British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Center Parcs and have emerged as the top travel brands consumers would refer to others.

The most referable sectors relate to experiences – food and drink (65%), holidays and travel (57%) and leisure and entertainment (42%).

Technology (48%) and financial services (43%) also rate highly, according to new research.

The top five brands that those questioned have or would consider referring are: Lidl (58%), Co-op (50%), Nationwide (49%), BA (48%) and Pizza Express (47%).

The results come from a poll of 2,000 people for referral platform Mention Me and highlight increasing disillusionment with influencer marketing and social media:

• Only 3% of those questioned would trust a celebrity recommendation
• Only 5% a blogger, YouTube influencer or other and 2% a politician
• Only 18% of those questioned are put off referring by lack of support channels such as live chat or social media
• Only 15% of those questioned said they would not refer if the shopping experience wasn’t mobile friendly
• Only 22% if they weren’t offered a customer feedback mechanism

UK consumers value the opinion of a friend or family member most, the study found, with 41% of those questioned put off referring a brand if they had been told not to shop there, compared to only 36% put off by negative press or social media coverage.

People would trust a friend (50%) slightly more than a partner or spouse (46%), and only marginally fewer people (21%) would trust an online review from the public than their parents at (23%).

Getting the right deal is still key for UK shoppers with 53% of those questioned selecting a percentage or money off future orders as the most attractive offer.

This compares to only 11% choosing free delivery, 10% choosing a free gift and just 1.9% a charitable donation.

Key findings for which qualities people would like a brand to have in order to refer them:

• 76% of those questioned value a brand being trustworthy or credible to refer them
• For 68% of those questioned a brand offering good value products is very important and 43% big discounts
• Only 23% of those questioned rated a brand’s charitable status as very important for referral, 29% it’s environmental credentials and 35% having shared values
• Good quality products: 73%
• Good customer service: 59%
• A brand being innovative or creative: only 21%

Mention Me chief executive, Andy Cockburn, said: “This research reveals that brands need to really focus on understanding what drives and inspires their customers to want to share and refer experiences – central for the travel sector – and that it’s not all just about offering the biggest discount.”