5 excellent use cases for overstickers 

Clare Daley
June 5, 2024
5 min read
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5 excellent use cases for overstickers 

Most brands spend 10-40% of their product’s retail price on packaging.

Considering how many packaging variations you need to sell internationally, it's a significant expense. 

But sometimes, the best option isn’t a whole new packaging design. It’s overlabelling or overstickering your existing packaging for alternative markets. 

To help your brand adapt product packaging quickly and cost-effectively, Hooley Brown has identified five excellent use cases for overstickers, which we’d like to share with you.  

Why do brands need overstickers? 

Before we share specific examples of how to use overstickers, let’s look at why consumer brands might adapt packaging in the first place. 

If you sell across multiple markets, your packaging will not look the same in each region. While some brands have the sales volume to fund localised packaging, others will be working on a smaller scale and budget. 

If you fall into the second category, overstickers can prove helpful for: 

  • Ensuring your product packaging complies with local labelling regulations 
  • Translating product information into different languages
  • Changing the languages for your instructions and safety warnings 
  • Launching local promotions 
  • Applying new barcodes and QR codes 

Where can overstickers add value?  

There are several scenarios where overlabels and overstickers are a better option than entirely reprinting product packaging. Here are five examples: 

1. Enabling start-ups to sell products in multiple markets 

Cash flow is king in every business, but especially within start-up companies. Often, emerging brands get stuck in a ‘chicken and egg’ situation: they want to make products available in as many markets as possible, but they can’t afford to produce versions of their product packaging for each market. 

In this scenario, overstickers are a great entry-level solution for ensuring your product packaging meets local compliance and language requirements.

If you’re selling across marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy and eBay, overstickers enable you to adapt your retail packaging for each international sale. Your stickers can be fully branded, and you can develop localised packaging and labelling later when you’ve worked out which markets hold the greatest sales potential. 

2. Selling overstocks in an alternative market 

Even experienced international brands can get caught out by changes in consumer demand. A product you expected to sell well may flounder, leaving you with a large volume of overstocks. 

There are two ways that overstickers can help you limit potential damage in this scenario: 

First, you can use them to launch new promotions or price changes that will help to drive sales in your original market. 

Second, overstickers are a quick and flexible way to reconfigure packaging for a different market where the products have greater potential sales value. 

Either way, the cost-effectiveness of overlabelling means it pays to try these techniques and avoid excess inventory. 

3. Using the same packaging across multiple markets 

Even beyond the start-up stage, developing multiple versions of your product packaging can prove time-consuming and expensive. But you need multilingual labelling to sell internationally. 

One way to translate product information without reprinting your packaging is to apply ‘peel and reveal’ labels. This type of oversticker greatly increases your labelling estate, so you can incorporate more languages and serve a larger market. 

Removing the complexities of different stickers for different markets also reduces the amount of time and labour needed to localise your packaging. 

It also takes some of the cost (and therefore the risk) out of exploring new regions, as you can add translations for future markets you’d like to target, so you’re export-ready whenever you want to dip your toe in the water.  

4. Enabling packaging to be returned and recycled 

Environmental legislation is prompting more and more countries to introduce deposit return schemes (DRS) to reduce single-use plastic waste. 

13 European countries have introduced a deposit return scheme, and up to 98% of bottles are now returned by consumers in Germany, Finland, Denmark, and Norway. 

Overstickers can help your brand comply with DRS regulations, as some markets allow you to stick scannable barcodes or QR codes to your bottles. Just make sure you work with a compliance and labelling expert to ensure you’re using a licensed barcode, official icon, and compatible ink so your labels can be scanned by bottle return machines. 

5. Temporarily correcting errors or changes to prevent lost sales 

Mistakes happen, and markets evolve. Overstickers are an excellent mechanism for adapting quickly to these changes and saving money in reproduction. 

For example, if you notice a spelling or graphics mistake on your product packaging, applying overstickers will enable you to sell affected items without consumers seeing the error. 

Sometimes, your packaging will need updating for reasons beyond your control – for instance, if new legislation comes into force. Overstickers can enable you to meet new rules while redeveloping your packaging design for future SKUs. 

In recent years, we’ve seen several examples of changes in food industry legislation that have directly impacted packaging compliance. These include: 

  • The FDA introducing sesame as a major allergen 
  • Italy banning Nutri-Score labelling 
  • Brexit causing products sold across Europe to require different registered addresses for the UK and EU/Northern Ireland 

In each of these cases, brands have used overstickers as a temporary solution to ensure existing products meet food law changes while continuing to sell products manufactured and packaged before the legislation came into force. 

Overstickers are also a helpful tool for promoting positive changes that have happened since your packaging was printed, such as receiving industry accreditation or winning a product award. 

A versatile tool for compliance and customer reach 

Overstickers are versatile tools for expanding the market reach of your products, promoting your latest offers, and ensuring your packaging complies with local legislation. 

Their design can be as simple as white paper stickers with black ink through to fully branded overlabels that match your packaging colour schemes, imagery and fonts.

Hooley Brown has helped brands in the food and drink, beauty, consumer goods, and other sectors use overstickers as a cost-effective way to comply with local rules and reach more customers. We also act as a print broker to support your label printing needs. 

Want help with planning, designing and translating your overstickers? Set up a call

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