Tag Archives: word of mouth

The Marketing Power of Negative

Two strangers sitting next to each other on a commercial airplane: if one chooses to say something to the other, the most likely comment, by far, is going to be something negative about the airline. They’re always late, the seats are too small, something like that. It’s human nature. We break the ice by criticizing someone else because that unites us.

Blog posts, presentations, workshops and the like do much better organizing around mistakes and myths or failure than anything else. My posts on business plan mistakes, or startup mistakes, do much better than lists of tips. My workshops and presentations organized around top 10 mistakes to avoid do better than keys to success.

People talk way more about what’s wrong with something than what’s right with something.

I’ve seen research indicating that angry customers tell 17 people, on average, about what made them so mad. Happy customers tell three. Word of mouth is much more likely to be about what’s wrong than what’s right.

Does your marketing know that? How powerful is the negative? How does that impact your business? Your social media strategy? Your marketing message? Your customer service?

(Image: Copestello/Shutterstock)