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Understanding Eco-Labeling and Its Benefits

April 3, 2019

In today's saturated marketplace, brands have to do everything they can to stand out on store shelves. That often means amplifying product branding to appeal to certain types of consumers, embracing unique packaging methods, or going to great lengths to ensure your products are undoubtedly the highest quality. Since 85% of consumers say their purchasing decisions are informed by reading a product package while shopping, there's no better way to make your product distinctive than by embracing unique labels.

But it may not be enough to have an interesting label design. You may also need to obtain certain kinds of certifications that can instantly communicate your ethos and your product quality to customers. If sustainability is high on your brand's list of priorities and you've made a concerted effort to make your products greener, you may want to explore the idea of eco-labeling to improve your brand image and ensure consumers understand how dedicated you are to environmental responsibility. In today's post, we'll take a closer look at what eco-labeling is (and what it isn't), as well as the benefits that come along with these kinds of labels for your business.

What is Eco-Labeling?

Let's first define the term "eco-labeling." Eco labels are various types of symbols and logos that companies will include on packaging or custom labels to indicate that their products are better for the environment than other comparable products on the market. There are all kinds of eco labels, many of which you've probably seen on store shelves. Obtaining a literal stamp of approval from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) shows that the wood products used to make an item were sourced responsibly and don't come from rainforests, while an Energy Star logo shows consumers that home appliances are much more energy efficient.

In all cases, eco labels are voluntary -- meaning that a company is not forced to include this designation. However, businesses do typically need to apply for permission to use these symbols on their products, as the agencies in question want to ensure that brands are complying with their standards. This is an important distinction to make, as many of today's products are branded in a way that suggests sustainability but may not actually pass any real standards for being designated as such. Certain terms like "natural" and "organic" aren't really regulated by any federal agency, meaning that companies can often include them to do what's known as "greenwashing." In other words, some companies have used these terms to knowingly mislead customers by making their products seem more eco-friendly than they actually are. However, eco labels are granted only to companies that are able to prove that their products adhere to the standards of these independent organizations.

What Are the Benefits of Eco-Labeling?

One of the distinct advantages of using eco-friendly labels for your business is the valuable information this provides to the consumer. It's an efficient way of letting the customer know that your product promotes sustainability and that your business is dedicated to this cause. Customers feel good about buying your product because it allows them to directly make a positive impact on the planet -- and that's a great way to build customer loyalty.

It's also important to note that eco labeling can give your business an edge. Of course, custom labels and interesting packaging can do that, as well. But using eco labels for your business can allow you to appeal to all sorts of demographics without having to reinvent the wheel. This can allow you to rise above the competition. After all, if a consumer is comparing two similar products but one has a clear commitment to environmental responsibility, which one do you think the consumer will choose?

Eco labels are usually included as part of other types of packaging or labels for your business -- so they aren't so much a standalone product as they are an essential component. To learn more about how to include certifications like these on labels for your business's products, please get in touch with us today.

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