AIM, the European Brands Association and BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation have engaged in a joint reflection on how to provide consumers with better product information for non-advertising purposes. As a result, we are pleased to present to you our joint initiative on "smarter logos, better informed consumers"
Enhancing knowledge is one of the four pillars of the EU Consumer Agenda. In line with this policy objective, AIM and BEUC developed a set of common principles for consumer information. Taking a step further, we decided to test them on a specific form of information, namely logos.
In many circumstances logos can be better than/or as good as text to convey a message to consumers provided that they are well designed and tested for effectiveness. They are often more eye catching and more easily recognized and provide a lot of information in limited space.
However, in 2011, the special Eurobarometer survey on consumer empowerment demonstrated that EU-wide logos present on product packaging can be unknown to a large number of consumers (this is for instance true for the Ecolabel) or known but misunderstood by consumers (true for the CE mark on electrical equipment and toys). This is worrying as the information conveyed can play a role in consumer choice and may be meant to induce a certain type of behaviour.
This joint paper aims at providing EU policy makers, and others who may wish to develop a new logo, with recommendations on how to enhance their usefulness for consumers. The document also includes a list of logos purely as examples to illustrate the points made in this paper on the challenges and dilemmas linked to communicating via logos.
Link to the bibliography detailing some of the sources consulted by AIM and BEUC for this research.