(Republished from ISO.org): In the digital age, consumers have never been more informed about the products they buy, nor more hungry for information. Getting product information right is a key business strategy. A newly revised international guide will help ensure the product is really what it says on the tin.
Whether it be checking for fat and sugar content or deciding what kind of dishes the wine is best paired with, we are all addicts of product labels. But how much information is enough or too much, and how do manufacturers ensure it meets legal requirements while still selling the product in a desirable way?
International guide ISO/IEC Guide 14, Products and related services - Information for consumers, helps to improve the quality of product information for more informed and satisfactory purchasing choices. It has recently been updated to reflect changes in product labelling technology and consider the needs of a wider audience.
Aimed primarily at standards developers in the field of consumer issues, the guide is also useful for those involved in product labelling, such as product designers, manufacturers, technical writers and marketers.
Antonino Serra Cambaceres, Advocacy Manager for Consumers International, said product knowledge is an important factor for customers.
"As information is key for consumers, the more detailed and accurate it is, the more protected are consumer rights," he said.
"Consumers must be confident in the products and services they use and they also must have as much information as possible to make informed choices."
Michele Althoff, Convenor of working group WG 15, the technical group that developed the guide, said it offers guidance on what today's consumers demand and expect. "Addressing the needs and expectations of customers when it comes to product information is a key ingredient in building or maintaining a brand's reputation," she explained.
"The revised guide now takes into account new labelling tools like QR codes, as well as the information needs of vulnerable persons, such as those who could be at risk of harm from products due to their age or other limitations. It also pays closer attention to the treatment of sustainability and privacy issues."
ISO/IEC Guide 14 was developed by the ISO Committee on consumer policy (ISO/COPOLCO), working group WG 15, whose secretariat is held by ANSI, ISO's member for the USA. It is available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.