Turning a Transactional Brand into a Shared Lifestyle Community
Consumer Reports is the trusted brand for all things product reviews. The problem? Their relationship with consumers was purely transactional—quickly Google a product, arrive at Consumer Report’s website, read the review, and then leave. Further, they weren’t using their platform to its fullest potential. With its scale and breadth, they had the opportunity to connect like-minded users with each other and truly develop an ongoing relationship with their audience.
To increase user retention, engage new audiences, and increase upselling, our strategy was to leverage Consumer Reports’ scale and depth to offer a premium, members-only subscription service.
Unlike the free service, it offered additional benefits that included access to communities where users could connect with other like-minded individuals, access to and direct conversations with product experts, and rich content (including deep-dive analysis and in-depth product reviews).
We also designed features to support users becoming actual ambassadors of CR, helping the company to both reach more users faster as well as support and reward their existing users.
This new service layer allowed Consumer Reports to have an ongoing and dynamic dialog with its community, grow its audience, and gave consumers real reasons to buy into and engage with the brand for the long-term.
We created a suite of features for both logged in and unauthenticated visitors that would encourage user engagement and subscriptions.
Through a new suite of membership features, we would build community, foster engagement, and support relationships that reflect how CR's ecosystem creates value.
This suite included Ask CR, a conversation starter where consumers can send any question to a Consumer Reports expert, Stories, a collection of user stories around a shared topic to facilitate community connections, and TESTx, a series of product quizzes to add a sense of gamification to the site while providing CR with useful consumer data and users with helpful tips and content related to the products they love.