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Latest resource: Maturing from social listening to digital consumer intelligence

A practical guide to levelling up how consumer insights are used across your organization

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Published February 4th 2013

How Are Laundry Products Discussed Online?

You may have noticed that over the past few weeks we’ve been analysing various industries and taking a look at how the major brands within those industries are fairing on social media.

So far, we’ve delved into analysis about online chat surrounding furniture, yoghurt, and baby food.

Well, this week is no different. This time, we’re taking a look at that modern day necessity: laundry products. We all (well, mostly all) wear clothes and, hopefully, regularly wash them. Therefore, we can’t avoid the need for washing powders, gels and liquids and – if softness is your ‘thing’ – fabric conditioner too.

The laundry detergent and fabric conditioner market was worth around £1.39bn in 2012, according to Mintel.

The market is showing some signs of recovery after a difficult 2011, when shoppers tended to buy larger packs and therefore buy products less frequently.

Brands may be suffering from consumers cutting back on the number of different fabric care products they are using, at a time when household budgets are being slimmed.

However, Mintel found that although consumers are focused on saving money, well-known brands sill continue to dominated the market, and our social media stats back that up.

We analysed UK online conversation about seven of the key fabric care brands during the month of December last year. The brands included were: Fairy, Ariel, Persil, Lenor, Daz, Ecover and Comfort.

Share of voice

We found that Fairy was the most mentioned of the brands of fabric care products analysed, accounting for 27% of total conversation about all brands. In second place was Comfort (20%), followed by Ariel (18%), Persil (13%), Daz (10%), and Lenor (8%).

Natural eco-friendly brand Ecover struggled to make a dent in fabric care chat, accounting for just 4% of the conversation, the least of any of the brands.


For all brands, forums were the most used platform for discussion, particularly and, suggesting that users like to discuss products in depth, and that families and money saving are big considerations in purchasing decisions. Chat also featured frequently on and Yahoo! Answers.


When it comes to sentiment, the majority of conversation about fabric products is, perhaps unsurprisingly, neutral, suggesting that brands are failing to make us feel particularly emotional about laundry. However, Comfort was the brand with the highest proportion of positive conversation, at 16%, followed by Fairy with 15%.

All brands received relatively little negative conversation, with the highest proportion being 7% (Ecover and Persil) and the lowest being 2% (Daz).

Lenor and Ariel were the least emotive brands, with 86% of conversation for both being neutral, though conversation about all brands was between 80% and 86% neutral.

Most positive conversation when discussing fabric care tended to focus on the smells of the products, and sometimes the softness of clothes after use.

Negative conversation tends to focus on price, sensitive skin or TV ads.


Conversation about fabric care dipped over the Christmas period when people were too busy with festive fun to worry about personal hygiene, but volume picked up again in the first week of January as order was restored in households across the country.

Read more: 96 Amazing Social Media Stats for 2016

Fabric care conversation takes place most often mid week, between Wednesday and Friday.

This just gives a little bit of insight into some of the many types of analysis Brandwatch allows you to do when looking at brands. Of course, our tool allows for much more complex analysis, but hopefully this has given you some food for thought.

Do let us know if there are any industries you’d like us to take a look at specifically, and we’ll do our best to include them in the coming weeks. Drop us a line in the comments below or via Twitter @brandwatch.



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