Person in lab coat holding a board with a Consumer Recommends logo.

Consumer Recommends

What is Consumer Recommends?

To earn our recommended tick, a product has to excel in our independent tests or expert analysis. If you choose a “Consumer Recommended” product, you’ll be getting one that works better than its peers.

Our tests are fair and independent: whether a product shines or flops, we say so. Our overall score includes measures of performance and ease of use.

Testing products is time-consuming, labour-intensive and expensive, which means we can’t test everything. We look at popular (and some not-so-popular) brands available at multiple retailers, to get the biggest bang for our testing buck and ensure you get the best advice.

Our licence programme

A Consumer Recommends licence is available for any product that has been awarded the Consumer Recommends tick. A licence enables a brand to use the award in their advertising and promotion alongside relevant products. The list of brands that hold a current licence to use the Consumer Recommends award brandmark is available below and is published in Consumer magazine.

All applications of the award brandmark are approved by Consumer NZ prior to use and meet our brand usage guidelines.

FAQs for consumers

Manufacturers and distributors whose products have been awarded Consumer Recommends status are eligible to purchase a non-exclusive licence to use the award brandmark in their advertising and promotion.

The licence programme was launched to recognise excellence by enabling brands to advertise and promote products that have been awarded Consumer Recommends status. Many companies already refer to our research. However, the references are sometimes incorrect, out-of-date or without our permission. A licensing arrangement allows us to more effectively manage this.

Our independence is what sets us apart from other organisations. We select products for testing based on market research. Manufacturers, distributors and service providers that have received awards and/or have purchased a licence have no involvement in our testing programme.

Consumer NZ reserves the right to withdraw a Consumer Recommends award from a product if appropriate.

Our work is funded by member fees, revenue from the Consumer Recommends, Top Brand and People’s Choice licence programmes, the Consumer Trusted accreditation programme and contract work, mostly with government departments. All revenue from our licence programmes is used to increase the scope of our research, testing, advocacy and investigative work.

If you are concerned about a product being promoted without a licence, feel the award brandmark is being used in a confusing manner or wish to ask any questions on the programme, please email us on info@consumer.org.nz.

FAQs for businesses

Consumer Recommends status is awarded to the very best products tested by Consumer. Products must meet specific criteria based on the results of rigorous comparative tests and analysis. The licence programme allows you to celebrate this and communicate it to your customers and retailer network.

A licence allows you to use the Consumer Recommends brandmark in a variety of ways – print, online, TV, radio, point of sale, packaging and other advertising, and promotion executions approved by Consumer NZ.

Please contact our General Manager – Business, Derek Bonnar, at derek@consumer.org.nz or 021 486 330.

Licences are granted for a 6-month or 12-month term. Licensees can apply for a renewal at the expiry of their licence term. Renewals will be granted at the discretion of Consumer NZ.

As products and services are constantly changing, we need to be sure we are reviewing the very latest products and services as and when they hit the market. We also need to ensure the information we provide consumers is accurate, timely and current.

Licences will only be granted when the Consumer Recommends status is current. Eligibility for a licence is at the discretion of Consumer NZ.

Once Consumer Recommends status has been awarded to your product, you will be notified by Consumer NZ. Or you can contact our General Manager – Business, Derek Bonnar (derek@consumer.org.nz), anytime.

  • You are a manufacturer or distributor whose product(s) have been awarded Consumer Recommends status.
  • You notify Consumer NZ you wish to buy a licence.
  • The date of commencement for the licence period is agreed.
  • The contract is drawn up and sent out with your award brandmark files.
  • Your promotional material is submitted for approval to Consumer NZ.
  • Your licence fee is paid and your licence period commences.
  • Prior to the end of the licence period you will be notified of the option for renewal.

The licensee can use limited excerpts from the Consumer report that relate to their specific product model in their advertising and promotion of that product. All excerpts must be approved by Consumer NZ before publication.

The Consumer Recommends brandmark refers to a specific product or service, rather than a brand or company. All usage of the brandmark must be approved by Consumer NZ prior to use.

There is no limit as long as it is used in accordance with the criteria outlined within the licence agreement and is approved by Consumer NZ prior to use.

We select products for testing based on market research. We do not accept free or discounted products from businesses or manufacturers for testing.

We do like to keep up to date with what is happening in the marketplace, so if you have a new product or service you think we might be interested in, please email info@consumer.org.nz. Your email will be forwarded to our Research and Testing team.

If you wish to discuss the Consumer Recommends licence programme further, please contact:

Derek Bonnar
General Manager – Business
Phone: 021 486 330
Email: derek@consumer.org.nz

Our programmes promo image

Our licence programmes

We award Consumer Recommends, People’s Choice and Top Brand based on our independent lab testing and member surveys of product reliability and owner satisfaction. We also assess and accredit businesses as Consumer Trusted if they meet our strict criteria. A licence enables a product or brand to use these awards in its advertising and promotion.

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