Friday, June 17, 2011


There's a a very interesting article up on Mashable about a new website, Consmr.  Consmr aggregates reviews from consumers, bloggers and a couple of editorial publications and ranks products based on an average of these reviews. 

The site also has a game layer, much like foursquare: users are awarded badges (called "pieces of flair") for engagement and ascend through different levels as their involvement increases.

I think reviews sites are a brilliant idea for brands.  Without investing much time or money, brands get direct feedback from consumers about what does and doesn't work with their product.  And consumers benefit from having information before they buy.  Many of them are looking for that information. 

A recent survey by consulting firm WSL Strategic Retail supports [Consmr's] vision. The report found that one-fifth of consumers research food and beverage purchases, nearly one-third research pet products and 39% look up information on baby products.

Yelp has been a massive success for businesses and clients.  I consult its app regularly when I'm in an unfamiliar area and need to find a restaurant, coffee shop, gas station, or place to buy red cowboy boots.  There is no app for Consmr yet, but its founder, Ryan Charles, envisions creating one to allow customers to access its information in-store, allowing for more informed purchasing choices.

I can't wait to test this out.  I'll probably test out a Consmr profile and see how it goes.  Once the site gets larger, brands other than Coke and Mars Candy will be represented, and my choices about what to buy might become smarter. 

I do wonder, long-term, about marketing information being so open.  In general, it does help marketers tailor to my preferences, which saves me time and money.  But what's the cost of so much purchasing information about me circulating around?

What about you?  Would you sign up for Consmr?  How do you feel about review sites?

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