Jeff Higgins

@annamariasocial

1 Star Review? Make It Your Next Marketing Campaign.

Obviously, that chicken sandwich or Uber ride was worse than the holocaust.

This morning, a post on Reddit caught my attention when Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah took out a full 2 page magazine advertisement with a one star review as the main focus.

“Too Advanced. I heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun.”

Two things happened when they decided to run with this review as the backbone of their brand voice. The first is telling Greg from California to fuck right back off to the traffic jams and smog of Los Angeles.

The second was knowing who their consumers are and what they have in mind when they come to Snowbird. They want a difficult ride through what may be certain death down the side of a mountain. They want their kids to have that same experience of being wrapped around a tree seven times. Their perfect audience is the person who looks at this 1 star review and accepts that challenge.

This isn't a new marketing phenomenon that's happened over night or some influencer campaign spearheaded by “I really suck at skiing” Greg. Remember five years ago when Joe Dough Sandwich Shop had a brilliant chalkboard artist?

“Come in and try the worst meatball sandwich that one guy on Yelp ever had in his life.”

This went viral in 2012 before everyone was a keyboard Master Chef leaving reviews for anything and everything. You know what that one guy on Yelp did from being a dick? He sold a crap load of meatball sandwiches.

In this age of social media algorithms that are supposed to show you the best tweets or posts based off what your friends click or what the platform itself deems to be awesome, spinning a 1 star review in your favor can gain ridiculous amounts of traction.

Not only does it have this effect across social media platforms, it also applies to sites like Amazon and Ebay where users are shown products based on what’s popular or what they may have shown an interest in. If you want to watch this in action and have some fun reading reviews at the same time, just check out “The worst things for sale” and watch as your viewed suggestions begin to molest your eyes.

Every brand has that one review

No matter what industry your product or services are in, you’ve gotten at least one review where the consumer would rather drink fifty year old jars of some moldy urine found in a house painted in straight asbestos than ever submit themselves to using your brand again.

So the questions begins to be: Do you even want to bring attention to that review and if so, how do you make it work in your favor?

First thing to think about is that this can backfire pretty badly. People are known to hop on the troll train and just screw things up more than they were in the first place.

Know YOUR consumer and WHAT they can handle mentally.

Also keep in mind that if you constantly get 1 star reviews then maybe you should look at fixing your shitty products or services and stop forcing them on people just because you think you’re awesome.

The main objective to get across is the absurdity of the entire situation. If someone says it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to them in their life, obviously they've lived very sheltered or have never dated any of my ex-girlfriends.

Your customers especially, but consumers in general understand when a review is completely over the top. This is a great way to build brand advocacy and at the same time, build a new customer base.

Delta had a perfect example of customers jumping to their side when Ann Coulter decided to be a mega douche canoe about her seat assignment.

Not only was she having an unwarranted brain aneurysm, she also blasted some random girl's face all over Twitter just to top off the cock sundae she was passing around.

Delta responded quickly, to the point, and didn't let it drag out. Their loyal customers chimed in almost immediately giving Delta all the ammunition it needed without them saying another word.

The best thing for your brand is to focus on the customer. ALL of them. Audit your customer service regularly and check your brand health with social listening to stay on top of trends good or bad.

When your customers trust you, you can have the freedom to play around if you receive a bad review once in a blue moon.

For the most part, you know you’re making the best decisions for your brand but there’s always going to be that one person who just skis like shit sliding down a tree filled mountain named Greg.

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