Phone brands know how valuable their audiences are. The dedicated Apple fanbase has been a large part of the firm's success, and OnePlus's almost obsessive community has propelled the little-known brand to international success in record time. So it makes sense to keep fans in the loop and give them backstage access whenever possible, to top-up their enthusiasm and keep them on board.
Honor, the Huawei sub-brand aimed at millennials, is usually really good at this. Key fans are taken to launches abroad, brought up on stage to be gifted handsets, and are generally included in the brand's marketing activities.
Honor's latest competition, though, strikes a bit of a sour note with us because it veers into the exploitative. The brand is offering 5 smartphones - the recently-released Honor 6X - for 'testers' to 'try out'. According to Digital Trends, they'll choose 5 UK testers to receive the phone and thoroughly review it, with the entry page adding that "if you complete all the tasks, you will get the chance to keep the phone!"
In other words, compete for the chance to be chosen to borrow a phone, then create an unpaid review, and if you tick all our boxes (which aren't stated on the website), we might let you keep the phone.
For a brand with the resources of Huawei behind it, this is not cool. Phone reviews are a lot of work, and they're usually created by people unconnected to the brand who are being paid for their time. Sending out phones to fans with the proviso that they might get to keep them is not only encouraging unpaid labour - it's encouraging overly positive reviews. Say you win the contest, get your 6X and find that the camera is appalling (it's actually very good, but hypothetically speaking) - do you feel able to be honest in your review, or is that going to jeopardise not only your chances of keeping the phone, but your relationship with the brand too?
It's great to get feedback from users and see what they think of your products. But don't make them work for free, don't incentivise false positives and definitely don't dress it all up as a lovely competition for valued fans. Have some Honor, yo. [Digital Trends]