Even though it might go against conventional marketing wisdom, positive reactions are not the only kind of PR that helps when it comes to selling products and services. A recent study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Tel Aviv University concluded that a small amount of negative reaction and information may actually help sell your product or service.
This negative reaction is a part of what researchers call “the blemishing effect.” Though earlier studies said that a blemish on a product or service would discourage a customer from completing a purchase, this new research conversely suggests that the blemish actually highlights the positive aspects of the product.
The example given by researchers is that of a restaurant that receives positive reviews on everything except its parking. If parking is not the most important part of the dining experience to a customer, they will focus mainly on what matters to them like quality of food, service, and atmosphere.
Researchers did note the important distinction that positive result of the blemishing effect was most likely to happen in situations where a consumer was not only focused on making the choice and only occurred when the consumer was given positive information before the negative information.
Your public relations and marketing personnel may take piece of mind that in an age where you cannot always control your message (hello, internet), a little negativity isn’t going to hurt — it might actually help.