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Stephen Poppe

By: Stephen Poppe on April 9th, 2019

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5 questions to consider before participating in SmartLabel

SmartLabel™  |  LabelSync

Everywhere we look these days, technology is driving change and growth. Phones are folding, groceries are being delivered to our doorsteps, and our parents are investing in digital currencies that may or may not be real. Not immune from change, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods has added fuel to the fire of technology-driven change in the retail environments and the means in which we interact with food and everyday products. One example of this change is being driven by the GMA’s SmartLabel initiative, which allows customers to interact with a digital replica of their products in their hand via their SmartPhones to gain additional insights. As companies increasingly look to leverage technology to meet their goals, here are five questions to consider before participating in SmartLabel.


1. What is the best source of truth for my products?

As SmartLabel is a digital product, its reflected content can be gathered and mapped to SmartLabel attributes in a number of different ways. Label Insight has developed a LabelSync solution that allows us to leverage digitized data via package flats (six-sided images) submitted to our platform or via published GDSN data from 1WorldSync’s environment, or even CSV. Your company's direction on this front should mainly be informed by the quality and depth of your GDSN data. If it isn't the best representation of your products, we’ve created an easy-to-use platform where images (package flats and marketing images) can easily be uploaded.

2. How are my brands positioned for existing and future regulations?

From New Label reform to GMO/BE disclosure and the NY and CA regulations for household cleaner products, consumers are demanding transparency and on package legislation is following closely behind. With that in mind, it is critical to step back and view your brands' compliance strategy through the lens of how they are positioned today for what we know as well as the variables of tomorrow. What we have learned to date is that having a digital replica of a package flat via SmartLabel with an on-package QR code allows you enough digital real estate to flex and add content based on your compliance needs.

3. Which teams internally should own the SmartLabel initiative?

Creating a digital replica of your product portfolio with unlimited digital real estate for off-package storytelling, brand positioning, and compliance requires participation from the same teams involved in the initial product creation workflow. With this in mind, it's key to align internally on goals of participation in the initiative and then create a core team with representatives from each of the internal teams that will support the implementation. Most often, regulatory will want to have a point of view on the digitized version of the on-package content (NFP, ingredient statement, etc.) whereas brand and marketing will want to leverage the digital real estate for off-package sustainability messaging and brand storytelling. Each company will have its own version of this recipe, but the key is to make sure the entire organization is aligned on the goal, approach, and the team that will support it.

4. What role would SmartLabel play in our marketing strategy?

Product marketing is ever evolving, and thinking through how SmartLabel pages should integrate into your evolving strategy is key. Many companies still have static images of nutrition facts panels on their brand website that require maintenance by expensive digital agencies whenever a product is updated. Instead, why not leverage your new digital labels and replace the static image of the nutrition facts panel with a SmartLabel link that would take a consumer directly to the SmartLabel landing page for that product? Another option is to ingest the API data associated with the landing page to inform Ingredient or NFP dropdowns in the product detail page. In either scenario, you are replacing static with dynamic content that reduces overhead costs and minimizes risk associated with out-of-date content being available to your consumers.


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5) Do I build it or buy it?

At the end of the day, the value equation often comes down to comparing in-house expenses and opportunity costs associated with building out your own solution vs. paying a solution provider. Fortunately, Label Insight has already done most of the ground work here, which shows that by quite a large margin leveraging the right SmartLabel provider pays off. This fact is further illustrated by our 52% market ownership of currently live SmartLabel pages, which shows others agree. If you'd like to learn more about how we can help you succeed with SmartLabel, reach out to one of our Subject Matter Experts to schedule some time to learn more.

Most likely this article has either piqued your interest or confirmed your fears. Regardless of your reaction, we know the modern consumer is asking more of its products and SmartLabel’s digital landscape may offer just the right forum for brands to be able to meet those demands in a way position their products for current and future regulation as well providing a digital landscape to leverage for your brands needs. If interested in what to look for in a SmartLabel provider, check out this article on the 10 Questions to Ask SmartLabel Solution Providers.

Learn more about LabelSync, our best in class SmartLabel Solution.


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.