retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Advertising Age reports on the launch of, which is designed to be a social networking page for CPG brands.

Here’s how Ad Age frames the story: “Search for a coffee shop or a dentist and you're bound to see at least one user-review site rating the product or service, if not many. But search for product names or categories such as ‘Greek yogurt’ or ‘iced tea’ and no such luck. There's no Yelp or RottenTomatoes for products we buy at the grocery or drug stores as there are for local businesses and movies ... Enter Consmr. The website gives each of 50,000 products their own brand page and provides space for user reviews and ratings. Consmr has also partnered with magazine publisher Rodale to import product reviews from Men's Health, Women's Health and Prevention and is providing incentives to product bloggers to cross-post their reviews.”

As Ad Age notes, “the brands that are participating today are most likely of the build-it and-they-will-come mentality. There currently aren't many reviews on the site and searches like ‘granola bar’ only bring up one review out of many products.

“If nothing else, Consmr definitely has good timing. The site launches at a time when packaged goods companies are hammering out how exactly their products hang online. Procter & Gamble Co. recently launched a new Facebook commerce platform and has been testing its own direct-to-consumer e-commerce store. Other retailers are buying up e-commerce start-ups to be there when consumers want to buy their soap and cases of Coke online. Walgreen's recently purchased for more than $400 million and Amazon scooped up and parent Quidsi for $540 million.”
KC's View:
Think about it, and what’s really amazing is that this site didn’t exist before.

Once they come up with a mobile version that people can use on their smart phones - which is said to be in the works - this thing could have some real power, especially because the reviews almost certainly will reflect passionate feelings about products, either positive or negative.