Why There Might be Nothing Better than the Worst

Worst might be better than bestEvery day, I read numerous papers and blogs posts about how brands and companies engage customers or internal communities through social media, and, from crowdsourced innovation to customers services, most, if not all, stories feature positive sentiment and best ideas sharing. The global feeling is one of an utterly optimistic networked world, somehow reminiscent of the hippie utopia, with a marketing bias: share a smile, and we’ll sell you better products while you work in better enterprises…

But is really spreading “the best” the way to go? What about encouraging people to share their worst?

Worst experiences help leveraging customer service

Encouraging people to share their worst experience is the best way for a brand to correct bad sentiment and to help build a stronger community. Those whose concerns are addressed in a satisfactory way will be your best brand’s advocates.

Best ideas are consensual, but innovation is never consensual.

Best ideas federate people, and such so are more prone to be rated or tagged. But are they innovative? Communities tend to favor ideas and initiatives they mentally master. On the other side, disruptive innovation often takes people by storm, jumping aside what they think as “best”. Unless you animate a community of innovators, “best” is just not good enough. A contrario, “worst” could highlight more unfamiliar, unusual angles to work on.

This might be my worst post ever, but I am sure there are plenty of other fields in the social media space where “worst” is much more insightful than “best”. What do you think?

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