A new study, conducted by ReviewInc in November 2016, tested unaided brand awareness of websites associated with business reviews. In the past studies, ReviewInc has conducted research on top review site brands using the latter method. There was a significant difference between the aided and unaided studies.
The value of a brand is predicated mostly on awareness. That is, how many people think of your brand name or look for it. For example, when you think of an automobile maker, you’d probably come up with something like Toyota, Ford or Honda. However, measuring awareness of brands can be tricky. Some brands have a reputation or a strong association with a particular thought. And to measure that association, you can start with the “thought” and see what brand is recognized, or you can start with prompting the brand and see what “thought” is recognized.
The study of 2,001 U.S. Consumers asked the following open-ended question: On which website do you check reviews and ratings about a business (such as restaurant, plumber, doctor, lawyer, mechanic etc.)?
The responses were analyzed and identified both Google and Yelp as top review sites when unaided.
In contrast, a study conducted earlier in 2016 tested the association of trust with various review sites. Several sites scored much lower results in the unaided brand awareness. Most notably, the Better Business Bureau, Yahoo, TripAdvisor, Facebook and YellowPages received much lower unaided brand recognition associated with review sites. One surprise was Angie’s List whose unaided awareness outperformed all sites except Google and Yelp.
Google and Yelp showed a significant difference in unaided brand awareness between genders. Females identified Yelp 26% more than males whereas males identified Google 20% more than females. (There was no significant difference in gender preference for other review sites).
The age group differences where mostly insignificant, however Angie’s List appears to be resonating more with ages 55 and over. This likely explains the higher overall brand awareness of Angie’s List.
Google and Yelp provide reviews for multiple categories of businesses, but sites like Angie’s List are very specific to home services and contractors. Sites specific to automotive services would likely score higher if the question posed was more specific to automotive dealerships are car buying. Further studies are merited and ReviewInc will continue its commitment to educate business owners on the power and importance of reviews.
It is recommended that businesses build their online reputations on multiple review sites. A broad review site coverage strategy will help enhance search results. It will also help provide a more balanced reputation especially if you have many reviews of multiple review sites.
For more information on how ReviewInc can help you measure and increase your online reviews, please call ReviewInc at 877-973-8439, leave us your contact information or email ReviewInc at [email protected] to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.