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Working with various industrial companies in competitive markets, I've noticed that there are a lot of protective feelings about customer information. No one wants to give a competitor an edge by making their customer list known and vulnerable.

What is the best way to elicit trust from customers without offering up too much of their information?

A trusted by section usually includes companies which are large, well-known and (usually) public knowledge. These companies are already known to competitors. Example: enter image description here

Customer testimonials, however, can take many forms. There was a question previous about which was preferable - custom design or embedded tweet (not something I would use currently for my project, but made good points).

The accepted answer (by @ben-brocka) on this question had great information and stats about the number of users who rely on/believe in customer testimonials.

I am wondering which is more useful, preferred by customers or effective:

  1. using the 'trusted by' section on the footer of the website
  2. displaying a selection of testimonials

I am also okay with hearing that both are equally effective, and use is based on the type of page the user is viewing. (But I'd be interested in hearing the pages that are preferable to use for each type.)

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I would say it depends on the situation. But I think there are at least 3 different scenarios where one approach may be better than the other.

Here my opinion on the subject:

Trusted By > Testimonial

This is more likely to be true when the User does not know the person who is giving testimonial. Testimonials from an unknown source are less likely to be taken seriously. This is especially true if the testimonial is provided by the site/application and not submitted by someone.

enter image description here

Trusted By = Testimonial

In some situations, Trusted By and Testimonials are more likely to hold equal credibility. If the testimonial is in a form of a comment, a user is more likely to believe the testimonial.

enter image description here

Trusted By < Testimonial

In other situation, I think testimonials are even stronger that trusted bys. If your application is linked to social media, a review by known "friend" of a user will more likely hold more value than trusted by. Social approval is a pretty big driver. enter image description here

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Blend the two, you get the best possible result.

"Quoted wonderful endorsement of your brand/product/service" from Name.Surname @PositionOF within Company X [insert gratuitous corporate logo image and headshot of famed person here]

Win/Win!

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