Stick to What Works with Labels
In a world where technology takes precedence, labels continue to reinvent themselves and thrive.
The BFL&S 2003 Top 100 Distributors' survey reported that label sales rose to $247 million from $218 million in 2002—a 13.3 percent increase—and the Top 10 sold $149 million in labels and tags that year. What does this all mean for the labels industry? Suffice it to say that labels are a force to be reckoned with.
In an effort to find out just what gives labels their staying power, two executives provided some much-needed insight into the profitable world of labeling.
"Labels will always have a niche because they are used everywhere and on everything," said Melinda Fulton, marketing manager for Elgin, Illinois-based Continental Datalabel, a supplier of sheeted laser-compatible, thermal-transfer and continuous dot matrix labels.
Echoing Fulton's sentiments, Dick Dennis, vice president of sales for Label Art, Wilton, N.H., said, "Every product that is manufactured has a label. I recently came across an air conditioning unit that had 24 different labels adhered to it."
In a market that seems to be motivated by promotional products and commercial printing, Dennis contends that labels are here to stay. "Labels have a great future. They have been showing an upward trend in a number of vertical markets, such as manufacturing and health-care," he said.
The numbers undoubtedly show that label sales are on the rise. In return for this good fortune, manufacturers introduced a variety of new products in 2003. Fulton said that Continental Datalabel introduced a number of thermal-transfer and direct thermal label products. "Due to overwhelming popularity, we introduced thermal-transfer labels on 3˝ cores with 6˝ and 8˝ outside diameters. We also introduced direct thermal labels on 3˝ and 1˝ cores," she explained. This year, the company has already introduced sheeted labels and cards. "We strive to provide distributors with unique products," noted Fulton.