The power of an influencer’s review can be astonishingly potent, especially when it comes from someone as influential as Marques Brownlee, popularly known as MKBHD. His recent reviews of the Fisker Ocean Electric SUV and the Humane AI wearable pin have ignited debates over the actual impact of negative feedback on a company’s health. In Fisker’s case, the company’s stock took a hit shortly after the review, while the full effects on Humane are yet to unfold. These events raise an essential question: Are companies falling due to bad reviews, or are the products themselves to blame?

What is the Fisker Ocean, you’re wondering?

The Fisker Ocean is an all-electric SUV designed by Fisker Inc., aiming to blend sustainability with performance and affordability in the competitive electric vehicle market. Its interior features distinctive eco-friendly aspects, such as a solar roof and recycled materials. The Ocean offers multiple powertrain options, advanced technological integrations, and a promising driving range at a relatively accessible price point. This vehicle represents Fisker Inc.’s commitment to innovation in electric mobility, emphasizing environmental responsibility and consumer accessibility.

The AI Pin from Humane is…

The Humane AI Pin is a wearable device developed by Humane, a company founded by former Apple executives aiming to introduce new ways of interacting with AI in daily life. The device, worn like a pin, projects information onto surfaces and integrates with a cloud-based AI to deliver various services, from real-time translations to photo capturing and messaging. Humane promises that this innovative device will seamlessly integrate advanced AI into users’ everyday experiences, pushing the boundaries of how wearable technology can enhance and simplify tasks while maintaining privacy and user-focused design.

And finally, who the heck is Marques Brownlee?

Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, is a highly influential American tech reviewer, YouTuber, and podcaster known for his insightful and detailed gadget reviews, technology discussions, and consumer electronics guides. He began his YouTube channel in 2009 while still in high school, and has grown into one of the most popular tech-focused channels on the platform, with millions of subscribers. Brownlee is renowned for his clear, concise presentation style and ability to explain complex technology easily. His reviews are respected for their thoroughness, honesty, and professional quality, making him a trusted figure in the tech community and a significant influencer in consumer electronics purchasing decisions.

The Influence of Influencers

When an influencer with millions of followers declares a product among the worst they’ve encountered, it undeniably impacts consumer perception and, potentially, a company’s financial standing. This is particularly true for emerging companies whose reputations and customer bases are not firmly established. The consequences of such reviews can be severe, fueling a narrative that influencers can make or break a company. However, attributing a company’s decline solely to a negative review simplifies a much more complex interplay of market forces.

Ethical or not?

It is not unethical for an influencer with a large following to publish a negative review if it is honest and factual. Influencers like Marques Brownlee are responsible for providing accurate and unbiased assessments to their audience. An honest review, whether positive or negative, is essential for helping consumers make informed decisions and encourages companies to improve their products.

However, the emotional reaction of some individuals to negative reviews, even when they have no direct affiliation with the company, can be quite intense. This defensiveness may stem from a personal identification with the brand, which can be influenced by marketing, loyalty, or community belonging. When fans react negatively to critical reviews, it can sometimes shield the company from accountability. This diversion focuses the conversation on the review’s fairness rather than the product’s quality, potentially allowing companies to avoid addressing legitimate shortcomings. Such dynamics hinder constructive discourse and limit how companies receive and integrate consumer feedback, which is crucial for innovation and improvement.

See how Transmyt can drive massive amounts of growth for your business.

SEO – Unlock traffic & rank higher in search.
Content Marketing – We create engaging content, bound to attract new customers.
Paid Media – Effective paid strategies with clear ROI.
Website Development – Cutting-edge technology platforms.

Product Quality and Company Responsibility

It’s essential to consider companies’ responsibility in releasing fully developed, market-ready products. The tech industry, in particular, is notorious for “beta-testing” its products on paying customers, often without clear disclosure that these products are not the final versions. This practice misleads consumers and risks the company’s credibility and long-term viability.

Apple’s approach with the Vision Pro Goggles offers a contrast, where the company was upfront about the product being a developer kit, thereby setting appropriate customer expectations despite the high cost. This level of transparency is critical in tempering consumer expectations and safeguarding company reputation.

The Essential and Critical Role of Consumer Feedback

Over the years, tech companies, in particular, have been criticized for prematurely releasing products that seem more like beta versions than finished goods. This often creates mistrust with their end customers and showcases the importance of gathering as much feedback as possible during product development.

Creating a customer feedback loop is critical and essential for businesses because it allows them to continuously improve their products and services based on direct input from users. This iterative process helps refine product features and functionalities and enhances user satisfaction and loyalty. A well-established feedback loop involves collecting, analyzing, and acting upon feedback from various channels, including direct customer interactions, online reviews, and social media. By actively listening to customers, companies can identify pain points, anticipate market trends, and prevent potential issues before they escalate. Additionally, this approach fosters a sense of community and co-creation among users, making them feel valued and more likely to remain engaged with the brand.

Apple has excelled in creating a robust customer feedback loop that has contributed significantly to its success. The company meticulously integrates feedback mechanisms across all its platforms, from retail stores to digital platforms like the App Store and website. For instance, after any customer service interaction or store visit, Apple invites feedback through follow-up surveys that inquire about customer satisfaction and areas for improvement. They also closely monitor user reviews and feedback submitted through the iOS and macOS ecosystems, using this data to inform software updates and product enhancements. This commitment to customer feedback is part of why Apple consistently leads in customer satisfaction surveys and maintains a loyal customer base. Their proactive approach to refining products, like the evolution of the iPhone and its operating system, showcases their mastery of using customer insights to drive innovation and maintain market leadership.

The Importance of Honest Reviews

Reviewers have a duty to their audience, to be honest and transparent about their experiences with a product. Their responsibility is to provide truthful assessments, not to concern themselves with the potential financial implications for the companies whose products they review. When a product like the AI Pin from Humane is marketed with a substantial price tag ($700 purchase + $24 / Month for the service), consumers expect a certain level of quality and utility, which, if unmet, deserves to be criticized, primarily if the product does not deliver on its promises.

Consumer Responsibility

Consumers also bear responsibility for their purchasing decisions. In an age where multiple sources of information are readily available, buyers should leverage reviews, customer feedback, and product data to make well-informed choices and companies should know well in advance, this is going to happen. Relying solely on an influencer’s opinion, regardless of their credibility, is a flawed strategy for consumer decision-making.


The controversies surrounding reviews by influential personalities like MKBHD highlight a complex interplay of factors. While bad reviews can accentuate the negative aspects of a product and impact a company’s financial health, they do not inherently “kill” companies. More often, the companies’ failure to develop and deliver quality products leads to their downfall. This underlines the importance of robust product development, realistic marketing, and maintaining a transparent dialogue with consumers. In the modern marketplace, companies must innovate and ensure their creations are ready and suitable for the market.

For Reference, Here are the two videos that supposedly sparked so much controversy. Let me know in the comments if you felt like these reviews were helpful, informative, and honest or an unethical hitjob on the companies.

About the Author: Jeremy Mays

Is the Founder and CEO of Transmyt Marketing. He's an accomplished, award winning marketer, responsible for guiding companies though the complex challenges of navigating and succeeding in today's digital economy. To get in touch, you can email him at

Keep Reading

Want more? Here are some other blog posts you might be interested in.

For founders and growing companies

Get all the tips, stories and resources you didn’t know you needed – straight to your email!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.