"By giving so much space on the label to the letter grade, other data were presented with little or no context and crammed into the lower third of the label, causing confusion," says Alan Siegel, founder and chairman of Siegel+Gale and a pioneer in promoting simplicity in communications. "Our survey demonstrates that Americans want clarity and usefulness in communications from government agencies. The redesign of the fuel economy label is a major initiative that will touch countless Americans. Now is the time for the federal government to show its commitment to making clear communications a national priority."
redesigned the labels to inform consumers about operating cost and environmental impact and to reflect the increasing availability of alternative fuel
vehicles. Siegel+Gale's survey concluded that the horizontal label was viewed as more understandable than the vertical one. In fact, over half (59 percent) of those surveyed said they would not want to purchase a vehicle without it-an indication of support for the horizontal approach over the vertical approach.
Key survey findings from respondents:
On a scale of 0 to 100, consumers rated mpg an 86 in overall importance, while greenhouse gas emissions received a lower score of 68.
The cost-per-year to run a vehicle ranked as the second most important consideration behind mpg.
When asked about the letter grade approach, specifically, some 38 percent of respondents indicated they would buy a car
graded less than C.
Twenty-five percent of Democrats think the environment is a major factor in purchasing a vehicle versus 12 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of independents.
Siegel+Gale suggests the EPA can improve the consumer-preferred horizontal design by:
"The recommendations are simple: scrap the vertical label, lose the letter grade and emphasize the mpg and cost of owning
the vehicle," adds Siegel. "If the EPA takes these steps, it may be successful in increasing the number of fuel-efficient vehicles on the road and communicating clearly with consumers."
About Simplicity Lab™
SimplicityLab is a proprietary quantitative research tool that uses online panels to evaluate a wide range of transactional communications on multiple dimensions, such as comprehension, clarity perception, navigation, intent to act and communication effectiveness. SimplicityLab utilizes a highly visual, Flash®-enabled interface that keeps respondents engaged, as well as a variety of customized research methods, including innovative click-testing, heat mapping and timed comprehension.
Siegel+Gale is committed to building world-class brands through simple, unexpectedly fresh strategies, stories and experiences. With Simple is Smart as its operating philosophy, Siegel+Gale delivers powerful services in brand development, identity design, simplification, research and analytics, and digital strategy.
Since its founding by branding and simplified communications pioneer Alan Siegel in 1969, Siegel+Gale has helped drive business results for brands such as Aetna, American Express
, Bank of America, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, China Youth Development Foundation, Dell, Dow Chemical Company, The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the Internal Revenue Service, The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Microsoft, Motorola, Pfizer, SAP, Sony PlayStation, United States Mint, United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Yahoo! and the YMCA.
Siegel+Gale has offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Hamburg, Dubai, Shanghai and Beijing and strategic partnerships around the world as a member of the Omnicom Group of companies.