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With access to more information than ever before, consumers can be savvier buyers. We have the power to make more informed decisions through online tools, such as Google. More importantly, we’re able to better trust our judgment, and go with our instincts. Whether it’s choosing our next elected representative or just debating between some items at the grocery store, we have access to all of the information we need, as long as we’re willing to put some time into making those decisions count. In the business world, human instincts play a big part in relationships, both personally and professionally. By understanding our instincts as well as the thought process of others, we’re able to make those relationships stronger than ever, and make lasting personal connections. Examples Transparency – As more and more businesses recognize how much transparency initiatives can do, they’re quick to form new policies to give more power to the customer while growing the business as well. Ralph Lauren is an example of a company that learned a valuable lesson about transparency. The clothing company sent a heated letter to blog superstar, Boing Boing, demanding the site take down a criticism of its ad. In the spirit of transparency, Boing Boing published the letter on their site along with a long, detailed article of their communication. Shortly thereafter, Boing Boing’s criticism of Ralph Lauren could be found in the top five results in a Google search for the brand. Epinons – Nearly every online retailer provides the opportunity for customer feedback and product reviews on products, being a major proponent of customer reviews and feedback. What few people realize, however, is that many companiescensor product reviews , allowing only favorable ones to make it through to the end. Luckily, independent sites have been created to do what the others can’t – provide open and honest feedback and reviews of nearly every product or service on the market today. A popular site , which features "unbiased reviews from real people." Unlike Consumer Reports (which often requires a paid subscription), Epinions provides their services free of charge. Armed with tools like these, it’s much easier to make an informed decision while relying on your instincts as well. Stats * 77 percent of online shoppers use reviews and ratings when making purchasing decisions * Epinions’ unique visitors grew from 3.8 million in Sept. 2009 to 4.5 million in Dec of the same year Take Aways In our fast paced society, digital tools help us make quicker decisions about real-time information. Companies can leverage these tools to refine their digital strategies quickly and efficiently. For instance Quantcast enables webmasters to better understand both audience demographics and psychographics. We’ve come to be more accepting of others’ mistakes, especially those who hold a lot of power or celebrity. Recognizing that everyone makes mistakes, and that we’re all human, cuts down on the pressure to be perfect. Admitting to these mistakes and taking responsibility for...

To read more about Boing Boing and Epinions, go to Sparxoo, a digital marketing, branding and business development blog.