The World of Fake Online Reviews: Digital Badges as Online Reviews

How digital badges play an important role against fake reviews, and can help businesses thrive.

Aug 4, 2021
4 min
|      by
Giovanna Pergher
digital badges education

Since we started to pay attention to online reviews, the world saw new business models emerging based on them. Companies like Yelp and TripAdvisor were founded with the shared purpose of giving honest and reliable feedback across all industries.

Since then, we have been battling against fake and bought reviews, which directly affect brands’ perception and customers’ trust. With this growing trend, customers are having a hard time finding businesses that they can rely on simply based on reviews.

Not counting only with fake reviews, the concept of what “reviews” represent can be a hard one to conceive just by itself. Everything that is in an online format is, by nature, asking us to put a vote of trust without seeing what we are buying into. This makes reviews an abstract concept that not everyone can tackle, and one that can even prevent the decision-making to happen. Aligned with that also comes the possibility of fake review, consequently transforming the customer experience into a bumpy road.

The problem of Online Reviews

When we encounter reviews, two main problems arise that can stop us from trusting them:

  1. The customer might not have tried the product and be leaving a review nonetheless
  1. The circumstances in which the product is used differ for each customer, making it harder to evaluate their experience to the fullest

For SaaS companies, or others selling non-physical services, this issue is magnified. Between the long list of offers, the contest to get into the customer’s top-of-mind choice, and developing blind trust in their target market, these companies also have developed an online sense of trust through reviews.

With 72% of consumers only trusting a brand after reading a positive review, it’s clear that online Ads don’t do the trick by themselves. They are followed by an exhausting search about the company and what others are saying about their product and service.


So, what could break this cycle and make it easier for companies to be trusted?

The answer is exactly what we’ve been saying: online reviews. But online organic and real reviews that are initiated by the customer’s personal choice, and not interfered by a third party.

Thinking about this affirmation, we clearly see that these types of reviews are very hard to accomplish, specially being that they can only be developed with time. However, one way that this can easily be achieved without having to wait countless days, is through the use of digital badges.

We’ve talked about the concept of digital badges in other articles, so if you’re unfamiliar with the concept read through our guide here. Essentially, digital badges are a form of online credentials meant to celebrate and recognize others’ accomplishments in a certain field. They can be used as an online course completion certification, an online event credential, or simply for companies to reward employees for their good deeds.

digital badges examples from

Although this credentialling format has been around for a while, there are still missing studies and articles around them, and especially when it comes to the topic of online reviews.  

Digital badges don’t just represent good performance, but they also serve as a truthful testimonial of the product/service that was used. This is due to them being created in a format meant for sharing on social media, CVs, email signatures, and many more. Essentially, it’s saying to others: “I trust this company. Look at what I gained by buying their product”.

Once the badge is shared with the customer’s network, the whole process begins: more people will become aware of the company represented in the badge, while a conversation begins around it. Translated into actual metrics, we are talking about more leads, more website traffic, and more brand awareness.

These badges represent truthful and real online reviews of the customer’s experience, the most influential form of reviews a company can aim for - it goes beyond what an online review normally represents:

  1. Includes the gains, accomplishments, and context of the experience
  1. It’s personalized to the customer’s liking
  1. Helps the customer position himself in front of their network

It’s a powerful statement of the customer’s experience, organically created by them, and shared because they truly wanted to.

Digital Badges in the format of Online Reviews

Besides the reasons we stated above, there are other ways in which digital badges are the best format for online reviews. Let’s dive into them.

1. Brand Awareness for the company

It’s of everyone’s knowledge how hard overcoming other competitors’ ads and achieving a position in the customer’s range of options is. Yet, this can be worked on with the use of digital badges. Instead of being targeted by ads, the target market (and even other unexplored markets) will be facing real reviews of the product/service.  

In our Virtual Badges, you have the option of adding your logo or having a certification feature (to make sure the badge is real) on your website too.

example of a digital badge and branding of the company

2. Genuine reviews that leave no room for doubt

Digital badges will fill in the gap between online reviews and the actual use of the product. Your potential customers will be given the chance to see social proof of their peers’ experience and observe for themselves what the outcomes are.

Although you can use different software to issue digital badges, while working with, you have the option to create social media format badges that are meant to be shared in social networks. This increases the exposure of the badges while giving space for your customers to create an honest review and feedback.

3. Partnering with your customers while giving them the room to boost personal branding

As the importance of personal branding is growing, especially on LinkedIn, we all want to look good in front of our network and create a positive image. Although this is not easy to accomplish, giving digital badges to your customers is a great way to work towards it.

Your customers get to personalize their badge with their photo, name, and even to add a quote if you give them the option (for more information about this, check our article about badge design).  

example of badge design personalization in a digital badge

4. Building a strong company brand message with ethical values

We are moving towards more inclusive and respectful work environments, and most highly value this when choosing a company to work for, buy from, and follow.

Achieving a good position in the customers’ minds through online reviews is important but positioning the company as one to reward their employees and customers that aims to create a close relationship with them, is the best status you can achieve for your customers. The idea and perception around the brand will change positively, and potential customers, and even employees, will remember your efforts when the time comes.

* You can find the organisation ID in the URL when you access your LinkedIn Company page as an admin.

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