The most powerful words in marketing?
It’s time to add two more: Verified Purchase.
Here’s a quick note to talk about something that’s happened so slowly you may not have noticed: the rise in the undeniable promotional power of Amazon Verified Reviews.
Back in the day, my dad was a rabid Consumer Reports guy. I think I learned my propensity to over-analyze any purchase based on his ‘no such thing as over-thinking’ model for even the smallest of purchases. While a great Consumer Report’s review was not the final word that ensured the purchase, it was certainly one of a handful of deciding factors.
Sad thing is, I can’t remember the last time I sought out Consumer Report’s thinking about even the biggest of purchases. But Amazon Verified Purchase reviews? I’m on those like hummingbirds on honeysuckle.
A powerful force came slowly in the night—and took over everything.
I only really consciously noticed this phenomenon now that I have a product on Amazon. As a long-time Amazon customer, I never really noticed how quickly those two words—Verified Purchase—became primary guideposts on my personal journey to any Amazon purchase.
I recently bought this DinoFire presentation clicker on Amazon. Why? Verified Purchasers told me to.
Same for Rachael O’Meara’s (@romeara) book Pause and Sandra Long’s (@longsandra) book LinkedIn: The Ultimate Guide for Personal Branding, and a whole boatload of other products in part due to their stellar Verified Purchase reviews. And where can you find these valuable reviews? The same place you can buy the product, often with One-Click and FREE shipping: Amazon.
User Generated Content of the very best kind.
Amazon pays nothing for these freely given reviews. An entire cottage industry has developed around the entertainment value of certain products. The sheer, feral power of three wolves on a single T-shirt? I am so in.
But it’s not all about entertainment. It’s about getting, for the first time in human history, a thing for every buyer to cheer, and every manufacturer to fear: an always-on, completely global forum for consumer feedback—to other consumers.
There’s an old advertising maxim that states ‘nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising.’ It’s time to update that for the Amazon Age. Maybe something like ‘nothing kills a bad product faster than letting pissed-off, Verified Purchasers savage it on Amazon.’
Peer Review is critical to science—and now, Amazon purchasing.
It doesn’t take long to short the wheat from the chaff in those Amazon reviews either. I personally LOVE it when I find someone with my exact situation reviewing their experience with the product.
Why did I buy this?
Because there was a Verified Purchase review from a guy with the very same problem I had: a broken handle on a beloved ceramic coffee mug. It worked well enough for him to write about it? Well, then it will undoubtedly work for me. Thanks Amazon, for connecting me to someone who’s already bought the product, and willing to share that it actually worked.
Disclaimer: I have a book to sell. On Amazon.
Please read the book, then consider giving us the ultimate Amazon gift—that keeps on giving—a Verified Purchase review.
They really have become the gold standard for many prospective purchasers on Amazon. It’s fast and even easier when you use this cheat sheet (below) to do so (get a PDF version here).
Is this a blatant request for reviews? Absolutely. We even talk about why I’m asking when and where I’m asking in the book (see The secret to GREAT customer reviews, page 105).
The primary insight of that secret? Don’t be afraid, actually ASK for them.
But am I trying to earn that review by surfacing a concept that you may have seen in action but may not be really cognizant of? Yes, that too. After all, one of my cardinal rules of social media is to provide value by Sharing, Not Shilling. BTW: that’s in the book too (page 39). 😉
If you’ve got some Amazon-centric products out there, feel free to rip off the copy in this cheat sheet PDF to promote your products. AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.
The most powerful words in marketing: Free, New, On Sale, and now, Verified Purchase.
The next time you’re navigating the Amazon, play attention to the number of times you seek out the advice of previous explorers about which products are great, good—or fall apart after the first week of purchase. Such ‘been there, bought that’ intel is priceless, and another reason Amazon is dominating the world of sales (both online, and off).
– D.P. Knudten • Chief Collaborator • COLLABORATOR creative
PS: Did I make it clear that ROTOMA—The ROI of Social Media ‘Top of Mind’ is available right now on Amazon? Thought so. – dp
©2017 D.P. Knudten / COLLABORATOR creative – all rights reserved
D.P. Knudten, the Chief Collaborator at COLLABORATOR creative, is a ~25-year veteran in advertising and marketing. Providing everything from custom copywriting; content marketing strategy, creation, execution; and his NonFiction Branding™ system, D.P. collaborates creatively to identify, craft, and tell the true brand stories of complicated products, services, and companies, and share his personal POV about all the above—and more—via speaking opportunities to groups throughout the U.S. He is also the co-author (with Spencer X Smith) of ROTOMA—The ROI of Social Media ‘Top of Mind’