Facing CriticismFor most people trying to sell a product, displaying your faults seems counter-intuitive. Maybe even downright scary. If someone criticizes you, why would you want everyone else to see it too?

This may not make sense at first, but your critics are actually one of you best business resources. For two reasons…

  1. You can use their feedback to actually improve on your product and service to leave more customers happy
  2. You can face that criticism head on, and let everyone know how you are facing that criticism.

The latter of the two can be churned into content that converts like crazy. Blog posts, YouTube videos, TV Ads, etc. There is content to be made!

Selling Food Through Stories

I want to share with you two different approaches to “storyselling” in the fast food industry. You may have seen both of these ads on TV at one point or another.

The first is McDonald’s:

The other is Domino’s. This is not an actual TV ad, but rather a bit of a longer YouTube story video. I’m sure you have seen plenty of ads from Domino’s telling the same story though.

The Story of Two Stories

Domino’s and McDonald’s clearly take two different approaches here. And in my opinion one works and one doesn’t.

The story that Domino’s is trying to tell is very clear. They are taking their criticisms and facing them head-on. They admit their faults and problems and show exactly how they are solving them. This is a proactive approach to criticisms and shows that they actually listen to the customers and try to put out a product that the end user will enjoy.

The story here is change. They listened…they changed…they improved.

McDonald’s takes a different approach.

They often face the criticism of selling food that isn’t exactly of the highest quality. I am one of those critics. I couldn’t even begin to estimate how long it’s been since I’ve eaten there.

But instead of facing that criticism head on, McDonald’s puts out a story talking about quality. They give you the sense that they use small-business farmers for their supply – and it is only the highest quality of products.

There is no talk of change. So is their product the same as it has always been?

I’ve eaten at McDonald’s. I’ve also eaten burgers at fancy-shmancy steak houses. There is a difference. And nothing McDonald’s will ever do or say will make me believe that their burgers are of the highest quality.

Unless they tell me they’ve changed.

Learn to Love Your Critics

There will always be people that aren’t happy with what you put out there. There are just plenty of unhappy people. But if you are seeing a trend of negative feedback, chances are you have a serious problem.

Leverage this to your benefit. Facing criticism and actually talking about it can resonate with users (especially the critics), build trust and convince people to give you a second chance.

I was always one of those people that would never order Domino’s. And then their campaign convinced me otherwise.

And you know what? They weren’t lying. Their cheesy break is really¬†cheesy :). And pretty darn tasty too.

They’ve been running this ad campaign for over a year now. Looks like its working.

Selling by Putting Your Faults on Display: A Mini Case Study by