The Sticker Effect: The Powerful Influence of Stickers

Inside Jakprints’ custom sticker & sticker pack printing facility in Cleveland, OH, the home of rock & roll, they are making some of the highest quality custom stickers in the world, for thousands of DIY entrepreneurs, musicians and artists, right alongside making the same products for some of the biggest brands in the world.  Stickers are stuck everywhere in the shop, but one wall in particular is covered, from top to bottom, the wall underneath can’t be seen. Layers of stickers have accumulated on this lobby wall over decades from bands, businesses and clothing lines. 

Jakprints invested back to the sticker community as the presenting sponsor and executive producer of “Stick To It”, a stunning documentary by international film director Alexis Deforges.  At a time when street art is celebrated as the most important art movement of the century, Deforges said he wanted to put some light on a medium which was left in the shadow of the streets. As it has no speculative value for the mercantile art sphere, the sticker is truly a communication media for the masses, made by the masses.  His documentary, STICK TO IT, is about this universal visceral need for self expression satisfied through adhesive images.

The documentary features interviews with legendary artists & moguls like Shepard Fairey & Marc Ecko.  Shepard Fairey is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, and activist  known for his iconic “Obey” sticker campaign and his Barack Obama “Hope” poster. 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Fairey began creating and distributing his “Obey Giant” stickers. The image depicted a stylized wrestler’s face with the word “Obey” printed underneath. Fairey created the image as a parody of the government’s use of propaganda and the media’s promotion of consumerism. The sticker campaign quickly gained popularity, and Fairey began distributing them all over the country and internationally.

The “Obey Giant” sticker campaign has been described as a form of “culture jamming,” which involves using popular media to subvert and critique consumer culture. Fairey’s use of stickers as a medium for his artwork also helped to democratize the art world. Instead of limiting his work to galleries and museums, Fairey’s stickers allowed anyone to engage with his art. The stickers were affordable and easily accessible, and they could be placed anywhere.

Fairey’s legacy and his “Obey” sticker campaign continues to be a ubiquitous presence in cities around the world, and the image has become an iconic symbol of resistance against consumer culture and government propaganda.

Marc Ecko is an American fashion designer, entrepreneur, and artist best known for his fashion brand, Ecko Unlimited, which he founded in 1993. Ecko has also been involved in various creative projects throughout his career, including his use of stickers as a means of self-expression and artistic communication.

In the early 1990s, Ecko began designing and distributing stickers featuring his signature rhinoceros logo. The stickers quickly gained popularity among young people, especially within the skateboarding community. Ecko’s use of stickers as a means of self-promotion helped to establish his brand and build a loyal following.

Over the years, Ecko has continued to use stickers as a form of artistic expression, artistic communication and as a vehicle to support social causes and spark public dialogue, including his “Voter Project” sticker campaign, which encouraged young people to register to vote.

From stickers and sidewalk stencils to hundreds of millions in revenues per year, his rhinoceros logo and the use of stickers to promote his brand have become iconic symbols of streetwear culture.

Jakprints says their motivation for leading the support of this legendary documentary was just a way to give back to a sticker culture & community that has kept its doors open since the 90’s. And, as you should expect from a first ballot hall of fame printer like Jakprints Custom Sticker Printing, they even landed a sticker exhibit in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  

If you stop to think about the brands that have leveraged stickers effectively to create strong connections with their customers, you’ll just keep pulling names out like a magician’s mouth coil….it’s never ending:

  1. Supreme, the popular streetwear brand, has made stickers a cornerstone of their marketing strategy. They release limited edition stickers with each clothing drop, and customers often collect and trade these stickers like they are valuable commodities.
  2. Red Bull has used stickers as a way to promote their brand at events and festivals around the world. They often give out stickers with their logo to attendees, who then stick them on their belongings or in visible locations to show off their association with the brand.
  3. Nike has used stickers as a way to promote their brand and specific product lines. For example, they released a set of stickers to promote their “Just Do It” campaign, featuring motivational phrases and images.
  4. Apple has included stickers with their products for years, often featuring their iconic logo or other designs related to their products. These stickers have become collectibles for many Apple fans, who use them to customize their laptops, phones, and other devices.
  5. Vans has used stickers as a way to connect with their core audience of skaters and alternative culture enthusiasts. They often release limited edition stickers featuring their classic designs, and fans of the brand use them to decorate their skateboards, cars, and personal belongings.

These are just a few examples of brands that have proven how to leverage stickers to create stronger connections with customers. That doesn’t consider location stickers, school logos and mascots, sports teams, marathon achievements….it just keeps going. Stickers have truly proven to do so much for so many different people.

For marketers wondering if the return is there, there is plenty of research that suggests that consumers view stickers quite favorably.  A study published in the Journal of Marketing Communications found that consumers were more likely to engage with advertising that used stickers. The researchers conducted an experiment where participants were shown ads that either included stickers or did not. They found that those who saw the ads with stickers were more likely to recall the brand and have positive feelings toward the ad.

Another study published in the International Journal of Business and Social Science found that adding a sticker to a product increased consumers’ willingness to purchase it. The researchers conducted an experiment where participants were given the option to buy a product either with or without a sticker. They found that those who were offered the product with the sticker were more likely to choose it and were willing to pay a higher price for it.

A survey conducted by Promo Marketing found that consumers are more likely to keep branded stickers than other types of promotional products. The survey asked participants what types of promotional products they kept and used most often. Stickers were ranked third, behind only pens and bags.

When asked about what the future holds for Jakprints, CEO Nick DeTomaso said: “Our custom stickers and custom sticker packs are better than they’ve ever been.  We have the most premium materials, print quality and packaging options in the market. We can print on the liners, even in full color and full bleed, as well as create custom sticker packs with retail ready toppers and bags. We’re very proud that most of these options are truly unique to our operation, our print technology and our talented team of people. We’ve been so fortunate to have been part of so many cool stories and so many great clients over the years….putting art on stickers and onto millions of surfaces around the world. Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in the process, but we really need to step back and fall in love with the product all over again.”

Get inspired to make a custom sticker impact of your own. Jakprints has the world’s best sticker selection. Die Cut Custom Shape Stickers, Custom Sticker Packs, and so much more. 

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