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BMA and B&Q at KBB Show to 'talk clearly' to consumers

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association and DIY retailer B&Q have announced following KBB Birmingham that they are to collaborate on a new piece of research into how the industry should communicate with consumers about saving water.

The government 'Water For Life' white paper, published in December 2011, challenged the industry to do more to educate customers to help them make informed purchasing decisions when buying new bathroom products. However, various pieces of industry research to date have shown that customers shy away from bathroom products dubbed "efficient", as they fear it means compromised performance.

Yvonne Orgill, chief executive of the BMA, said: "Documents from our archives show that we were talking about how to save water as far back as 1906, so it certainly is not a new topic for us or a fad. But we live in a time where bathing is no longer purely functional - it's a very emotive experience for consumers.

"The good news is that there has been a real shift in customer psyche, with a recent study showing that 45% feel that the environmental credentials of bathroom products is important to them when making a purchase.

"However there is the hurdle to overcome that, for example, reduced flow rates does not mean compromised showering experience. We know as an industry that there are showers with flow rates of less than six litres designed to give the performance of a traditional 10 litre gusher. The challenge is for us to find the correct way to get this across to the consumer, which often begins in the showroom or on the shop floor."

At KBB Birmingham, B&Q announced that it aims to incorporate the BMA's Water Label onto all electric showers it stocks by the end of 2012, with other bathroom products following suit.

Ben Earl, environmental affairs manager for B&Q, said: "We will work with the BMA to develop a terminology toolkit of the language which will compel consumers to choose bathroom products with better environmental credentials. The aim is to align the language used across the industry by manufacturers, retailers and installers - resulting in engaging with the end consumer.

"It is plain to see that we must move on from hectoring about saving the planet, as research is showing that the 'doom and disaster' approach to the water saving agenda just isn't making an impact with consumers any more. As an industry we need to explain the benefits of water saving bathroom products clearly and simply. We are far better placed to do this than academics or government, so we need to be proactive and drive this forward."

For more information about the BMA's Water Label scheme visit:

This Kitchens Kitchens news item was sourced from KBZine and