When individuals or companies overly promote themselves without credible evidence to back up their claims, it can erode trust. Consumers and peers may view such self-promotion as mere bragging rather than genuine competence or quality.
According to Performance Marketing World, 84% of millennials don’t trust conventional advertising. Ultimately, what you say about your products or services doesn’t matter — establishing credibility through neutral third-parties is essential for building a solid reputation.
The Big Players
Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates have long been regarded as the gold standard for unbiased product and service evaluations. Their rigorous testing and impartial assessments provide consumers with valuable insights when making purchasing decisions. These organizations purchase the products they review and conduct exhaustive testing to ensure their evaluations are unbiased and reliable. This commitment to impartiality has made them trusted sources for consumers worldwide.
Even larger companies like General Electric and Procter & Gamble keep a close eye on these reports, as a negative evaluation from such reputable sources can significantly impact their brand image and sales.
Find Your “Consumer Reports”
Even if your business is not a major corporation with products or services that garner the attention of prominent evaluators, it is crucial to gather unbiased opinions — to identify your “Consumer Reports.” This may include industry-specific forums, niche review sites, industry awards or endorsements from recognized experts. Understanding where your target audience looks for product or service recommendations can help support your reputation management strategies.
So the question arises: Is it ethical to pay for positive reviews or endorsements, even if they come from unbiased sources? At ReputationUs, we believe, while third-party validation is essential, the pay-for-play model can be seen as disingenuous and erode trust. Finding ways to gather truly unbiased opinions should be a priority.
Influencing Social Media
Communicating these neutral findings to your customers can then trickle down into social media posts. And as we all know: Consumer opinions and reviews play a pivotal role in shaping public perception. According to a 2021 report by PowerReviews, over 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online. And BrightLocal’s “Local Consumer Review Survey 2023” shows that 49% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
Our RepUs team can help you identify the best third-party sources to validate your business, so you aren’t relying solely on self-proclaimed excellence. By vetting your products and/or services through these trusted, impartial entities, you can create harmony in your social media reviews and your overall reputation.