There are plenty of other details that can help make a lasting impression on customers and potential retailers. Hang tags are one of those details, and getting them right can be an unexpected challenge.
Why do my products need a hang tag?
Hang tags have become an industry standard that customers expect to accompany products in stores. They're also an opportunity to do good things for your business:
- Help customers identify your products. Products, especially garments in crowded retail stores, can easily get lost on the racks. Having a distinctive hang tag that's strategically attached to your product can help it stand out from the crowd.
- Share your brand's unique story. Giving a little background on the product you're selling helps customers become invested in your brand. This is especially true in the case of eco-conscious, locally made, or one-of-a-kind pieces. You worked hard to make this product — don't be afraid to share why.
- Give easy access to care and pricing information. Presenting this information on the hang tag makes your brand feel more transparent and helps your customer make an informed purchase. Many of our members' pricing strategies account for cost of ethical materials and their own labor, making their products appear pricier than mass produced products in the same store. Asking a fair price (alongside your brand's story) can help educate customers on the true cost of consciously designed products.
- Promote your business! Plug your brand's website and social media channels. Think of each tag as a roomy business card you'd proudly hand to your dream buyer.
Making Your Own Hang Tag: Ask the Designer
With the benefits of having a great hang tag in mind, we asked Marissa Heyl, founder of Symbology Clothing, to tell us her brand's hang tag story:
When you created the Symbology hang tag, what elements did you want to include? How does the hang tag reflect your brand?
If I could fit an entire novel on a hang tag I would. Symbology is a brand built on storytelling, so it’s challenging to convey a lot of information into a single sentence. Or hashtag. It’s a bit like Goldie Locks—you don’t want to overwhelm with too much information, but tantalize with just enough to grab someone’s attention in a memorable way.
We include two hang tags for every Symbology item—one that conveys product information and another that illustrates our company’s artisan mission. We thread twine through the hang tags and connect them with a small gold safety pin, which conveys a boutique handmade feel. I got that idea from a trip to Free People. Such beautiful merchandising!
Our tag has gone through several iterations to test what works in the market. We initially included a QR code that linked to a video of an artisan making that item, not only to show the handmade nature of our products, but to strengthen the producer-consumer relationship that stands at the core of Symbology. However, we soon realized that our customers either do not know how to use QR codes or want to while shopping. The technology did not match our customer, so we took it out.
What do you see as the benefits of having a memorable hang tag that represents your brand?
Our goal is to differentiate our story from the sea of other brands, whether that be in a fair trade store like Ten Thousand Villages or boutique like Uniquities.
It’s all about creating a relationship that connects our customers here with our artisan partners in India. We feature a compelling photo of an artisan—she’s letting out a good belly laugh, as opposed to someone who looks sad and destitute—on the front.
On the back, we designed it to look like a postcard written to our customers with information about our mission to empower women through fashion.
Did you hire a graphic designer to design your tag? What was the process like working with them to create it?
Yes, I worked with a very talented graphic designer at UNC, Blair Warren, to help create the graphics for the tag. We designed it incorporating what we think works best for design-focused companies like Anthropologie and ethical companies like Ten Thousand Villages, along with our own flair.
Any advice for emerging designers on creating a hang tag that works?
- Look at other brands in your similar market space and assess what you like and don’t like about the branding.
- Make sure that every detail of your hang tag is well thought out—your typeface, brand colors, paper texture and method of attaching the hang tags must match your overall brand identity and appeal to your target customer.
- Grab their attention! You are competing in a sea of other apparel brands and you want to impact your customer immediately.
- If you are wholesaling, make sure to leave space for the retailer to include their SKU and pricing information.
- Remember the Goldie Locks rule—not too much information, but just enough to make a memorable impression.
- Include your website and social media usernames on the card so customers can find you later.