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Sep 8th, 2022

Why Labels are More Important Than Ever for All Types of Businesses

“I don't like labels.”

Chances are you've heard this from just about every person on the planet. But if you're a business, you should learn to like – no, love – labels.

Whether you realize it or not, we encounter all kinds of labels daily:

- Product labels on packaged meat at the grocery store

- Mobile order stickers on your morning Starbucks coffee cup

- Wristbands at rock concerts

- Barcodes on a box of shoes

- Shipping labels on your weekly Amazon Prime deliveries

From packaging labels to clearance stickers, businesses use labels to help drive their business forward, while also remaining mindful of the environment and sustainability.

Don't believe us? Learn more about two common types of labels, how they work, and why they're vital to the success of your organization.

Direct Thermal Labels vs. Thermal Transfer Labels

Overall, thermal printing is an easy-to-use, quick, and efficient printing method. There are two types of thermal printing available: direct thermal and thermal transfer.

What are Direct Thermal Labels?

Direct thermal labels are low-maintenance, cost-effective labels where heat is applied to ink-embedded paper to create desired images or text.

This type of label requires fewer materials – no ribbons, ink, or toner! – making it better for the environment and lower in cost. These pressure-sensitive labels can also be applied by hand or by automated machines, depending upon your needs. Direct thermal labels are available for purchase in rolls or fan-folded to create large quantities of labels, saving you time and money.

While these are a lower-cost option compared to other labels, they have a few limitations. First, direct thermal labels are easily scratched and damaged upon exposure to UV light or high heat. Second, although there are color labels available for direct thermal printing, it will only print in black ink, which can limit your printing options.

These limitations make direct thermal labels best suited for indoor uses that last no longer than 6-8 months.

What are Thermal Transfer Labels?

Thermal transfer labels use a thermal print head to melt colored wax or resin from a thermal ribbon to print high-quality images and text.

Like direct thermal labels, thermal transfer labels are pressure sensitive and can be applied by hand or by machine. Unlike direct thermal labels, these labels require a thermal ribbon to print, and a specific ribbon will be required depending on the type of printer you own, making this a more costly choice when compared to direct transfer labels.

However, thermal transfer labels are more durable than their short-term counterparts. This type of thermal label prints on either paper or synthetic polypropylene, creating waterproof labels that last up to 2 years. These scratch-resistant labels are also available in a wide variety of paper and ribbon colors.

6 Reasons Why All Businesses Need Thermal Labels

You may now be a pro on thermal labeling, but how does it apply to your business? You may be surprised to learn that labels are vital to a business's success – including yours!

Here are some ways that labels can impact your day-to-day operations, help drive sales, and more.

1.) Convey Information Easily and Quickly

The core function of a label is to tell whoever handles them, from postal workers to warehouse managers to consumers, what to do.

We're not just talking about shipping labels, either.

  • Hospitals use labels on patient wristbands to scan patient information quickly and efficiently
  • Retailers utilize barcode labels to keep stock of their inventory
  • Produce suppliers utilize labels to keep track of fresh food and convey important information, like expiration dates.
  • Warehouses utilize labels to properly pack fragile items.

2.) Make Shipping and Receiving a Breeze

Whether you are a mom-and-pop shop sending a few packages a day to a large warehouse with thousands of packages out for delivery, having the correct labeling system will make shipping and delivery more efficient.

Thermal transfer labels are great for shipping and receiving, as they can withstand the elements. Plus, you can print barcodes and QR codes on the labels for easy scanning. This allows for more information to be housed on a UPC than can be printed on the label itself.

Also - did we mention it makes printing large quantities a breeze?

3.) It's Mandatory

Legally, many industries are required to include labels on their products. According to The National Law Review, the FTC and FDA require “all ‘consumer commodities' be labeled to disclose net contents, identity of commodity, and name and place of business of the product's manufacturer, packer, or distributor" via the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) of 1967.

Failure to properly label items can result in a lawsuit – and nobody wants that. Please follow industry guidelines for proper labeling. For example, this FDA food labeling and nutrition manual directly outlines label requirements for prepared food and raw product labels.

4.) Easily Capture Attention

Need a label sticker to mark a t-shirt on clearance or add warning labels to hazardous material?

Remember, thermal transfer labels are available in various colors, which will help your product stand out, which can be helpful for products on-shelf competing for consumer attention, or for organizing warehouses filled with thousands of products.

5.) Improve User Experience

People want info, and they want that info NOW.

Labels should help their audience save time by quickly providing information. For example, if you make kosher-only products, you need to have a clear, concise kosher label visible on your product.

Help make your employees or your consumers happy with clear, easy-to-understand labels.

6.) Establish Credibility

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and checked a product's expiration date, only to be frustrated because it is illegible? You probably questioned the quality of that product – or you never bought that brand again.

Damaged and hard-to-read labels break the trust between you and your end user. Quality labels that are clear, concise, and professional will help consumers have confidence in your brand and your products.

Label Your Business a Success

At the end of the day, everyone needs labels. Your business needs them to get your product from A to B, and your consumer needs them to discern whether they'll be buying your product.

If you deal with short-term products, like baked goods, dermal transfer labels are a great, cost-effective option. However, if you have moisture-prone inventory or your packages will be exposed to high heat, thermal transfer labels will provide you with sturdy labeling that will withstand the elements.

If you still aren't sure which type of thermal labeling is best for you, let's chat! Our goal at Trinity Packaging Supply is to provide you with the best labels at the best price. So, whether you are looking for rolls of dermal transfer labels or need custom packaging labels, we can provide you with the right labels you need to take your business to the next level.