The European Water Label continues its growth

20/10/2014 | Support for the voluntary European Water Label is continuing to grow and the summer months have seen no letup in the number of brands and products being registered. “We are delighted how the scheme is performing” say Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the European Water Label. “We now have 66 Brands and 6600 products listed and we receive enquiries from across Europe and beyond on a daily basis. It’s great to see that this entirely voluntary label is regarded a powerful tool which is simple and honest and low cost.” A recent report from WRAP, part of DEFRA, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, showed the results of their consumer testing of the label. The report showed the consumer attitudes to, and purchase behaviour around, water efficient bathroom fittings and the European Water Label. The report concluded that water efficiency has the potential to exert a ‘point of sale’ influence on purchase choices. There are two distinct parts to this conclusion. Firstly, and on its own, water efficiency appears to be a mid-ranking influence that could have a substantial sway on purchase decisions but only in a relatively constrained set of circumstances, where the main considerations such as style, design, and price are similar and where water efficiency can act as a differentiator. Secondly, the potential influence of water efficiency can be increased by association with other motivations, particularly the ‘first order’ considerations (i.e. style/design, price, performance). For example, when allied with lower running costs the water efficiency message becomes stronger. Likewise, the message becomes stronger when it is linked to product innovation (e.g. eco-click taps), or links to performance. Regarding communications, the research suggests that awareness of water efficiency is low in relation to purchases of bathroom fittings and, as such, the Water Label has the potential to play an important role. The key strengths of the Label’s current design are its similarity with energy efficiency labelling and the intuitive scale and colour scheme. In terms of design, the main graphic supported by a simple A to F system appears strongest. The ‘l/min’ units appear to offer little; whereas the addition of running costs would both appeal to consumers. Furthermore, reactions to a black and white version of the label are negative and significantly weaken consumers’ intuitive response. The report says the Label will be most impactful when it is delivered as part of a broader suite of marketing efforts, including the development of messages that align water efficiency with other motivations like design and cost savings.

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