Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Perhaps we need to care more about Meh

The place the internet likes to call Meh is a very interesting space because it is the one where most human conversation operates but also because it is the place least represented digitally today.

For example, a work colleague may ask me what I thought of the film I saw last night. And if I think it was just 'meh' I'll say so. But if I thought it really sucks or is really brilliant I may have already tweeted about it. In short we digitally report what we think will be useful to our peers.

One of the challenges we face in understanding the influence of user reports of expeience - particularly in FMCG - is that for the most part we feel Meh about them.

Humans in the real world talk to each other about the Meh. It's one of the reasons (perhaps the key reason) why 90% of conversations about brands remains offline (according to Keller-Fay).
So it's not that we don't care to report Meh to fellow humans, it's just that the current technical barrier of doing so online (where it can be valuably stored, searched for, discovered and reshared) is too high for us to be bothered reporting what we're not really too bothered about.

In the real world we don't face that technical barrier at all - we just open our mouths and speak to the person opposite.

As the technical barriers of digital sign-in and access fall we can and should expect an increase in reported Meh - the neutral ground of sentiment if you like. And that will mean our measures will have to become more sensitive, more able to note and record the difference between indifference, ok and so-so and therefore more able to predict the influence of Meh on the purchase and other decisions we all make.

Meh - perhaps we need to care more about it.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?