Applications, Colour and branding, Labels, Sustainable development

If you stop and think about it, labels contain a lot of information that is important to the consumer: Nutritional values, Best before dates, Energetic values, where the product comes from, certification labels and so on. Most of these examples are mandatory and necessarily end up on the packaging along with the brand name and product descriptions and benefits.

When it comes to certification labels. Some of them are mandatory, some not. Manufacturers add these certifications to make their product stand out or be understood as proof of the manufacturer’s promise.

Certification labels are brands

You have to remember that certifications are brands themselves. As you decide which certifications to add to your product, you have to be keenly aware what effect they’ll have on consumer behavior.

According to a French 2010 study conducted 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 brings credibility to the product and gives weight to its claims.

Interestingly, this study separates the effect on consumers in four categories:

  • Certification marks which arouse strong confidence and trust. They are perceived as a guarantee. They are therefore a choice factor and have a massive impact on the consumer.

CSA and UL certifications are good examples of these types of labels. The Energy Star logo also carries a lot of credibility. These labels have a known reputation and evoke quality quite strongly.

  • Certification marks that can create doubt because they resemble a marketing action, or a promotion. They don’t feel trustworthy because the promotion mechanisms are too obvious, and therefore not credible.

Something like a logo that says ‘Genuine Flavor’ doesn’t really carry any weight as it doesn’t have to be measured against anything. They may be described as a certification but to a consumer paying attention, there is no real value there.

  • Certification marks that 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.

Certifications such as Good Housekeeping or the three-arrow green recycle logo could be included in this category

Certification 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.

An interesting example of this would be the Blue Angel logo, a German certification for product and services that have environmentally friendly attributes. It is in fact the most stringent eco-label on the planet, yet is virtually unknown here in the Americas.

Preparing your certifications

The certification labels that your product will carry, some of which will be mandatory, need to arouse confidence and be informative. Likewise, their visual identity (colour, placement, size etc.) has to be precisely respected.

Because preparing certifications research and minute planning, It would be worth your while to consult with labelling experts such as those here at IMS. If you are interested in learning more about certifications and quality labelling, contact us. We’ll be happy to help.