Consumers stick with thermal labels for bar codes and more
By Eric Fiedler
Direct thermal and thermal-transfer labels are getting tougher, and so is their market.
Although still a relatively new product, thermal labels have established themselves as the leading label products for a host of printers.
"It's becoming a real dog fight because everyone wants a piece of the action," said Tony Heinl, vice president of sales and marketing at Repacorp Label Products, Tipp City, Ohio.
"They are out of the infant stage and definitely in a state of growth," said Tom Ainsworth, marketing director for Continental Datalabel, Elgin, Ill. "It's growing, and I don't see any reason why it [would] stop any time soon."
While the product itself has progressed, some people are still catching up.
"We're seeing more distributors realizing it's out there, but not always sure how to market it," Ainsworth said.
He added that distributors should keep finding new ways to sell thermal-transfer labels--and to make sure they offer ribbons as well. "For every label you sell, you're going to need just as much ribbon," he said.
The competition has spurred a collection of value-added features for thermal labels. "We are producing some pretty oddball sizes now," said Heinl. "We've got 158 items on the shelf and were growing all the time."
Repacorp offers complete process label printing, including in-house digital art. "We're also using more polyester tag stocks, as well as wax resin and resin ribbons," said Heinl.
"We're showing good growth due to production enhancements," added Ainsworth. "We've fine-tuned our machines because we want to be right out front."
Ainsworth said Continental offers one-, two- and three-color labels, and takes time to educate distributors on how to upsell generic thermal-transfer labels with color and other options.
The latest change in the market is brighter labels. Dunsirn Industries, Neenah, Wis., now produces coated thermal-transfer tags at increased brightness. Dunsirn claims that its Designer White thermal transfer series results in: