Intuitively, the answer to this would seem to be yes, absolutely! However I would suggest that in some cases a negative review can actually re-enforce your brand position. This is a view shared by the writer of a recent post on the e-consultancy blog:
Assuming that you have identified your target market and are focusing you efforts on serving that market, (if you are not taking this approach, it is something you should probably consider) when taken in context, negative reviews can strengthen that brand position. Take the example given in the post I am running a hotel in France that prides itself in being very French, and giving the “non tourist” experience. Someone stays at that hotel, and then leaves this review:
“An awful stay at this hotel. The staff at reception only speak French, the bars on the street outside our room were noisy in the early evening and the bathroom was small.”
Looking at this we would clearly say that this review was negative. However, let’s think about the impact it might have on me (someone who is in the hotel’s target market), looking for that authentic French experience. I would probably rather go somewhere that wasn’t just full of people speaking English, and I speak a little french so should be able to get by, I am more likely to be in the bars in the early evening than being in the hotel room disturbed by the noise; and the size of the bathroom really doesn’t bother me. So as a piece of information, the impact this would have on me is neutral at worst, it may even help me make a decision about where to stay. In other words, that negative review has re-enforced the hotels brand position as an authentic French hotel. The moral of the story; Know your target market, be honest about what you are (and what you are not) serve your target customers well, and don’t be too worried when someone outside that market doesn’t like what you do.