Women trust friends more than partners or celebrities when it comes to brand referrals


New research reveals

New research released today reveals what motivates UK consumers to refer brands to friends and family, which sectors and brands are most referable, and which qualities a brand should possess to be referred.

According to the survey results from Mention Me, UK consumers value the opinion of a friend or family member most with 41 per cent of those questioned put off referring a brand if they’d been told not to shop there, compared to only 36 per cent put off by negative press or social media coverage. Of those questioned people would trust a friend (50 per cent) slightly more than a partner or spouse (46 per cent), and only marginally fewer people (21 per cent) would trust an online review from the public than their parents at (23 per cent).

Key findings that highlight increasing disillusionment with influencer marketing and social media:

  • Only three per cent of those questioned would trust a celebrity recommendation
  • Only five per cent a blogger, youtube influencer or other and two per cent a politician
  • Only 18 per cent of those questioned are put off referring by lack of support channels such as live chat or social media
  • Only 15 per cent of those questioned said they would not refer if the shopping experience wasn’t mobile friendly
  • Only 22 per cent if they weren’t offered a customer feedback mechanism

Getting the right deal is still very important for UK shoppers with 53 per cent of those questioned selecting a percentage or money off future orders as the most attractive offer. This compares to only 11 per cent choosing free delivery, 10 per cent choosing a free gift and a sobering 1.9 per cent a charitable donation. We are also a selfish nation when it comes to referral with 59 per cent of those questioned choosing money off for themselves for making a referral compared to only 16 per cent choosing money off for their friend or family on purchase.

Key findings for which qualities people would like a brand to have in order to refer them:

  • 76 per cent of those questioned value a brand being trustworthy or credible to refer them
  • For 68 per cent of those questioned a brand offering good value products is very important and 43 per cent big discounts
  • Only 23 per cent of those questioned rated a brand’s charitable status as very important for referral, 29 per cent it’s environmental credentials and 35 per cent having shared values
  • Good quality products: 73 per cent
  • Good customer service: 59 per cent
  • A brand being innovative or creative: only 21 per cent

Overall with both sexes the most referable sectors for referral relate to experiences: Food & drink (65 per cent), holiday & travel (57 per cent), leisure / entertainment (42 per cent). Technology (48 per cent) and Financial services (43 per cent) also rate highly  There are some marked differences with 40 per cent of women very likely to refer fashion and beauty, compared to only 9 per cent of men likely to refer a men’s fashion brand, and one fifth of the men interviewed were very likely to refer a tech brand compared to only one tenth of women.

The top five brands that those questioned have or would consider referring are:

  • Lidl (58 per cent), Co-op (50 per cent), Nationwide (49 per cent), BA (48 per cent) and Pizza Express (47 per cent)

“This research reveals that brands need to really focus on understanding what drives and inspires their customers to want to share and refer experiences – and that it’s not all just about offering the biggest discount”, comments Andy Cockburn, CEO of Mention Me.

Other key findings:

  • 29 per cent of those questioned hold off making major purchases or Christmas shopping until the Black Friday sales
  • Trusting a celebrity, blogger or Youtube influencer decreases with age with 37 per cent of those under 34 trusting a referral and only 5 per cent of those over 45
  • Cost cutting more important with the younger generation with 36 per cent of those under 34 valuing a free gift compared to only 12 per cent of those over 45
  • We get less charitable as we get older with only 16 per cent of those questioned over 55 rating a brand being charitable as very important compared to 34 per cent of the 18-24 age range
  • Green credentials for a brand less important for the older consumer with 23 per cent of the over 55’s rating this as important or compared to 39 per cent of the 18-24 year olds
  • A brand being innovative or creative is almost twice as important for the young with 41 per cent of the 18-24 year olds rating this as very important and only 24 per cent of the 55+ age range
  • Percentage discounts are perceived as more desirable (34 per cent of those questioned) than money off future orders (19 per cent of those questioned)

Mention Me partnered with One Poll for this survey, who questioned 2,000 UK consumers. The survey was completed 15th September 2017.