Why do loyal customers post online reviews about products they’ve never purchased?

I found this research by MIT’s Duncan Simester on “Deception” in online reviews very insightful.  Please note particularly:

“We are not sure why apparently loyal customers post negative reviews about products they have never purchased. One reason may be that they are acting as self-appointed brand managers. They like the company, but when they see it selling a product or doing something else they don’t approve of, they post the reviews as a way to give feedback to the company, even on products they have not purchased.  An alternative explanation is that the negative reviewers seek to enhance their perceived social status by raising their on-line stature by posting with great frequency or detail.”

How can companies provide these loyal customers with better outlets for their feedback?

About Arie Goldshlager

Customer Insight, Customer Strategy, and Innovation Consultant
This entry was posted in Consumer-Driven Innovation, Customer Collaboration, Customer Communities, Customer Feedback, Customer Insight, Customer Loyalty. Bookmark the permalink.

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