CamelBak has embarked on an ambitious expansion strategy with its new home water filtration pitcher, called the Relay, which has debuted at Target, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and CamelBak.com.
A move to mainstream distribution can be tough for an outdoor company, but a look at the first wave of consumer reviews indicates a solid future for the Relay.
The numbers aren’t big (yet) – 54 reviews on Amazon, 15 on camelbak.com – but the content is telling; 14 of the reviews on CamelBak’s site were five-star and 49 of the Amazon reviews rated four or five-star.
Many of the reviews favorably compared the Relay to industry leader Brita, calling out several points of superiority for the Relay: speed of filling and pouring, a more securely-fitting lid and better fit in the refrigerator. CamelBak product development did their homework.
Why The Initial Relay Reviews Matter
OK, but why so much faith put in the initial consumer product reviews? Because we follow them closely for all our clients at Channel Signal and we’ve learned that reviews are one of the most important and least-acknowledged metric.
80% of consumers consult and rely on product reviews before making a major purchase. That means they’re not looking to the manufacturer for product information and a sales pitch, they’re asking fellow consumers how the product is working for them. Consumer product reviews make and break purchase decisions.
It’s simple – a recommendation from a peer has far more credibility than a pitch from a company or even a favorable media review. Ask anyone in the hotel business how often they check TripAdvisor. Ask a restaurant owner about Yelp and UrbanSpoon.
How Channel Signal Helps
Channel Signal pulls consumer reviews from our clients’ sites and from their key e-commerce partners. We break down the trends and the frequent points of complaint and praise, noting the volume and sentiment from each source.
So, what do you do with this information? First, sales and key retailers need to know what products are reviewing well, since that makes them more likely for re-order. Product development needs to know what products are causing problems, and negative talk. Customer service needs to contact and convert the people who post highly negative reviews.
CamelBak did its research before launching the Relay and it’s working, so far.