As is evident with Amazon being one of the most valuable companies for online shopping, the internet is having an increasing role in the shopping process. Even if you still prefer to shop in store the internet offers an effective tool for everyone, customer reviews. Look up any product and you can find a review by a “professional” but there is something about the common customer that we trust more. A product with just one review is 65% more likely to be purchased. Many even go to Amazon for the reviews even though they have every intention of purchasing elsewhere. There are studies showing that these reviews are often unreliable but regardless of their reliability they are effective.
It should come as no surprise then that businesses offer products for free or at a discount in exchange for an honest review in the hopes to jump sales. The third largest phone maker, Huawei, provided the perfect example of how not to execute this marketing strategy. With the impending release of the Mate 10, the company announced a contest on their Facebook page, write how excited you are to get the phone in the review section on the phones page on Best Buy and some of the reviews will be selected to win the phone. The result was 108 reviews, most with 5 stars by people who have never held the phone in their hand.
Best Buy immediately took down the reviews and we will have to wait until the phone’s release before we can see actual customer reviews but when that happens will it even matter? Customer reviews are trusted as those that post it usually have nothing to gain or lose but now those reviews on Huawei will always be tainted no matter how legitimate they may be.
The company is already facing problems in the U.S as carriers will not sell the phone due to security concerns so Huawei may have tried such a move out of desperation or maybe they genuinely thought this was a good idea. Whatever the reason was, the damage is done, and they will have to think of a new way to market their phone.