The customer comes first
It is my intention to provide the most honest review possible for my viewers so that they can make an informed decision on potential purchases. To meet this aim, the following principles apply:
- A review is not a sponsorship. While I offer paid advertising, I will not provide paid reviews. If I review your product, no money or other items of value can change hands to avoid any conflict of interest and any allegations of my review being biased. Where an item is provided free of charge for review, this will be disclosed clearly in the video description. If your goal is to promote your product to my audience, I do provide video sponsorship packages, where I will talk about the benefits of your product for 1 minute, however, I will only offer this option to companies with high quality products that I am comfortable recommending to my audience. This generally means that I will need to try out the product myself, or at the very least, consult with another thought leader I respect and trust to ascertain their experience with your product. If you wish to sponsor one of our videos, rather than a product review, you may contact my team and I at partnerships @ thenextlayer.com.
- The item provided must be the equivalent of what a regular customer would receive after making their purchase. If I suspect an item has been specially prepared to receive a favorable review, at the very least this will be disclosed in the video and likely be interpreted unfavorably by viewers. I also reserve the right to cancel the review.
- When encountering difficulties, I may initially attempt to consult user manuals, support documentation and community groups before contacting the company representative that supplied the review item. This will allow my experience to be more in line with a typical customer.
- Even when difficulties are resolved, it is relevant to include this part of the review experience in the final video. If it is clear the problem was an anomaly, this will be clearly stated so viewers can see the positive response from the company in rectifying such circumstances. If the issues are not rectified, this is also important to disclose to the viewer so they can see what type of experience to expect as a customer.
- Once the review is agreed upon, a poor experience during my review period is not grounds for the review to be canceled or deleted to avoid negative publicity. As such, it is particularly important in these cases for the review to be publicly available to warn customers of less than desirable products. Customers expect to buy products that are adequately developed and tested to ensure performance, reliability and safety.
- In the case that I make a verified mistake in my process, I will delete the original video at the company’s request and upload an altered version to be fair and accurate. Reference to the problems of the original video will be made in the description to inform users of my error.
- I will not be held liable for any negative publicity, loss of sales, investment, etc that comes from any review. It is the company’s responsibility to create a product that performs well against its competitors. If the product is not of sufficient quality, the review will reflect this.
- If the review is overall favorable, your company will agree to feature a link to it on your corporate website or ecommerce site, embedding the video on a page on your website, and linking to the full-text version of the review on our website, thenextlayer.blog
Timeline and Communication
Any company agreeing to have an item reviewed by me does so with the knowledge that I am an individual with work, family and social responsibilities outside of my YouTube channel.
- For a 3D printer, a typical time frame from receiving the unit to releasing the review is approximately 6 weeks. This is a target, however, and actual time frames may be shorter or longer than this, depending on the complexity of the product and difficulties encountered.
- Issues that require replacement components to be sent will slow down the timeframe and extend the release date.
- Unless explicitly stated and agreed upon by all parties, there is no defined deadline for a review to be released.
- The company is welcome to contact me to ask how my review is progressing, and I will endeavor to reply to them in a timely manner.
- For any major issues, I will contact the company and seek their direction on how to rectify the problem.
Review Content – 3D printer
For numerous reasons, I do not enjoy creating, nor do I offer, “comprehensive reviews.” My audience does not enjoy watching, nor do I enjoy creating, exhaustive reviews that go over every feature of the product. If you are looking for someone to create an exhaustive review of your product, I suggest you reach out to ModBot or Teaching Tech.
Instead, I prefer to take a unique approach or “angle” to my reviews. I prefer to tell a story, and my audience responds to those stories much better than vanilla reviews. This may be, for example:
- Testing out the most interesting feature(s) in a unique way (example)
- Comparing the product to another similar product (example)
- Doing a unique project that the product enables or allows
- Modifying or upgrading the product in a way that consumers might choose to (example)
- Documenting my experiences learning about the new technologies in your product (example)
Along the way, I’m happy to brainstorm ideas with you for the story or angle of the video, and I’m also open to input and suggestions, but I alone will make the decision as to the final concept for the video.
Review Summaries – Ensuring Fairness
My aim is to be fair and transparent when summarizing my opinion of a review item. To achieve this, the following principles will apply.
- A summary of all of the positives of the experience will be provided.
- A summary of all of the negatives of the experience will be provided.
- I will assess the performance of the item against what is advertised by the seller of the product.
- I will assess the performance of the item against relevant competitors based on my experience using them.
- I will try to avoid comparing the review item against competitors that I have not used first hand. It may be relevant to compare the publicly available specifications of each item, but speculation involving performance comparisons will be avoided.
- If I have tested a similar product, I will share comparisons, with positives and negatives of each.
- I will evaluate the performance of the review item in terms of its price point in the market.
- I may attempt to describe a customer demographic that will or will not be suitable for the review item.
- My opinion will not be altered by whether I purchased the product or received it for free. My opinion will be formed using the criteria in this document as a guide to assessing the performance of the item on merit.
In order to make the content of the video accessible and clear to viewers, and to maintain the financial viability of the channel, standard practices apply when publishing.
- The name of the company, the name of the contact from the company, and the name of the product may be included in the title, thumbnail, description, tags and any other metadata.
- Images of the product and company logo may be used on the thumbnail.
- A range of links to sites where the product is for sale may be included in the description. These will often be affiliate links, as is standard practise on technology based channels.
- Videos on my channel are monetised via YouTube advertisements, as is standard practise for most YouTube channels. This will occur on the review video unless the company explicitly requests the video be demonetised before the review is agreed upon.
By proceeding with the review process, you hereby agree to all of the terms presented in this document.
This review policy was created based on the open source review policy of Michael Laws from Teaching Tech. Thanks and credit to Michael and his wonderful work to support the 3D printing and content creator communities alike.