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3 of our favourite reactions to negative reviews


What would you say if we told you that negative feedback can be a good thing? Sure, seeing someone say something bad about your business is never going to feel great, but believe it or not, there’s a lot to be gained from the odd negative review.

Start seeing negative reviews as opportunities. They can highlight the areas of your business that could do with a bit more work, open discussions to build better relationships with your customers, and demonstrate that you’re an open and honest business willing to listen and take action.

We’ve seen some great results from our own customers who aren’t afraid of negative reviews, and we love seeing how businesses around the world approach them, too. Here are some of our favourite reactions to disgruntled customers. 

1. Snowbird

We love this digital and print campaign created by Utah based ski resort, Snowbird. Using one-star reviews left by visitors who found the trails too challenging, the ads featured quotes such as, “I’ve heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous”, and “we felt like our lives were in our own hands”.  The campaign ticked all the boxes – it created a real buzz on social, the message was funny, the photography was stunning, and it positioned Snowbird exactly where they wanted to be, attracting advanced skiers who were up for a challenge.

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Image source: https://www.snowbird.com/one-star/ 

2. BrewDog

Known for their off-the-wall marketing stunts, Scottish beer brand BrewDog certainly don’t shy away from their bad reviews. Instead of sweeping them under the carpet, staff members proudly flaunt some of their most scathing feedback across the back of their T-shirts. We can’t repeat most of the comments, but some of the more family-friendly complaints call BrewDog “a complete hipster paradise”, which looks like “it barely survived a fire”. A witty and well-executed move for a brand such as BrewDog who aren’t afraid of a little controversy, the T-shirts quickly hit the headlines and turned out to be a real marketing win.

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Image source: BrewDog Facebook

3. Block 16

We couldn’t write this post without acknowledging the creativity of American-based restaurant, Block 16. Back in 2014 they took to YouTube with a series of dramatic black-and-white readings, based on some of their less-than-flattering reviews. You can’t help but raise a smile when watching the theatrical rants about BBQ sauce and cold fries, set against some melancholic piano music. Designed to build better relationships with their customers, the final scenes read “If you have a bad experience at a restaurant, there’s help, talk to the manager”. 

 

If you’ve received a bad review or two, don’t panic! Think carefully about how you can use them to benefit your business, whether that be by winning back someone’s trust, improving a process, or even working them into a marketing campaign.

Need support managing and responding to reviews? Get in touch with one of our review experts to find out how we can help!