Innovation Commercialisation Manager,

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How do new ideas gain credibility?

If you were buying a new product/service from a new unknown company, which method below would help you trust them and be more likely to buy their product?

Either the company had;

a) Endorsements/testimonials (from customers, celebrities, experts)
b) Norms/routines (eg: seem normal - have a website with Twitter etc)
c) Industry member (eg: have a respected Board of Directors or are a member of a trusted association)

Are there other methods for gaining credibility that are beyond those three?

I advise entrepreneurs in sales and marketing and want to help them gain credibility in these early vulnerable stages. All thoughts along these lines are welcome including links, case studies and opposite views (eg: perhaps none of these methods build credibility!).

I read with interest...thanks all.

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    Apr 21 2011: None of the three methods you mention would influence my decision. Information that provided confidence that the company understood my needs, had a commitment to quality that carried through with customer service, and had developed a product that was thoughtfully designed and easy to maintain and repair would influence my decision. Reading reports from customers and trusted reviewers would also be important.
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    Apr 19 2011: From a consumer point of view, I don't think any of the 3 examples you have given even rate a mention as useful ways to 'build' credibility. At best, they might help build the perception of credibility with some people.

    I couldn't care less who endorses a product. If I don't know them personally, why would I use their (paid for) opinions as a base for forming my own?

    Just following current practice is neither here nor there. If a company or product is inaccessible = fail. Otherwise, it just comes down to ease of access.

    Ultimately, a good product shouldn't need a 'credibility generating' scheme behind it. Maybe just an awareness campaign.
    • Apr 21 2011: peer endorsement better Scott? Other customers count as well or only known peers? I tend to make choices based on that too but I know it's hard for startups with no customers. Trying to help them is a bit of a nightmare in this area sometimes. I agree about celebrities and their 'paid for' thing.
  • Apr 14 2011: Good point Gareth. Perhaps expert endorsement is better, particularly for new ventures. I am also slightly concerned about a celebrity for a) their cost and b) overshadowing the newly forming brand.
  • Mar 30 2011: Great question Melanie. I also work in this area and agree that the three approaches you identify will accelerate growth of an idea. But unless the idea is a very tighly defined one,endorsement will need to be appropriate to several interest groups. For example, large segements may react against "celebrity" endorsement (me for example!) per se. Identifying niche opinion leaders here is key.