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Seven Attributes of a Great Endorsement

December 10, 2019


unfinishedbusiness_croppedEndorsements from companies and people that have used your services or bought your products are a great way to illustrate the value and quality of your business and your brand. Here are the seven attributes you should always factor in when making a decision on which ones to use.

1. Authentic. Whenever possible, use the endorsement exactly the way your customer expressed it. All of the examples I’ve included below are taken from emails received by Explore Communications. There’s nothing more authentic than direct praise that has been freely given, and there is nothing worse than a quote that looks like it has been written and reviewed by a committee! If you get a nice email or survey feedback from a customer, it’s also going to be a whole lot easier to get approval on the exact words that they wrote. If you do have to rewrite the quote (say, to stand alone as a specific quote), keep it as minimal as possible so you don’t lose the tone and expression of the original words.

“… you once again have impressed me with your general awesomeness!”

Changed to:

“Once again you have impressed me with your general awesomeness!”

– Martin Reidy, Operations Manager, Waterman Business Centres

2. Aligned. The endorsements you use should align with your company’s brand identity and persona, and with the services or products that you provide. If you are a B2B services provider, that’s going to feature quite different language and expression to a youth-focused consumer brand.

“Absolutely wonderful PR partnership and great results!”
– Mariana Kosturos, Senior Director, PR & Social Media, RingCentral

3. Personal. If you are a B2B organisation, always attribute the endorsement to a person, not just a company. It’s a quote, and companies don’t speak! If you are a B2C business, try to give a little more context to the person you are quoting: their photo, age, location, or maybe the product they bought or the service they used. Potential customers who are reading the endorsement need to be able to identify with some element of commonality – working in a similar role or in the same industry, living in the same area or in the same age bracket.

“You have done an amazingly fantastic job! Such a great read, well done. Congratulations on pulling together a great report.”
– Kerri Buttery, Director, VETNexus

4. Weighty. For a business endorsement, the more senior the person you are quoting, the better. It’ll carry more weight, and it will probably be easier to get it published, because it won’t have to go through as many levels of approval. For consumer brands, nothing beats a positive media review or unpaid, spontaneous feedback from a famous or well-respected person.

“Thanks for the awesome case study. I’ve just read it in detail, and gosh you could make even God blush!”
– Angelo Giuffrida, CEO, VentraIP

5. Short. It’s an endorsement, not a case study! Endorsements should be short and sweet – don’t try and cram in too much detail or description, or you will limit how you can use the content. Also, the longer the quote, the more difficult it will be to get it approved.

“You are spectacular to work with!”
– Sarah Hanel, Director of Global Corporate Communications, OneSpan

6. Approved. Make sure that any endorsement you use is approved explicitly by the individual quoted. It’s even a good idea to ask for their express permission if you have received the endorsement via social media or some other public channel. Keep a record of that approval, in case you need to rely on it in the future to prove that you received it at the time – but be prepared to stop using the endorsement if the company or individual withdraws their consent. You can use an endorsement that doesn’t identify the company or person, but that is not going to have anywhere near the same impact.

“You are a STAR!”
– APAC Marketing Manager, Global Networking Vendor

7. Reusable. Re-use endorsements as ‘nuggets’ where-ever you can. An endorsement is a positive, subjective view on your company in the words of your customers, so include them where relevant in your press releases, case studies, website, and promotional materials. You can even include them in your blog posts, just like I’ve done here 😊

Photo above taken from free stock images released to promote the movie “Unfinished Business” back in 2015: see further

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