Tag Along for Profits
From thermal-transfer applications to value-added designs, tags are hanging on in changing times.
From price tags to parking tickets, opportunities abound for the alert distributor in the arena of tags and tickets.
Although basic products are still available, manufacturers report growth markets in specific categories, such as thermal-transfer tags and more durable products. "We've seen growth mostly in thermal-transfer tags, such as those pre-printed with the customer's logo for end-user variable imaging," said Dale Jacoby, Badger Tag & Label, Random Lake, Wis.
Although Jacoby noted that the company has seen some drop in sales that was not anticipated, he said that Badger's sales are up 8.6 percent over 2002.
Variable Imaging Up
"We're doing more variable imaging, consecutive bar coding and human-readable imaging," Jacoby said. Badger's electronic imprintable tags allow end-users to incorporate a bar code and logo on high-quality stock, which can be imprinted with specific data by the end-user via laser, thermal, ink-jet or dot matrix printers.
Stylecraft Business Forms & Systems, Rochester Hills, Mich., has also seen a jump in variable imaging, although overall sales of tags and tickets have remained about the same the last three years, according to Andrea Pesci-Jones, executive vice president.
Scratch-off/reveal tickets have also experienced growth, according to Pesci-Jones. Applications include retail coupons and the more familiar contest products. "For a marketing tool, we have designed scratch-off tickets with discounts for both our offset and flexo plants," she said.
Rewards include discounts of up to 15 percent on new orders, free shipping, free composition or dollar discounts up to $100. The tickets, distributored in person or by mail, "not only encourage new business, but they also help show our capabilities," Pesci-Jones noted.
The largest growth area is in direct thermal and thermal-transfer tag stock, said Cynthia Fetzer-Alessi, customer service manager at Stylerite Label Corporation, Stylecraft's sister company. "We do a lot of tag products for manufacturers—coated on one side, either direct thermal or thermal-transfer, usually perfed with a notch or black bar for scanning," she said.