Every day you wake up and face an incredible amount of choices. From the mundane (what to wear to work), to the meaningful (how to spend your time). You have the choice of what to eat, how early or late you want to wake up, what sort of media you consume. Choice is an incredible luxury, but it’s frustrating, too.
The famous study conducted by Sheena Iyengar from Columbia University set out to discover if choices really are better by giving one set of consumers access to 24 flavors, and another set of consumers access to 6 flavors. Of those with more options, 3% purchased, while 30% of those with fewer options completed the purchase.
In modern terms, the internet has paralyzed us with choice. Pick a product; any product. Go to the search engine of your choice, and run a search. What do you see?
I’m not going to calculate how long it’ll take me to wade through 28.4 MILLION search results. I think you know as well as I do that the pros of product choices are only as good as your ability to discern which of the countless options available are going to be a good fit for your needs.
A lot of bloggers and digital review sites have used this to their advantage with the “best” lists. In fact, Google reported an 80% increase in mobile search for “best” from 2015-2017, with a 35% increase in search for “product reviews.” If I search for “best wireless charger” I may still get an absurd amount of search results, but I also end up with a lot of results to help guide me through my search process.
Consumers need help, and they’re looking to people they trust for advice on what to buy, especially for considered purchases. As a brand, you can’t afford to leave those searches and reviews to chance. You could work to ensure your brand or products are on every single “best” list out there, but there’s an easier way.
- Identify your advocates. Whether you want to call them influencers, brand ambassadors, or our favorite, experts, these people are smart, they’re opinionated, and they are your best advocates. Some are easy to identify, like retail sales associates or category professionals. Some are a little tougher to find, like a weekend warrior. All impact the point of sale in different, but important ways.
- Educate your advocates. Give them background information on your company, details about your products, and insights into why your brand needs to be top of mind. And be sure it’s the sort of information they can’t get through a simple Google search, because if they already advocate for you, then chances are high they’ve already run a search on you…so give them something a little extra.
- Provide your advocates with experiences. When you recommend a product to a friend, how often are you recommending something you’ve never tried? Never! So why would you expect your advocates to give an authentic recommendation when they’ve never actually used your product? Give them easier access to try your products by giving them discounts or by signing them up to your ambassador program; the recommendations will follow.
We’ve overwhelmed consumers, but we can fix the information overload by channeling through the voices they trust when it comes to product recommendations. By empowering your advocates, not only do you bypass the chaos of a random Google search, but you increase the likelihood to recommend. Why? Because when someone has knowledge and experience with your brand and product, they’re 4 times more likely to recommend you. Your advocates become stronger voices, consumers buy with greater confidence, and you get to reap the benefits of increased sales — it’s hard to say no to a situation where everyone truly wins.