FEATURE15 February 2016

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Features Impact North America

Peer-generated product reviews can provide reassurance for prospective buyers, but a new breed of apps suggests there could also be a market for reviews of people. By Bronwen Morgan

Whisper word of mouth crop

Word-of-mouth recommendations are invaluable for brands. According to research by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, 13% of all sales are driven by word of mouth – a marketplace impact of around $6 million – while research from Forbes revealed that 81% of consumers are influenced in their purchase decisions by online posts from friends and family.

In fact, many people these days are reluctant to see, do, or purchase anything without first reading what other people have to say about it. And new app peeple, alongside others, is hoping to extend this to the ‘real’ world – by allowing you to assign ratings and reviews of one to five stars to everyone you know. 

According to the app’s website, peeple allows its users to provide recommendations on everyone they come into contact with – personally, professionally and romantically, as well as allowing users to be recommended themselves. “We ...