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Labelling is an important element of product mix. Labelling means attaching a piece of paper, or a printed material or an unprinted one to display the contents of the product such as name of the manufacturer, price of the product, place of manufacturing and all such things that can be beneficial to the consumers. This informative tag, a seal etc that is attached to the product is known as label.

Types of label

There are different types of labels which are described as under:

Brand label

Brand label, as the name suggests, is put on the product to name or describe the company and a logo is put on it. This is mainly done for clear identification and differentiation of the product. For example: cloth brand i.e. Raymond has its attached label on all its cloth pieces.

Descriptive label

Descriptive label means the label which is put on the product so that important information can be displayed on it. The important information includes directions to use, chemical components, ingredients, weight, use of any artificial chemicals or colours etc. for example: we have usually seen the label on the cloth products such as shirts or t-shirts which includes information such as ‘do not wash in hot water’, ‘do not iron on the embroidery’ etc.

Grade label

The third kind of label is the grade label which usually describes the aspects and features of the products which is usually for food products or the products which can be classified into different categories. For example: milk packets can be given a label based on the fat content included in them.

Types of label

Functions of labelling

There are various functions performed by labelling on the products and are discussed as under:

Describe the product and specify its contents

A label which means a tag which is put on the product is very important for describing the product and its usage and also specifying the contents of the product. It is very important for certain products to display clearly its contents so that a precaution can be taken by the consumer before its use. For example: all medicinal products have the list of ingredients on the medicine and it specifies the areas where it cannot be used and also includes ‘consult the physician before use’, all these precautionary details are important before use. Starting from the first thing we use in a day is toothpaste and it has clear specifications related to its use and it also clearly mentions ‘use twice a day for better results’ and other information related to the gum problems which it will be addressing. Any sharp objects have a tag including ‘keep it away from kids below 5 years of age’. Food products also mention its method of preparation such as maggi, it includes the steps in which it can be prepared.

Identification of the brand or product

Labels are very important in today’s world where there is market full of identical products. It is very important to be different and eye catching so that consumers get attracted towards the products especially in self service outlets. The label on the product comes handy when the consumer wants to read about the specifications and caution detail of the product. For example: brands such as vegetable oil includes various details related to its use, contents, preservatives and caution details about the oil. Other common labels will include the details of the manufacturer and their location, along with the net weight of the product, batch number, price of the product, date of manufacturing, expiry date of the product etc.

Grading of products

The grade label is very important for grading the product into different categories. Grading is done to differentiate between different quality products, or different features of the products. This helps the manufacturer in keeping the products separate and also helps the consumer in clearly identifying the quality of the product which they want. For example: cosmetics products such as body lotion can have different categories such as body lotion for dry skin, normal skin and oily skin. Milk products can also classified and labelled according to the fact content such as 5% fat, 2% fat and 0.5% fat in the milk packets.

Helps in promotion of the product

Labelling is an important part of product mix as it helps in promotion of the product. A good label with attractive design will help in promoting the product in the market. They are even important for some promotional schemes such as sales promotion. The label of the product will be able to promote itself in the areas where the consumer needs to identify and choose for himself. For example: a product mentioning ‘buy 1 get 1 free’, this can be included in the label or ‘limited edition’ etc. there are many products such as chips or chocolates products, they usually mention ‘15% extra’, or products such as detergent powder –‘save Rs. 25’ etc.

Providing information required by law

There is some information which needs to be disclosed by the manufacturer to the consumer in adherence to the competition and consumer act, 2010. The food and drug administration has mentioned that the food products should compulsorily mention the nutritional labelling. It is also compulsory for certain products like tobacco and packets of cigarettes to have a statutory warning that these products are injurious to health. Hazardous and poisonous products also have warnings related to its safety and usage.

Labels perform various important functions as mentioned above and thus helps the producers/manufacturers, sellers and consumers by serving different purposes.

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