. Kathmandu: Buddha Academic Publishers and Distributors Pvt. Ltd, 2014.
Thapa, Gopal, Dipendra K. Neupane and Dilli Raj Mishra. Introduction to Marketing. Kathmandu: Asmita Books Publishers and Distributors (P) Ltd., 2014.