Even university students can rate courses and professors. The trend continues to grow, and becomes continually more democratized.
Amazon gets free content created by their customers with the book reviews. And customers get the insights and ratings generated by average folks. Anyone can rate anything on Amazon, not just books. These Tommy Hilfiger Nantucket blue extra-long twin sheets were rated high by some, poorly by others.
Given how useful these ratings are to most people, it's interesting that it has taken a long time for the trend to spread. I was excited to see that President's Choice has just launched a rating system for their line of food products. It's a great idea, and I hope they stick with it. Here's why:
In addition to the useful feedback, this kind of approach acknowledges customers as an active part of the story -- participants, not just consumers.
Consumers get useful information. I read somewhere that even negative reviews on Amazon didn't necessarily translate to lower book sales.
Imagine adding a 5-star label to the packages of crowd favorites? This is as good as a testimonial.
The image pictured above is a PC Goat Cheese Torta, and hors d'oevre that gathered 5 stars from at least 4 raters. It's construction uses several products. They could have featured recipes in the store (or by cell phone?) that give you ideas and ingredients for highly rated recipes.
My one complaint is that the web site is painfully slow. I looked around for a while to try to find a negative rating, and just gave up in frustration. If I hadn't been writing an article, I would not have persisted as long.
So their system gets 3 stars out of a possible 5: good idea that could be much better.
I added a review to their Noodle Wrapped Shrimp. Was annoyed that I have to say "value for money," because I have no idea what the shrimp cost. They just came out of my freezer. I think this is a limitation that would discourage some people, because you are required to rate on three categories.
The other note that I would make is that there is a loyalty question, "would you recommend?" But surely the correct question for a food item is "did you like this enough to buy it again?"