In the face of skepticism, good labeling builds trust

According to a new Nielsen study, a majority of Americans don't trust labels on food products that designate them as "natural" or "organic." While a healthy skepticism in the marketplace is justified by reports that many products fall short of claims on labels, it poses a creative challenge for companies whose products actually stand up to those certifications. 

Suppose your company grows, harvests and cans organic tomatoes. Your production chain is unimpeachably in line with industry standards, and goes above and beyond to ensure quality and ethical manufacturing through every step of the process. In theory, designating those products "organic" should reward the efforts your firm has made to supply the best possible goods to consumers. And evidence shows that those customers buy such items anyway: "natural" sales are up 24 percent in the last two years, and "organics" are up 28 percent. 

While your company might be reaping benefits from its health-conscious practices, it's possible that your market share is dented by competitors with lower standards, who get away with sporting the same label indications that you do. One way to combat this and to emerge with the strongest brand is using labels to invite consumers into the production process. 

Besides simply labeling your tomatoes "organic," consider creative label promotions. For example, you could write a brief summary of the life cycle for each natural or organic product. Talk about the geographic origin of the food, and any special measures your company takes in the growing, harvesting, processing or shipping process. By turning your brand's ethical practices into a clear narrative, customers have more information to base their decisions on than the simple "natural" label. 

Custom label printing allows firms to implement dynamic strategy in the face of competition. Strong labeling can turn even the staunchest skeptics around. 

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