Photo courtesy Margaret Ornsby
Photo courtesy Margaret Ornsby

While a simple five-star review could benefit your brand, it may not help you as much as a three- or four-star review that is filled with feedback, a recent study from a consumer news and advocacy organization suggests.

ConsumerAffairs' survey in September of 87 subscribers found that 57% of the respondents regarded star ratings as  "somewhat" to "not at all" important an influence. And when asked to tell in their own words what was more important than stars, 27.5% of the respondents cited "reviews." No other word was mentioned as frequently, ConsumerAffairs said.

What's more, consumers prefer more substantive reviews for items that have higher prices, the organization found. For lower priced items, consumers are more likely to simply check the stars to see if the quality is up to standard. 

According to ConsumerAffairs, people are suspicious of perfect five-star ratings and are seven times more likely to make a purchase of an item important to them after seeking out the most informative review. 

"Extract that feedback," said ConsumerAffairs Marketing Manager Danica Jones, "Brands that place themselves in these third-party places are more likely to get valuable feedback."