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Too Much of a Good Thing: Could Boastful Labels Reduce Use?

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Too Much of a Good Thing: Could Boastful Labels Reduce Use?

A new Brigham Young University study has found that persuasive packaging and labels may actually encourage consumers to use products less often.

Big-name brands frequently include powerful claims on their products' labels and packaging. However, these testimonials may cause consumers to believe they don't need to use as much of those products to achieve the desired effect. For example, consumers may clean less often with a spray that claims it kills 99.9 percent of bacteria.

This means that while this labeling technique may help move items from shelves, it could also lead to fewer purchases overall.

"Powerful cues in packaging allow customers to conclude that products are more effective than others," Darron Billeter, the BYU Marriott School of Management professor who ran the research, says. "Through these cues, customers conclude that using a little of the product will 'go a long way.'"

Securing sales in the first place is crucial to the success of any brand. However, it may be wise to consider how claims on labels could affect consumers.