Conscious Consumption

Better Product Labels for Better Consumer Choices

Birgit Stoltenberg, Matthias Unfried and Vladimir Manewitsch



Keywords: Product Labels, Product Seals, Cognitive Biases, Ethical Consumption


One way to support consumers in their decision-making is by using product labels or quality seals. The labels help consumers decide whether products meet their own needs and preferences. As the main function of labels is to highlight product characteristics in a simple and transparent way, designing a label is a big challenge: On the one hand, they have to be concise and allow for easy orientation; on the other hand, they often have to explain complex criteria and information. The study shows that the design of a label has a direct impact on the assessment of a product and on purchasing behavior. To ensure that a label works as intended and produces the desired effects, it should be tested in advance. Both consumer perception and the resulting choices can be tested in practice. If decision biases are observed, the label can still be modified. To fully use the potential of product labels, it is important to know and optimize their effect.

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Birgit Stoltenberg, Senior Researcher Data Science, birgit.stoltenberg@nim.org

Matthias Unfried, Head of Behavioral Science, matthias.unfried@nim.org

Vladimir Manewitsch, Senior Researcher Data Science, vladimir.manewitsch@nim.org