Research Paper: Ecover and Greenwashing

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SEMINAR PAPER
Consumers’ perception on
Ecover’s environmentally friendly Washing Powder

BACKGROUND
Importance of green nowadays:
Consumers care more about the environment
Governments are involved in environment protection
Companies try to fulfill this need


ECOVER:
founded in 1980 in Belgium
producing ‘green’ detergents and cleaning agents
products itself are available in over 26 countries
environmental management system ISO 14001 standard
rewarded with several prizes for eco-friendly products

Ecover Washing Powder:
environmentally friendly, biodegrades quickly and minimum impact on aquatic life not tested on animals and made out of plant and mineral ingredients

PURPOSE
Gain insight into consumers’ perception of Ecover’s Washing Powder. Perception = people interpret their sensation stimuli.

Research questions:
Does Ecover use the right sensory channel in their advertisements in order to activate the sensory receptors and get the attention of their target customers? How can Ecover ensure that their environmental friendly products are not connected to “greenwashing” but recognized for their credibility?

METHOD
Analyzed how environmentally friendly the company and the product already is. Conducted a literature study that translates the different sensory stimuli into the customers’ meaning. Looked on Ecover communication and evaluate these different advertisements. Combined this theoretical framework with empirical findings through a focus group.

FOCUS GROUP
Seven persons from 20 to 28, in a coffee house.
Open questions guided by a moderator.
Two different sides: Pro-ecological friendly and against it. Questions made from the theoretical part - Operationalisation.

FINDINGS THROUGH FOCUS GROUP
Ecover has already a “green” washing powder.
Stimuli: vision and sound are well used in Ecover ads and packages catch customers’ attention. Product line and brand itself are also environmentally friendly, so potential...
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