The survey from research consultancy Incite, which looked at a sample of 1,380 consumers, also reveals that 61 per cent say recommendations from peers are very important when deciding to buy a product or service and 23 per cent would trust the opinion of others on purchase decisions compared to 15 per cent who would primarily trust their own decisions.
Research is becoming the norm in purchase decisions to gain a level of assurance that money is being spent wisely and depending on what the product category is, it can lead to a consumer using multiple sources of information.
This rational decision making has an effect on brand loyalty – but as this research shows brands must be proactive in reaching out and creating advocates in order to maximise the loyalty of others they may influence.
A study by TMW and Marketing Sciences shown exclusively to Marketing Week also suggests that younger people are using recommendations from their peers about products and services in order to make rational purchase decisions.
In particular, the study reveals that shoppers aged 18 to 24 are 174 per cent more likely to use recommendations on social media than shoppers aged 25 and over.
An example of this is Samsung’s consumer campaign on LinkedIn for the launch of its Galaxy Note II smartphone which was aimed at 20 million LinkedIn members across seven countries and allowed members to vote on the most important benefits of the device and share their views.
You could argue that all groups use and need some form of peer recommendation and word of mouth but what is interesting about Gen Y is that you are targeting a group that will go on to make many future purchases and will only have increased spending power when the recession lifts.
It is crucial, therefore, that brands know how this group make their initial purchase decisions, where they are getting information about brands, whether it is through friends and family or via social media and finally how that purchase can then be used to turn that consumer into an influencer.