A survey found that 60% of consumers are likely to reject a product if the label does not provide enough information about the product. So, before you start your labeling design process, here’s a read to understand the different aspects of labeling compliance.
In this article, we’ll define product labeling compliance and why it’s important for any brand, then we’ll dig into the key ingredients of a successful product label compliance strategy.
- What is labeling compliance?
- Why should you care about labeling compliance?
- How to maintain labeling compliance?
Simply put, what consumers see on a label is a set of mandatory information that informs and educates them about the product. It’s not something that the brand comes up with. Rather, it’s the industry and the government who have laid down guidelines and laws to ensure that certain information on a label is always present.
Labeling compliance is the process of releasing a product label that meets all the requirements and regulations laid down by the concerned authorities.
This brings us to the next question. Why is it so important?
While everyone tells you that the product label needs to be compliant, pause and consider the why.
As consumers walk down the supermarket aisle or as they browse online, they are faced with many choices. Information on a product label helps consumers to make the choice that suits their tastes and lifestyles. E.g, the nutritional chart on a food label shows consumers what the product contains and helps them compare it with others to make an informed decision.
The safety of consumers should be the highest priority for brands. Failing to comply can cause serious consequences for brands. Recently, FDA issued a warning to Whole Foods for failing to declare allergens on product labeling, leading to massive recalls across locations.
Such instances cause financial losses and also affect a brand’s reputation in the market. Consumers may become wary of purchasing your products and will choose competitor products over yours, resulting in a long-term decrease in brand value.
An OECD report states that the counterfeit pharmaceutical industry is worth $200 billion annually. The statistics are more or less similar for other industries including food and cosmetics. As the demand for a product grows, so does the counterfeit trade.
In such cases, labeling lends authenticity to products. Apart from mentioning manufacturers’ addresses, product ID codes, brands are also seeking smart solutions including barcodes for tracking, and tamper-evident labels to ensure it sets the real product apart from the counterfeits.
Every product in the market is regulated by established authorities. The authorities and organizations change by industry and country.
In India, FSSAI regulates food products. In the U.S., the FDA regulates food, medical including vaccinations and medical devices, cosmetics, animal and veterinary products.
These organizations lay down regulations and requirements for accurate product labeling. The compliance teams within organizations need to create a list of mandatory regulations that apply to your product labeling.
Consistency in your product labeling ensures your brand’s image in the market. While guidelines vary between industries, here’s a template from our team to cover the basics:
Keep track of the regulation changes in your industry to make sure your product labeling is always compliant.
The next step is to set up a digital repository to store all your artwork assets in one place. Your team must have access to the latest artwork file versions and feedback. Along with version control, your teams will also benefit from collecting feedback and collaborating on one hub.
You should also look for a solution that allows you to give access control to certain users for particular projects. An audit log helps to track feedback and tasks resolving team accountability issues. You should also be able to archive projects and assign any artwork file as the current version.
Additionally, a platform like Artwork Flow features plug-ins that help project managers and designers to upload files from Google Drive and Adobe Creative Cloud.
For compliant product labeling, brands have to go through a long and tedious process. They have to go back and forth to design a label that’s not only compliant but also attractive.
The product label artwork approval process includes many stakeholders including project managers, brand managers, marketers, quality control managers. It becomes more complicated when the stakeholders are based remotely or in different locations.
Therefore the artwork approval and review process brings up challenges:
- No visibility on project progress
- Siloed teams or stakeholders
- Complicated workflows created in excel sheets
- Chasing after stakeholders for feedback
- Manual reviews that can cause errors
- Ad hoc feedback and requests through different communication channels
A workflow management platform helps brands to manage their artwork projects and enables them to approve label artwork files and go-to-market faster. You should also look for an artwork management platform with features such as online proofing tools, checklists, annotations, and comments to scale up your approval process.
Product labeling should be compliant before it’s distributed in the market or the brand/company will face legal action and product recalls. Therefore, it’s essential to get it right more often and error-proof your labels. Artwork Flow’s online proofing software gives teams an advantage in approving and reviewing process to reduce bottlenecks and reworks that slows down creative projects.