A study compiled by us about the Italian sporting goods market a few years ago showed that Gore-Tex was by far the biggest brand of outdoor products in the country. Gore-Tex turned out to be now the best-known “ingredient brand” for the textile and outdoor industry in the German-speaking region. It was acknowledged by almost 70 percent of the respondents in the textile and outdoor section of a survey conducted over the internet and commissioned by a Slovenian consultancy, Braind, among 1,800 consumers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Gore-Tex was followed at a distance by Sympatex (41%), Lycra (39%), Viscose (35%) and the Woolmark trademark (29%).

Ingredient brand such as Intel in the electronic sector are the usually well-publicized labels attached to end products for components that add high performance characteristics and quality standards to them.

Braind's study also found that two-thirds of the respondents were prepared to pay a higher price for a successful ingredient brand in the textile and outdoor sectors. More than 90 percent of the participants declared that they perceive a product with a strong ingredient brand as being particularly innovative and of high quality. This positive rating paves the way for higher prices and profit margins for the host brand, said Tomas Vucurevic, managing director of Braind, who presented the study at the last Ispo Munich fair.

He said it is vital for ingredient brands to develop a clear brand profile with a sophisticated promise of performance. The study also showed that consumers are more aware of ingredient brands that are offered by a number of different producers across a wide and varied range of applications and products than of ingredient brands that are offered by only one producer such as Climacool by Adidas, Dreytech by Mammut, Powertex by Salewa, Texapore by Jack Wolfskin or Venturi by Schöffel.

Braind's study indicated that social, environmental, ethical and safety-related ingredient brands are likely to play a more important role in the future. They were regarded as important for 93.3 percent of the respondents, 49 percent of them considering them to be almost as important as the performance-related ingredient brands.

In the textile and outdoor segment, Öko-Test is by far the best-known such label, followed at a distance by Öko-Tex 100. Consumers in the German-speaking countries have also begun to recognize the Bluesign label, which was previously unknown. Across all sectors, brands such as TÜV and Stiftung Warentest, the German product testing foundation, came high in the rankings along with “Fairtrade,” “Made in Germany” and “Bio.”

The more general part of the study gave the highest recognition of any ingredient brand to Bluetooth. Other consumer electronics brands such as Intel and Android obtained high scores.

The study was carried out at the end of last year by a Swiss-based marketing and consulting company, Acclerom, for Braind. The respondents were equally split between male and female. The findings of the study can be differentiated by age, education, income and activity.