Rooting for the Little Guy

9 Jun

I’m juuust about finished with the interview aspect of my research having done #9 today and I’m still amazed at all the new insights that just keep coming out of these. Sure, there are common themes that really are no brainers and total common sense – for instance “I submit my feedback to companies online because it’s easy and convenient.” Not a surprise. But one respondent today said something that really jumped out at me that none before had honed in on.

It was something along the lines of being more likely to give positive feedback to a smaller, local company. This isn’t something I recall any previous subjects alluding to, but I think we probably do it more often than we realize. There’s something altruistic about rooting for the little guy and giving him a shout out. As the respondent mentioned, it’s easy to crap on the cable company after a bad experience. In fact, in some cases customers wear it like a badge of honour as if to say “Hey, I got bad service too! I’m part of the club!” Whereas, if you had a bad experience at a new independent restaurant, I suspect you’d be less likely to say anything at all – you just wouldn’t go back.

Really, I think this all ties back in with the idea of having a connection with company or brand. If it’s a company or brand you care about and have an investment in (like your local java hut), you’ll be more likely to vocalize a positive experience online. Until the respondent mentioned this, I hadn’t really thought about it – but when I did, I realized I do the same thing. I recently Tweeted about my how awesome my dog-training service is – because I have an investment in them beyond being a customer. I’ve had a trainer in my home, I’ve seen positive results which have made my life better and I wanted to share that experience with others. How did I find out about them to begin with? Through word-of-mouth. Again, someone else thought they were awesome, so they passed it along.

But I don’t really remember the last time I gave a shout out to a big brand that I use regularly. There’s a certain higher level of expectation with larger organizations…but that’s a whole other post.

My paper still feels like a whole lot of jibberish nonsense, but there are moments like this where insight just seems to jump out at me. Hoping to have a complete-ish draft by end of next week…wish me luck!


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