In addition to tagging reviews, questions, answers, stories and other customer-generated content with descriptive codes like “CR” for references to competitors and “CS” for customer service issues, I am starting to think that our content moderators should apply “H” to content that could dramatically boost a product’s conversion rate (because after a fit of uncontrollable laughter and the delirium that follows you simply cannot resist the urge to buy the product that is the subject of the “H”). That’s some actionable business insight for merchandising teams.

The inspiration for this post is the now infamous “Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt”, currently the #1 selling Apparel product on Amazon.com. No, that’s not a typo. I could efficiently end this post by just telling you to read a few of the reviews for this product. That would more than accomplish my goal of demonstrating the value of not taking yourself (or your brand) too seriously. But I have a minimum length requirement to meet, so I’ll go on . . .

Our good friends at Econsultancy in the UK beat me to the punch with an entertaining blog post on the t-shirt. The Washington Post published an article on the same day. No matter who you trust, that’s one damn funny t-shirt. If you trust me and took my advice above to read a few of the reviews, I bet you are now making your way through the checkout process while you finish reading this nailbiter of a post. That’s impressive multi-tasking.

We see our share of humorous reviews and many of those are just too inappropriate to post, but as reviews of the Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt aptly demonstrate, there is a very fine line between inappropriate humor and pure genius, not to mention a word of mouth marketing bonanza. I won’t speak for my colleagues at Bazaarvoice (you know who you are), but this t-shirt is responsible for a major drop in productivity last Friday because I was personally contributing to the millions of word of mouth “impressions” that the product received. While it may be difficult to put a dollar value on each of those impressions, you can most definitely put a dollar value on lost productivity.

In closing, if you offer customer reviews of your products and services, whether you are a Bazaarvoice client or not, I urge you to evaluate whether your definition of inappropriate is too strict and your tolerance of humor too low. Millions of dollars and an immeasurable wealth of customer word of mouth could be at stake!

4 Responses to ““H” is for Humor”

  1. The three wolf moon shirt is nice. But not for everybody. Kudos to the designer for catching a niche market.

  2. The three wolf moon shirt is nice. But not for everybody. Kudos to the designer for catching a niche market.

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