Fabric Softener Purchase Motivations

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Fabric Softener Purchase Motivations

Consumers will check on the content and ingredients; they will also look at what is in them and what makes them special in order to make a purchase. After finding the alternatives, they will evaluate the options and then make a choice; their choices are best on many factors like brand, type, quantity, loads, quantity per load, scent, residue, high-efficiency, easy-to-use among others. Fragrance, ease of ironing, and reduction of stiffness on clothes are three motivators of fabric softener purchase in the United States.


  • Consumers will first look at the need of whether they really like to have a fabric softener and whether they will need it in their laundry.
  • They also tend to look at the necessity — does it really bring a solution to a problem they have.


  • Consumers will check on the content and ingredients. They will also look at what is in them and what makes them special.
  • Consumers seek information to check for the alternative but serving the same purpose.
  • They will check if the fabric softener meets their needs, including things like making their clothes soft, reducing statics on clothes, the fragrance, and whether it makes ironing easier.
  • Consumers do this by checking the information provided on the commercials run on adverts, and they read product reviews.


  • Consumers identify the alternatives by checking on detergents with actual fabric softeners, vs liquid fabric softeners. They also check on information regarding the dryer sheet.
  • After finding the alternatives, they will evaluate the options and then make a choice. Their choices are best on many factors like brand, type, quantity, loads, quantity per load, scent, residue, high-efficiency, easy-to-use, durable freshness, eliminates bad odors, softens fabric, reduce wrinkles, ready-to-wear, and hypoallergenic.
  • Some consumers will also consider cost.


  • When it comes to purchasing the fabric softener — some factors need to be put in place like labeling and ease of finding the product display.


  • Reduces fabric stiffness: if you dry your clothes — makes clothes have a soft feeling.
  • Easier ironing: fabric softener can help to straighten out the fibers in your clothing and make them easier to iron.
  • Smells nice: fragrance in fabric softeners are some things that motivate the purchase. It leaves a refreshing smell on clothes.
  • Wrinkles will be eliminated: consumers will have an easier time getting wrinkles out of their clothes.


  • According to Karen Alexander, fabric softeners have a lot of harmful chemical substances like QUATS — quaternary ammonium compounds — which is linked to Asthma.
  • Another chemical is benzyl acetate — which has been linked to pancreatic cancer.
  • Fabric softener is harmful to the environment and has the potential to contaminate the air we breathe.


  • Due to the health risk presented above, most consumers will prefer the other alternatives to fabric softeners since fabric softeners are posing a health risk to its users.
  • Some alternatives are adding a quarter or half cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of a fabric softener.
  • Avoiding over-drying clothes will also reduce stiffness.
  • "Wool dryer balls are a natural — chemical-free alternative to traditional liquid softeners and dryer sheets". The wool balls eliminate static, cut the drying time by 8-10 minutes, soften clothes, and help to heat the dryer faster.
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Fabric Softener Purchase Motivations (2)

American consumers use terms such as "care", "lightness", "soft touch", "this smell is very tasty and not nauseating", "facilitates the use of iron" when talking about fabric softeners. Below is an overview of the information found.

PHRASES USED FOR fabric softeners


  • The main features that influence American consumers when deciding which fabric softener they will buy are the brand, the price (cost/benefit), the type, the quantity, the number of loads, the quantity per charge, the odor, the residue, high efficiency, if it is easy to use, freshness durability, if it eliminates bad odors, if it softens fabric, if it reduces wrinkles, and hypoallergenic clothing.
  • According to a 2019 report by Bloomberg, the number of U.S. consumers interested in environmentally friendly fabric softener is increasing considerably. For this group, the most targeted characteristics are the vegetable origin of the ingredients, whether it causes pollution, the technology of the packaging (biodegradable), and if it has an "animal cruelty-free" certificate.
  • According to a report from Reed Pacific Media, 36% of US consumers always check what a scented product smells like before purchasing. Something that is applicable to fabric softeners as well. However, consumers do not take the time to open and smell every product when deciding which product to buy.
  • Laundry fabric softeners are not necessary products to have when washing clothes and can decrease the ability to absorb moisture and increase susceptibility to fire. However, consumers buy this product because of the pleasure they feel when using it for their clothing.
  • The favorite place to purchase fabric softener is the supermarket and it is an item that is included in monthly purchases.

How the visuals of a fabric softener affect THE buying decision

  • How the product is presented (as a liquid or in solid form) directly influences the consumer's decision to purchase. Data from the Statista Research Department in 2018 shows that liquid laundry additives sold almost 100% more than those manufactured in solid form. This is because there is greater control in the dosage, which gives a sense of product economy, and the fragrance is more present.
  • Two main packaging characteristics of fabric softeners influence the consumer's choice: does it have a handle (for easy lifting) and is the design well-structured (no risk of overturning).
  • The packaging also conveys the trustworthiness of the laundry brand. It is important that it is well-thought-out and that the consumer can easily identify the brand. Furthermore, it should have clear colors and pastel tones because they convey the sensations of lightness and softness, which is an important factor in purchasing decisions.
  • Advertisements of fabric softeners, both in commercial form and image campaigns, aim to express to the viewer the clear messages of softness, comfort, pleasant texture, and smell. In this way, they manipulate the effective memory of the telescope. Brands that are able to print this with more sensitivity are preferred by consumers.
  • The television commercial campaigns for fabric softeners have in common the style itself, a dose of humor, some appeal to sensitive emotion usually on top of family relations, stimulation of the sensorial memory (smell and clear images that fix the message in the memory of lightness, softness, freshness).
  • The advertisements of fabric softeners in the form of images have something in common that they show, through contrasting elements, the sensation of softness. "There are examples of iridescence made of soft irons, pictures of infants that refer to her soft skin, or as the market leader Huggie who demonstrates a plush bear. This influences the decision of the consumer who, when purchasing the fabric softener, is concerned with acquiring the sense of comfort, as shown in the sales figures."
  • A large portion of current American consumers, especially the millennials, prefer hybrid products. These are products that clean and function as a fabric softener. This feature has stood out and is new among follow-up brands.