Stickers vs. Asset Labels: What's The Difference?

January 13, 2022
roll label collage

Many people use the words “sticker” and “label” interchangeably. But are they really the same? Not to us.

What better day than National Sticker Day to look at our definition of the two words, their similarities, and differences.

Asset labels

RFID tagsThink of it this way: asset labels are like that sports car you’ve had your eye on for years. Classy, shiny, fancy and potentially full of bells and whistles, depending on how you customize it. A sticker is the 20-year-old car you got as a teenager - it has everything needed to get you where you’re going but can’t be customized and isn’t made to last a long time. When quality and longevity is a concern, asset labels reign supreme.

Stickers have been around for centuries. According to the History of Stickers Museum (yes, there’s an actual History of Stickers Museum), archeologists have found remains of papers that were plastered to the walls of ancient markers to display prices of goods. The modern-day, self-adhesive sticker was invented in 1935 by R. Stanton Avery, the founder of Avery labels, whose birthday happens to be Jan. 13th, National Sticker Day.

 Similarities between asset labels & stickers

  • Both use adhesive, either permanent or removable.
  • Both come on a paper backing to protect the adhesive.
  • Both can be printed in color.

For Metalcraft, that’s where the similarities end. The differences are what elevate our asset labels above sticker status.

Differences between asset labels & stickers

  • Stickers can be scratch-and-sniff, puffy, or even fuzzy; labels are not.
  • Stickers are typically used to advertise a brand. Labels have a variety of functions, including displaying warranty information, a barcode and being used for production processes, inventory and asset tracking.
rfid labels have a variety of uses
Labels can be used for production processes, inventory and asset tracking.
  • Stickers often are handed out one by one; labels usually are used in large quantities.
  • Stickers are not made to have a long lifespan; Metalcraft’s asset labels, when used correctly, are durable enough to last years.
  • Stickers are a one-size-fits-all product; Metalcraft has the expertise and knowledge to customize a label to fit your application.

What makes asset labels a great solution

Asset labels are clear winners over stickers when it comes to performance in harsh environments, when you need the highest quality and excellent durability. Our durable asset tags and plastic asset labels are able to be created with quick turnaround while maintaining our high quality. If you need identification and tracking, our barcode labels can be an amazing solution. Physical assets are easy to track with our labels, especially if you elect to use our RFID tags. RFID tags can integrate with RFID tracking solutions.

Truth be told, if a customer contacts us to order some stickers, we’ll still take the order.

To discover how our RFID tags can assist your business, contact us today at

Julia Deets, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience 

About the Author: Julia Deets

Julia Deets joined Metalcraft in 1999 as the Marketing/New Product Director. Julia has held numerous roles during her career with Metalcraft, all related to marketing and customer support. Her current position is as the VP of Marketing and Customer Experience. She has both an undergrad and a Master's degree in Organizational Communications from Northwest Missouri State University and the University of Northern Iowa, respectively. 

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