The Power of the Peer

Bright blue and white print dress
Symmetrical print and great length!

Dress: Ross

Heels: Alfani Step ‘n Flex

Earrings: NY & Co.

Like the outfit? See more details here!


I was debating about even trying this dress on when I found it at the store. My husband was with me, and he really wanted me to try it on, but I just couldn’t do it. Enter my mom and my sister… who not only convinced me to try it on, but ALSO convinced me to buy it! Marketers take note of the power of the peer.

From what I’ve seen, heard, and personally dealt with while shopping, it seems that most women prefer to shop with at least one other person. We like to have someone to give feedback, and sometimes we WANT to be convinced to buy something that’s slightly out of our comfort zone. Men seem to be the complete opposite, with an “I’m on a mission” and blinders attitude that results in quick, fruitful shopping trips. However, men seem to pay heed to peers in other areas, like electronics or cars. This seems pretty stereotypical, but I’ve seen my husband scour forums for information on amps, keyboards, and video cards, eliciting information from others who’ve been in his position.

Marketers already know about the power of the peer, and they’ve taken steps to create entire brands around what the collective peer group finds attractive. This brand identity is carefully crafted to not only make a customer feel like they fit into their immediate peer group, but also helps them come back to the brand by fitting in with the larger peer group. This is why brands can’t be everything to everyone all the time, since people gravitate toward those who are “like them.” There’s also aspirational brands, which seek to help customers fit in with a peer group they would like to be in. It’s the reason that celebrity and athlete endorsements are used in advertising; to make the customer feel like they are peers with that person, since they use the same brands. Entire store concepts and industries flourish around the power of the peer, with elaborate dressing rooms and lunch spots, to take a quick trip to the store from mundane to shopping excursion with the girls!

I’ve seen the power of the peer in my own life, and I know it works! What are you doing to encourage the power of the peer as they interact with your brand or retail location? How are you shaping the collective peer group that your brand represents? By getting the attention of the peer, you’ll up your chances for getting the attention of the customer! Like the outfit? See more details here!

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