I'm coming, I'm coming…

Everyone is a rotten tomato.

I’m a big fan of Collider Movie Talk (thanks Tony Cox). This podcast is billed as “movie talk for movie fans” and can be found on the Collider Network (home also to Collider Jedi Council for all my fellow Star Wars nerds out there). This podcast is probably one of the best when it comes to diving into not only films that are coming out, but the journey of those films, the players involved and also their box office success (and failures). It’s a very fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what goes in to making a film from the creative and administrative side of things.

Last week, while I was cursing my way through traffic, I was playing catch-up with one of the Movie Talk episodes. During their “Live Twitter Question” segment, a listener asked “Did RottenTomatoes have a negative impact on the new Baywatch and Pirates of the Caribbean movies?” The answer on the show was something akin to “likely”, however they brought it around to – “if you make a great movie, people will come to it – if you make a crap movie, no one will.”

That got me thinking. Yes, if you make a crap movie (read product) people won’t buy it. But more importantly… opinions matters.

Remember back in the day… if you wanted to know someone’s opinion on a movie, you would open the Chicago Sun or Rolling Stone and see what Roger Ebert or Peter Travers had to say about it. Or if you had a trusted friend, you’d pick up the phone (you remember phones right?) while scanning the movie start times in the newspaper (and newspapers right?) to see if they

a) had seen it, and

b) what they thought of it.

Easy peasey. No other noise. You’d make your decision off of those two trusted sources, and go from there.

Today, you can’t escape opinion. Social media, news sources, random emails, podcasts. No longer do you have two voices telling you what to do – you have thousands. Fortunately we have services like Rotten Tomatoes that aggregates those voices into a nicely packaged score. 88% Fresh? Maybe I’ll go see it. 34%? Err, I’ll pass.

I took you on that journey to bring you here. This isn’t a story about movie reviews, it’s a story about opinions and the effect opinions have on your product or business. Word of mouth – that age old tool relied on hundreds of thousands of businesses and people since before Joseph was translating dreams.

Face it, as a customer, what’s one of the first things you do when you get to that Amazon.com product page… see what the rating is. Four stars? Sounds good. Let’s get the skinny – you scroll down now to the reviews to see what people are actually thinking about the product. You like what you read. You have enough information between that and the actual product details to make a decision. Sold.

Now flip it on its head. You saw a commercial for something and thought – wow that looks awesome. You go back to Amazon, find it, and see it has negative reviews. Pass.

As a consumer, I find that I am more likely to purchase something that has a rating and review associated to it. If I find myself somewhere that doesn’t have this (hopefully someday commodity) I become circumspect and may find an alternative.

As a business, product owner or merchant – user reviews and ratings for your product or service are probably some of the most important pieces of information you can use in your arsenal to market and improve. After all, it’s the feedback loop that makes us better right? We learn more about our products and services and keep that spirit of continuous improvement and customer feedback circulating.

If you don’t have a means to get and publically display ratings and reviews, I highly suggest you do so. Especially if you’re an online clothing retailer, where the challenge of not being able to try something on in the store is a constant, using a review system can potentially help reduce the cost of shipping multiples of the same product in different sizes, and/or even reduce the amount of returns you see in general. Simply because ten other people who bought the product can confirm that it fits as expected – and even better – they uploaded a picture to the review showing them wearing it. RentTheRunway.com with their use of customer reviews and photos nailed the hell out of this. Boom. Bravo! Now you should to.


“Deep thoughts” is the rambling, free flow brain dump of Anthony Pizzuto – the most interesting guy you’ll know. If you don’t get it, just shoot him a line: ap@anthonypizzuto.com

Image stolen (lovingly) from:

Siskel and Ebert: http://revijaamaterskogfilma.hr/filmska-je-kritika-jos-uvijek-vazna/

RentTheRunway.com Screenshot: me

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