Brief #114: People trust people (not brands)

Welcome to Future of Marketing.

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe.

Today is #SocialMediaDay – tell your social media pros you appreciate them. If you work in social, thanks for everything you do. 

In today’s edition, we’re covering: 

  • Why people trust people more than brands 
  • A major opportunity brands shouldn’t miss (but many still do) 
  • #BrandCrush: NYX Cosmetics 💘

Let’s do this.

People > Brands 

Who would you trust more? 

  1. A restaurant saying their food is amazing 
  2. Paying customers saying the food is amazing   


"Best new tapas bar" on a restaurant website


A Google review talking about how the food was delicious

If you answered #2 then, you fall within the ninety-three percent (93%) of consumers who trust people over brands.

As consumers, we naturally trust that our peers – our friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers – will share their honest experiences with a brand; yet, too many businesses miss a major opportunity to turn REAL testimonials into conversions. 

So… how do you accomplish this? 

Social proof EVERYWHERE

When you’re shopping online, what’s one of the first things you do? 

Chances are you compare products, look at the number of reviews, check the overall rating, and read the comments.  

Brand ratings showing 30 reviews and 4.9 stars

The simple truth is that we rely heavily on reviews when making purchasing decisions. In fact, eighty percent (80%) of shoppers are less likely to purchase if reviews aren’t available; this number is even higher (92%) amongst Gen Z. 

Now, reviews are typically expected to live under product pages – but let’s “add a little spice.” How can we use testimonials to increase conversions through EVERY step of the buyer’s journey? 

Here are some examples: 

Thompson Hotels features user-generated content in a gallery on their homepage – using photos their guests are tagging online. 

A gallery of UGC featuring hotel guest images

Chobani repurposed fan tweets onto billboards.

Everlane shares ratings and reviews in their newsletter.

Everlane sharing star ratings and testimonials in the newsletter

Point is, the possibilities to repurpose testimonials are endless. 

Consider the potential interactions people will have with your brand – website, social, newsletter, ads, in-store, product pages, check-out carts, you name it – and create more excitement by weaving in the voices of your biggest fans.

What we’re learning

#BrandCrush: NYX Cosmetics 

Each week in #BrandCrush, we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers' voices to connect more authentically with their audience.

In today’s buyer’s market, marketing purely on quality isn’t enough; brands are now focusing on customer experiences as part of their brand story. Like NYX Cosmetics. 

New make-up collections. UGC microsites. NFT avatars. The first-ever metaverse Pride parade. 🤯 NYX Cosmetics is working hard to boost representation amongst diverse communities – and it shows. 

A microsite by NYX Cosmetics featuring fans submitting Snapchat content to the brand

Their marketing efforts not only demonstrate that NYX Cosmetics values exceptional experiences – but they place people at the center of everything they do. 💘