Andrew Teman

Posts tagged google
Service Review Behavior (A Quick Thought)

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in my career, working on digital and brand strategies for service companies. And the one thing I hear from every single one at some point or another, is this:

We get a ton of awesome emails and letters from happy customers, but all of our online reviews skew negative. How can we get our happy customers to post their positive reviews online?

In fact, just in the past 48 hours alone, I received a frantic text from my brother-in-law (he runs marketing for a health club chain and was agonizing over a negative Facebook review), had a conversation with a client concerned with overcoming their 2-star Google rating, and then my wife forwarded me this gem.

These bad reviews, and company’s inability to surface the good ones more easily, is something that makes brand managers, marketers, and PR folks go insane. I’ve seen it and heard it dozens of times.

But while these brands are all looking for some technical fix (build me a system to make it better!), the problem isn’t a mechanical one, it’s a behavioral one. It has to do with motivation, and why people choose to review their experiences where they do.

Here is how I observe it.

People are compelled to post negative reviews online, publicly, because their motivation is to warn and help others (“beware of this company/product!”), and also (I’d imagine) to gain some level of retribution against the company they feel wronged by, through public shaming (“I really showed them!”). It’s one of the sharpest weapons an individual can wield against the big bad organization in the face of conflict.

People tend to send positive reviews directly to the people that they are praising (via email or postal mail), because their motivation is to show appreciation to the individual that helped them, by thanking them specifically. In many cases, the feeling tends to be that some single person at the big bad organization, stepped out and helped you. So the positive review becomes about repaying the good feeling to another human, that they gave to you. It’s a shared moment of two people helping and appreciating each other, and thus, doesn’t really need to be public.

Of course, every company wishes that this was reversed. They want the good reviews to be public and the negative ones to be private. Behaviorally though, it just doesn’t work that way.

This is merely an observation/pseudo-insight, and I am aware that I’m not offering a solution here. Just something I was thinking about this morning though and wanted to get down on “paper”

If anyone has any thoughts/expansions on this though, I’d love to add to it.

Google Glass Is Supposed To Look Weird

I was just reading a post from fellow digital guy, and agency neighbor Terry Lozoff over at Antler, about his trepidation when it comes to wearing Google Glass in public.

Which on the surface, I totally get. When I got my invite code for Glass, I was quickly shamed out of it by most of my friends. All of which generally came with the same line of reasoning that Terry outlines:

Glass has the potential to change the way we function as humans. It symbolizes the promise of a new era in communications, in content creation, and in day-to-day living. What it lacks, however, is subtlety… or, that element of “fitting in.”

But what I think everyone is missing here, is that Google Glass is supposed to look weird. It’s supposed to stand out. It’s supposed to elicit stares and questions and strange looks. 

Google could have very easily partnered up with Warby Parker, and made Glass look like this (and they likely will at some point):


But Google Glass is for the early adopters. And part of being an early adopter, is letting people know that you are an early adopter. It’s not about blending in. It’s about standing out in ways that show people, that you are on the bleeding edge. That you are ahead of the curve. 

Remember the Honda Insight? When it came out in 1999, it was one of the first true hybrid-electric vehicles put out by a major auto manufacturer, and it looked like this.


It was meant to stand out, and look like a spaceship. It was meant to cause curiosity and put drivers in the position of looking like the forward-thinking futurists they wanted to be perceived as. It was meant to cause other people to ask “what is that?”, just so they’d have a chance to tell them.

Some fifteen years on, the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius still hang on to a bit of that “look at me” style, as both models are still for the green-types that want to be seen as green types. But as we’ve reached mass acceptance of hybrid automobiles, and as the technology has become commonplace, so has the design.

The shift in hybrid car design is now about blending in. And at some point, the same will be said for wearables like Glass.

Self Driving Uber Cars

In case you missed it, Google Ventures just plowed $258 million into a massive new round of funding for Uber.

Aside from gasping a bit at the eye-popping numbers and valuations, my first thought was - here come the self-driving Ubers.

It’s no secret that Google has been working on self-driving car technology for a while now. And it seems that lately, they’ve stepped up their efforts to move this from prototype, to reality at scale.

And Uber has been taking a sledgehammer to the taxi/livery industry for the better part of a year now, sucking out inefficiencies in the model, all the while pissing off the entrenched in every city they enter.

The only real inefficiency left in the Uber model, is the need to pay the drivers.

A mainstream roll-out of Google’s self driving car technology would solve that problem.

Kind of crazy to imagine. But not that crazy.

Among the things the “Agile Creativity” playbook recommends to agencies is a revamp of the way account and creative teams are structured and operate, a focus on rethinking how agency creative briefs are written, and embracing tight deadlines (with a suggestion that companies should always operate in “hackathon mode”).
Agile Creativity
Google Plus....Plus Google

I was initially bearish on Google Plus. But I’ve spent some time with folks over there recently, and it’s now becoming more clear to me how this will come together for Google in the long-term, and it’s awesome.

I still maintain that for the time being, Google Plus pages will not likely replace Facebook pages for brands or users. But that’s not the point. Google Plus (meaning those profile pages) are merely a node (and not a hugely important one right now) in a larger system. One that could become even more efficient than it already is.

It has grown from a free utility, the thing that makes the web useful, into a digital ecosystem of Gmail, Docs, YouTube, Google+ and software that powers smartphones. Now it intends to bring order to this vast and sometimes chaotic network. And though Google argues that the move benefits consumers, it’s clear that it’s also a positive for advertisers.

More from AdAge here.