Misinformation in fashion product labels : an examination of strategic cues that compel consumption
Date of Issue2018-02-01
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
This research attempts to accord focus toward the investigation of misinformation in fashion product labelling. Because of growing socio-ecological awareness of global conditions in manufacturing; country-effects, green and fair trade claims on products seem to be rising in demand. With the evolution of this phenomenon, the manipulation of information on product labels becomes a critical tool that is being used to drive consumption. This research investigates the strategic information cues on the product label. As a largely unregulated aspect of the retail business, the accuracy of information on fashion product labels seem to have come under scrutiny, after numerous recent high-profile mislabelling cases that have emerged. These product information claims seem to serve the purpose of marketing and promoting consumption, as opposed to the original service of accurate consumer knowledge. Content analysis of existing fashion product labels from popular brands in the market will be the key methodology employed in the assessment of these information tools. A sample size of 60 products, from the Robinsons department store and other high-profile brands in the region, were selected for this analysis. In this research, country-effects such as the country of origin (COO) label has been identified as one of the key tools used as communication strategy in compelling consumption. However, upon further analysis, out of the 51 product tags with a COO labelled, only 8 were labelled with a COO on the high desirability scale and 36 were labelled with a COO on the low desirability scale. Further, other parallel country-effects like the country of design (COD) and country of establishment (COE) labels did not make up for the low frequency of COO being used as a tool in strategic product labelling. These results suggest that a further study is required in order to understand the evolution of other limiting factors that could be driving consumption.
Nanyang Technological University