Ever walked past a new store and come across a huge line of people outside? You’ve never heard of this place before, but your curiosity has now been piqued. That, my friend, is social proof.
People tend to look toward others for validation. If your cohorts are all playing the same video game, watching the same show, reading the same book, or hanging out in a hip new cafe (or app), you’ll likely be influenced to try it out as well.
How do you build social proof for a new product though? If nobody or their friends have heard of your product, you won’t have enough validation to draw attention to your offering.
This is where branding comes in. People will be more likely to walk in the door if you have a sleek image, unique character, and great story. Once they are in, the only thing which can get them to stay is quality. If they find genuine value in your product, they will tell their friends about it, and you might end up becoming socially approved.
You don’t have to hide that you are a startup, but you also don’t want to come across as a Mickey Mouse operation. The more professional you look, the more likely you are to attract those valuable early adopters.
But early adopters tend not to stick around that long. They have other shiny new things to discover. So make sure your product packs enough punch to get them to recommend it to their social circles.