Quote Of The Day: "Negative Reviews Are Good For Business" Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Like most corporate trends, the rush to social media is often little more than an opportunity for new consultants to sell common sense packaged in the buzzwords du jour. And though it’s easy to just laugh off the process as just another fad, it’s important to remember that common sense is in relatively short supply these days… if the only way to get it across is to punctuate it with words like “engagement” and “voice share,” so be it. And because social media is forcing companies to come to grips with every possible kind of feedback, the trend is actually helping validate the hard-hitting editorial approach that TTAC has long embraced. At Motor Trader’s social media conference, Richard Anson, CEO of the consumer review site Reevoo, explains the simple truth:

Social content will help drive sales so trust and transparency are vital; we all trust our peers more than any vendor or brand. Negative reviews are good for business. Retailing is all about transparency so perfection is not credible. Customers expect and want negative reviews and they give dealers a great opportunity to engage.

Hear, hear!

This is a lesson that the auto industry often struggles with, especially with in-house social media efforts like The Ford Story (now social.ford.com). But even within the larger automotive media scene, there’s a lack of appreciation for the constructive powers of negative reviews. Due to a long and pointless tradition in the automotive media of trying to objectively evaluate all vehicles on a single rating or “star system,” there’s a sense that negativity in a review implies that a car is not worth considering. In reality, if someone is going to own and live with a car, aren’t they going to be as interested in its flaws as its charms? Consumers aren’t stupid, and if they feel like they’re getting a whitewash from any one review outlet, they’ll look elsewhere. And thanks to the internet and “social media,” they’ve got lots of options.


Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Steven02 Steven02 on Nov 03, 2011

    I think that negative reviews that are fair are good. But many reviews from print and online publications take extremes with their reviews. Jack Baruth covered this recently with the Sebring/200 reviews from a particular writer. I think finding fair reviews are much harder these days.

  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Nov 03, 2011

    I think the way it is these days on most products is that we expect a minimum standard of competance. In 2011 we expect stuff to work and not break down whether it's a car or computer or camera. I would also think that people have some idea of what to expect... if you buy a Corvette you expect to have blistering speed, poor interior room and a bad Cobalt class fittings and poor fuel economy... so you need to see if you can live with the downsides while enjoying the upsides of which it has many. I agree with the above poster who says he looks at the negatives first. I love reviews that sums things up with the pros and cons. Look at the cons, see if you can live with them. Ignore the pros because you basically should know what they are depending on what kind of car you're looking at.

    • JMII JMII on Nov 03, 2011

      +1 I need to know what to look out for to see if its a deal breaker. If I read a gushing review it immediately tells me that a total fan-boy wrote it or they are using PR copy.

  • Akear When is Barra retiring?
  • AZFelix Fun duo who lived and worked in China for many years have a candid and crushing assessment on their EV manufacturing.
  • Vatchy Just think how many electric vehicles could be charged from a new nuclear power plant...
  • Arthur Dailey 'The capitalists will sell use the very rope that we use to hang them.' In our household we have cut down our shopping/spending and pay more to purchase products from 1st world nations or 2nd world nations that are our 'allies'. That also means quite often only buying and eating fruit and vegetables that are in season. Just like our parents and grandparents did.At least TTAC published an article on May 21st regarding LAN transformers that contravene the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act being used in some BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, and VW products?
  • ToolGuy I wouldn't buy any old Chinese brand of vehicle, but the right EV at the right price, maybe possibly yes. If you told me this would alarm Ford and torque off FreedMike, all the better. 😉P.S. I would *definitely* consider an EV made in Taiwan. Take that, paramount leader!P.P.S. China batteries/components to convert one of my ICE vehicles to EV? Yes.
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