The Power of the Consumer Review

This week Trendwatching.com released their September trends “Transparency Triumph: Reviewing is the new advertising”. I don’t agree that reviewing is the new advertising because traditional advertising messages are controlled by the brand; however, I do agree that consumer product reviews are very powerful and will continue to be prevalent as technology advances.

We have seen this first hand at the agency with blogger reviews.  A DIY and mommy blogger review campaign for an outdoor wood protector helped increase Internet sales by 16%.  A diabetes blogger review campaign for a new blood glucose meter drove 65% new visitors to a online diabetes supply retailer who stayed on the site for an average of 5 minutes. And for better or worse, online product reviews are imprinted on the web for consumers to continue to find and influence their decisions.

Certainly not all consumer reviews are positive.  However, the possibility of negative reviews shouldn’t hinder brands from encouraging consumer product reviews from bloggers or reviews on their own web sites.  Negative reviews can provide insight into possible product enhancements and give brands an understanding of how their products are perceived in the marketplace.  Also, if consumers don’t have an online outlet to share their product experience, you better believe they are telling all their friends, family and co-workers.

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