Park City entrepreneur writes book about consumer reviews
After starting multiple businesses throughout his career, Paul Kirwin’s next step seemed obvious: Write a book.
Kirwin, a longtime Park City resident and founder and CEO of the product review analytics company Channel Signal, recently released his first book, called “Stand Out in the Age of the Consumer: Connecting with the Most Powerful Force in the Marketplace.” It covers the importance of consumer reviews and provides tips for businesses to improve their brand perception.
Kirwin said he wrote the book because he wanted to tell business owners why consumer reviews matter in today’s economy. He said many consumers ignore ads or block them online, but they tend to trust other people when they read product reviews.
“People believe in other people,” he said.
Kirwin has worked in the retail and consumer goods industry for more than 15 years. He started the company Experticity, now ExpertVoice, which educates retailers and brands about product recommendations. But Kirwin realized 10 years ago that consumers were not walking into stores anymore asking, “What should I buy?” Instead, they were doing research at home, and a big part of that research is done on product review pages.
“Consumers have all the power now, and it is because of the internet,” he said.
He founded Channel Signal in 2009 to help companies analyze their consumer reviews, and he started thinking about writing a book about two years ago. He said he sat on the idea until last year, because he thought businesses were failing to make consumer reviews a priority.
“I really felt like there was a shift in the marketplace, and there was not enough attention being paid to it, and there needed to be,” he said.
He spent a week writing down all his ideas on paper, and the next three months organizing his thoughts into a cohesive, 55-page book. He said it was challenging to explain a “huge, massive shift” in the buyer experience in a short and simple book, but that was his goal.
Now that it is finished, he said he thinks he accomplished that goal. He worked with Park City designer Pam Beverly-Quigley to create a design that included plenty of graphics to split up the information and make it simple to follow. He is proud of the end product. But, he said, he could expand on the topic in a future book.
“I’ll probably have another book in me,” he said.
He also recorded an audio version of the book, which is set to come out later this month. The book is available for purchase on amazon.com.
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The Park City Chamber/Bureau on Tuesday honored Bob Wheaton, the longtime leader of Deer Valley Resort, with its annual Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitality Award. Wheaton joins a long list of prominent Park City figures who have won the award.