Companies are dying to get their products into consumer’s hands. Many popular companies use online consumer communities to drive awareness to their brands as well as get feedback from consumers. The idea is simple. Companies send out their products for free to members of these communities in exchange for feedback and reviews of their product. If you like the product, you are encouraged to share your review with your friends and social networks.
If you like to be in the know about the latest products from big-name brands, and want to give feedback on these products then you would be a great fit into one of these online consumer communities.
These communities are free to join. I have been sent products such as vitamins, perfume, diapers, detergent, make-up, toys and food in exchange for my opinion on these products. These communities also encourage (and some require) you to share your opinions of their brand with your friends and online social networks. Sometimes brands will send you extra coupons and samples for you to give away to help “spread the word”.
It’s easy to get started, just sign up with one of the many online communities such as Vocalpoint, SheSpeaks, BzzAgent, Smiley360 or Kraft First Taste. Be sure to fill out your profile and any demographic surveys available. Sometimes a company will automatically send you a product, and other times you will be invited to sample a product based on your demographics and interests. Your involvement in the community also plays a role in how often you are sent products. With most of these communities, the more involved you are in the community the more offers you will receive to try a new product.
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HouseParty and Vocalpoint give you opportunities to host a party sponsored by many popular brands. These are no-pressure parties, you will not be selling anything. These brands will send you a party pack for the host as well as goodies for your guests. You are encouraged to provide some type of food and refreshments for your guests, although what you want to provide and how much you want to spend is entirely up to you.
Don’t feel obligated to give every product a glowing review. If you love a product spread the word, if you don’t, make sure you mention this in the product survey. Giving your opinions, both good and bad, will help brands make products that better serve us.