The amount of information you can find on labels is impressive. Energetic values, where it comes from, the brand, certifications… everything is on the label. In addition to the essential things (name of the product, the brand, the description and the compulsory information), a lot of brands and products decide to add a “certification mark”. In other words, they add a certification from another company to make their product stand out. What exactly is a certification mark? And more importantly, what does it imply for consumption?

According to a French study in 2010, lead by Aix Marseille University, a certification mark is a “specific brand which does not come from the producing company, but which can be used by it”. A certification mark underlines a guarantee of the product.

CSA and UL certifications are very good examples for some products (and labels), as well as the Energy Star logo. One could think a certification mark has a positive effect on consumers, but to do so, they have to combine reputation, evocations and guarantees.

The study we mentioned tries to separate the effect on consumers in four categories:

  • The certification marks, which arouse strong confidence and trust is perceived as a guarantee. It is therefore a choice factor and has a massive impact on the consumer.
  • The certification mark can bring doubt because it resembles a marketing action, or a promotion. It does not feel trustworthy because the promotion mechanisms are too obvious, and therefore not credible.
  • The certification marks arouse confidence by giving information on the product and its quality, or the awards it won for instance. These are marks which testify the quality of the product and comfort the consumer in their choice.
  • Marks which are not known enough to have an impact. They don’t mean anything to consumers and therefore don’t have an influence on the buyer’s decision.

What can we learn from these definitions? Your labels need to be informative and arouse confidence. To do so, you need to find the right certification mark, one which means something for your clients. Also, if you print your labels in house, you will be able to adapt and change your labels in function of the responses of your consumers.

IMS is happy to help you make comprehensive and trustworthy labels.