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Stephen Poppe

By: Stephen Poppe on March 12th, 2019

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10 Questions to Ask SmartLabel™ Solution Providers


by Stephen Poppe and Brooke Bright.

You’re ready to participate in SmartLabel™. Congrats! Now, all you need to do is select a partner to help make implementation easy and seamless. Sounds easy enough. But do you know which questions to ask to find the right fit for your brand?

Don’t worry, Label Insight has you covered. Our first-to-market, fully automated SmartLabel solution -- LabelSync -- has helped many CPG brands go live with SmartLabel. We’ve rounded up our learnings and put together a handy guide to make sure you pick the right partner.

1. What are your core competencies? 

Most brands seek a SmartLabel solution provider to help with two things: 1) Product data attribution and mapping; and 2) SmartLabel landing page creation. So, you want to find a partner that can do both really well (this is no easy feat, by the way). At Label Insight, we developed the industry’s first scientifically accurate database of food ingredients (250,000 ingredients that link to 10,000 head ingredients), nutrients (50,000 nutrients mapped to 5,000 head nutrients), and claims (1.5 million claims mapped to 3,500 head claims). So, we know a thing or two about transforming unstructured product data into structured, searchable product attributes. We also understand the requirements of designing a database architecture to integrate with technology applications like SmartLabel.

2. Do you offer automated data attribution? 

Manually entering product attributes is a tedious process, drag and dropbut it’s required by some solution providers. Ask in advance to avoid the drain on resources. At Label Insight, we’re proud to offer a solution that automatically maps 100 percent of the 52 mandatory attributes and a platform that offers you the ability to add any of the 198 voluntary attributes to your pages in accordance with GS1 standards. All of this starts with merely dragging and dropping your products into our platform, or if you have quality GDSN data, publishing it via our partnership with 1WorldSync.

3. Will I have dedicated support throughout the process?

As with any new digital endeavor, questions are bound to arise and some csguidance and project planning is always useful. Knowing you have a live person and team on the other end supporting you and walking you through the process is critical. If a service provider’s price point seems too good to be true, it may be because you’ll be on your own once you sign on. At Label Insight, each customer is assigned a Customer Success Manager who is with you throughout the entire process -- from project setup and onboarding, through the review and publishing of your pages.

4. Are you able to display parsed ingredients?

Creating good SmartLabel landing pages is all about creating a parsed ingredientsdigital experience for your products that is clean and easy to read for consumers. That is why at Label Insight, we have created technology that digitizes the on-package ingredient statement and interprets the parsed ingredients to then map the true ingredient compositional hierarchy of parent and sub-ingredient logic. Sound complicated? Good – because it is – but we do it for you. Many providers will instead only reflect a block of ingredient text that replicates exactly what the consumer has already seen on the package. While parsed ingredients is not a mandatory SmartLabel attribute, at Label Insight, we include this feature in our SmartLabel solution to ensure a more organized, structured, and logical display of ingredients on landing pages for consumers.

5. Can you classify allergen containment?

Allergen information is one of the most sought-after pieces of allergensinformation by consumers, but for brands, accounting for allergen properties of ingredients can be challenging. That’s why allergen containment classification is a standard feature in the Label Insight SmartLabel solution. Our LabelSync technology recognizes ingredient properties, then automatically displays ingredients for food allergens -- including “the major eight” allergens (e.g., dairy, soy, eggs) and less common ones like sulfites, sunflower and sesame. We classify based on six levels: contains, may contain, shared equipment, shared facility, free of and facility free.

 6. Do your ingredient parsing protocols adhere to FDA regulations?fda

Given our ongoing relationship with the FDA, we are experts in the administration’s regulations, and ensure our ingredient parsing abides by them. For example, our SmartSPEC technology recognizes ingredient purpose statements listed on ingredient panels and displays them accordingly. So if the ingredient panel lists Sorbic Acid (To Protect Quality), then that’s what you’ll see on your SmartLabel landing page. Beware of solutions that don’t include the purpose statement along with the ingredient, as this will likely mean more work (read: manual data entry) on your end.

7. Can you facilitate adding off-package data to my SmartLabel landing pages?

Going “Beyond the Label” is a big opportunity for brands to promote information that isn’t listed on packaging -- things like marketing messages, benefits, and features. You need a partner that can seamlessly map these attributes for you. Label Insight can do this. We have a built a platform that allows you to add voluntary content like claims, ingredient sourcing information, and brand messaging. In addition, if you have a large portfolio of products and per product customization is daunting, we are able to utilize Global Decisions to apply voluntary attributes to an entire brand or product grouping of products.

8. Can you quickly adapt your SmartLabel template and engine to GMA Implementation Guides?

SmartLabel has undergone 4 major updates to the Implementation Guide since its inception in 2016, which requires a product and engineering team able to vet requirements and quickly implement the changes without impacting existing pages and your workflow on new ones. The recent 2.0 update that accounts for product type-specific regulation for BE (bioengineered) disclosure within food and NY/CA regulation for household cleaners is a great example of the type of development complexities a provider will need to be ready for. Make sure your provider has the technology and team to support this dynamic initiative.

9. Are you able to provide traffic analytics to measure consumer engagement?

Now that you have your SmartLabel landing pages live, how are you tracking consumer engagement? It’s critical to have visibility into how effective your investment in SmartLabel is turning out. Fortunately, Label Insight offers monthly analytics that can provide a high-level overview of page views, number of users, and whether traffic is coming from mobile vs. computer vs. tablet, and granular details around which tab is getting the most clicks or traffic by day and most viewed ingredients. These metrics combined can help communicate success on various marketing campaigns or show the benefits of off-package content.
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10. What do I need to do to get started?

The partner you select should know data and have the internal resources to make SmartLabel implementation quick and simple for your brand. At Label Insight, we have both and with LabelSync, it starts with one step: Send us your packaging images or publish your GDSN data. Once we map your product data to SmartLabel attributes, we’ll invite you into Publisher, where you can review and publish your data through our simple, self-guided platform. After you publish the data, we make your SmartLabel landing page live. It’s that easy.


Please reach out to talk to one of our Subject Matter Experts to learn more.





About Stephen Poppe

Stephen is Senior Manager of Customer Success and leads a talented and dynamic team to ensure that all implementations leave our customers delighted with the experience.