As marketers, there are a few seemingly basic questions that are at the core of our entire marketing strategies.

Who is our customer? How does our customer think and make decisions?

We research the demographic data, whitepapers about trends, Google Analytics, and any other data source we can think of. But many times we fail to look at our own consumer behavior – as well as that of our families, our friends, and our colleagues – to determine trends, when in fact our own behavior is probably a good indication of “the norm”.

So after thinking about my own brand-seeking habits, I realized that I either get a direct recommendation from a friend or colleague, or I consume other people’s online reviews related to the brand.

1. I find restaurants on Yelp, and sort my results by “highest rated.”

2. I run a Google search on every product, model number, and service to see their reviews.

3. I listen intently to my fellow entrepreneurs and their experiences with certain tools.

4. I listen to new artists and songs that my friends tell me about.

5. I legitimize brands by their website’s display of significant press coverage


Brand Trust Low, People Trust High

According to a 2012 Nielsen report, a majority of worldwide consumers behave in a similar fashion. In fact, the report states that 92% of worldwide consumers trust recommendations from people they know, while 70% trust consumer opinions posted online.

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