Back in 1924 when the Institute was founded, after years of relying on domestic servants, ladies were faced with their own housework for the first time. Promising to make light work of household tasks, the first motor driven appliances arrived on the scene, but which ones were worth the expense? Easing the burden of the laundry, an electric clothes washer sounded just the thing but without unbiased, expert help who would advise them? Women turned to Good Housekeeping for invaluable, honest advice on all matters household.
Since those very first reviews, appliances have evolved out of all recognition, but little has changed in terms of the core principles the GHI works to, always testing each product fully, as the end user would, and giving honest advice, explaining the good with the bad, so every consumer can make an informed purchasing decision based on a solid, trusted review.
Meet the team
Just as in the early days of Good Housekeeping, the present day Institute relies on experts in their field rather than just journalists. Back in 1924 the team consisted of domestic science experts, but today the researchers have degrees in Home Economics and Food and Consumer Management and a combined 37 years of testing experience. Leading the team is head of testing, Trisha Schofield who says there isn’t much they can’t turn their hand to. She recalls testing thermal underwear by sitting in a freezer and searching for a supply of grass in central London to use as a stain for washing machine testing. These are just a couple of the many inventive ways tests are tailored to the products being reviewed. From small and large electricals to food items and detergents, there are few household items the GHI doesn’t have an informed opinion on.
GHI Approved Scheme
The reputation of the GHI reaches far beyond the pages of the magazine. Celebrating its tenth birthday this year, the Good Housekeeping Institute Approved Scheme enables manufacturers and retailers to nominate their products to be tested to the same exacting standards as for editorial. If a product passes the team’s strict criteria, it is awarded the familiar red oval Approved Logo which can be used in a variety of ways; in advertising, for marketing, on pack and in store. The logo is currently being used on a large number and wide variety of different products from vacuum cleaners and bread-makers to washing machines and detergents. Commercial manager, Laura Cohen says recent research shows that 90% of consumers would trust an item which carried the GHI Approved Logo and 75% say they would be more likely to notice a product displaying it*. It provides consumers with a product which instantly shows it has been tested by real people in a realistic home environment and is one of the best they can buy – invaluable when competition on the high street is fierce and purchasing decisions are far more considered, now that belts are being tightened.
For more information about the Good Housekeeping Approved Scheme, call Laura Cohen (0207 439 5102).
* Source: Demographix online research of 908 consumers Jan – Feb 2011.