As has been widely reported, consumers consider friend recommendations to be more trustworthy than company advertising.

A recent major research study bears this out. According to a story by Todd Wasserman for Mashable: “Seventy percent of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends, but only 10% trust advertising, according to a new report from Forrester Research. The study, based on responses from 58,000 respondents, also found that 46% of consumers trust consumer reviews and 9% trust text messages from brands. The findings come after at least one Facebook partner has affirmed that the social network’s Sponsored Stories — which are based on friend recommendations on behalf of a brand — are more effective than standard banner ads.”

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18 Replies to “Trusting Brand Recommendations from Friends”

  1. I agree with the findings in this article. I tend to ask my friends when I am looking to use a new product. I value their opinions and recommendations. It’s easier to trust a friend than an advertisement that is promoting a company’s own product. Besides a friend’s opinion, I tend to use online reviews as well. For example, if I’m looking for somewhere new to eat I use an app called Yelp. It filters through restaurants (or anything for that matter) and provides reviews from customers. It makes sense for us consumers to trust “real people” and their opinions rather than what an advertisement is promoting.

  2. I find that these statistics presented in this article are 100% true. I know that i trust recommendations from my friends way more than those of an advertising based on the fact that my friends know and understand my needs rather than the company just trying to promote another one of their products. Customer reviews are also more accurate as well because they are first hand accounts of people who actually used the product.

  3. I definitely agree with this article. From my own experience, I would trust what a friend would tell me about a product or service compared to what the brand would tell me. The brand or company is trying to advertise their product so it gives people reason to believe that they are maybe not telling the truth or exaggerating about their product. People tend to trust a source that is a real consumer. That is why people love websites like,, etc.

  4. I totally agree with this article. When I came to the US,some of brands that I did not know before and I would ask my roommate or classmates to see if they are good or not. For example, personal care product. I believe that people who really use or experience the product/service can bring more accurate information. Advertising often exaggerate how good it is. As online review, I sometimes doubt it. I am not sure that the customer might be work for the company, but it’s a good suggestion that I can take a look!

  5. I agree with the information that is provided by this article. When a friend or family member recommends a certain brand, i will instantly trust that brand. This is because i know he or she has used or bought something from this brand, and it was successful. When i see advertisements i don’t always believe every detail of the ad. In ad’s the product is always enhanced or made to look better. And if i got a text message from a certain brand i wouldn’t trust that brand. getting a text from a brand could easily show false advertisement. They will say anything to make you buy or use their product.

  6. I think the statistics in the post are definitely true. I personally take my friends advice when it comes to brands for the most part over advertising. The company is obviously just going make their product look good. My friend on the other hand will be completely honest with me. Customer reviews are also very helpful when choosing a brand because they also have no reason to make a brand look good unless it is the truth. It’s just hard to trust the actual brand because they are just trying to make a sale.

  7. I agree with the stats posted. Personally, I would trust a friends review or recommendation of something over a random website ad or post. Any advertisement is going to positively market a product. At home, my parents receive Consumer Reports magazine and that is another source I would definitely go to when looking to purchase something. I know my parents have looked there for cars, electronics, etc. In third place are consumer reviews and that is also what I’d place third. I think it is important to read real reviews from real users of something. You can’t trust them all because everyone will have different opinions and biases but it is definitely good to look at.

  8. It makes sense that people would listen to there friends opinions, that what they’re there for. Word of mouth is a great way to increase your business and is something that expanded my families business to what it is today.

  9. this does not surprise me one bit. All advertisements no matter what want you to buy their product so the company benefits and makes money. When a friend recommends me to go somewhere i know that they are giving me there honest opinion because they are not getting any benefits out of recommending a place to me. so knowing that i trust the friend recommendation more.

  10. Honestly, there is not one product or online purchase I have made without reading a consumer review. I do not really search out professionally written reviews, unless they come up in a google search. But reviews from friends and other consumers are definitely more trustworthy beyond a company’s own affirmations. It is not that a company is necessarily falsifying consumers, but why would they promote a negative attribute of their product? Only having the half truth about a product is not good enough. Consumers want to know what to expect in full. Even if the product only has one year of life, maybe its cheap enough for a consumer to not care. But the whole truth is definitely better. With that said, I think consumers should take into account the demographics and circumstances of a consumer review. If a 5’10” 50 year old is reviewing a skirt online that a 5’3” 25 year old is looking to purchase, the younger woman should not necessarily base that woman’s review as accurate.

  11. It is easy to explain the theory behind the article. In most times, friends’ suggestions are objective and without commercial misleading. What is more, friends know what you like and not like. For the reviews, it seems that customers believe in customer’s real feelings for the products.

  12. I believe that most of consumers approve this finding. I always collect the opinions from my friends before buying a new product. There is no doubt that the advertisements help consumers know more about the products. But I think the ads always exaggerate the function or quality of the products. The personal advice from friends seems to be real and more objective because they don’t get benefit from recommending a good product to friends.

  13. Advertising always puts concentration on attractive features of products.However, there are lack of actual customer usage experiences. It is difficult for customers to make a objective decisions. For example, when girls want to select cosmetics, we always ask our close friends and get some information or experience they have used. It is useful for us to decide whether we should buy or not, because we believe that there are lots of common features between friends and us. Therefore, it is unlikely for us to purchase improper products.

  14. I absolutely agree with this report. Most of people think that the company advertising is just for profits and possibly fake. They are unwilling to trust them. However, the friends that give you the recommendation are just provide a good advise for you. Your friends only wish you could get a good quality product or service. So, they used to listening their friends.

  15. World of mouth is proved to be the most powerful promotion tool but is really difficult to control its positive or negative effect. Therefore, I believe other than sale promotion or advertising, product attributes, sales service, operation management are the primary factors for long-term success.

  16. I agree with this article. It is hard to tell if the advertising is telling the truth or not. It will be better to ask people around you who can give you comments on the brands. Sometimes I will do some research online or read customers reviews about it before I purchase it. Especially for the new brands or personal care products, the reviews are more valued.

  17. Turns out that choosing appropriate primary target market is so significant for new product development because people in a reference group tends to choose the same product with the recommendations. Viral marketing is a useful way for promotions.

  18. 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from a friend and 55%/46% trust online reviews, this fact reassures me of the importance of social media. Companies pay millions of dollars for advertising, but need to focus more on creating and maintaining their social networks pages. Consumers can see which brands their friends “like”, “friend”, and interact with on social media at no cost to the company. It’s amazing how many large companies fail to create Twitters at all or create interesting content on their Facebook pages.

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