Product Review Template
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How do I use this template?
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What is a Product Review?
A Product Review is a blog post that reviews a product, service, or experience, most often of another company. It is a balanced, honest opinion, covering the pros and cons of the product or service that ultimately answers the question "Do I recommend this product? And if I do, who do I recommend it for?"
What are the Elements of a Product Review?
The structure of a Product Review is fairly straight forward:
2) FAQ/Overview of the Product
3) Pros of the Product
4) Cons of the Product
5) "Do I recommend, and to whom?"
What Purpose Does a Product Review Serve?
A blog review of a new product or service that is interesting/compelling for your target audience is a great way to drive organic search traffic--especially if you are among the first to review the product/service!
“But, why would I review something that’s not my product?” It’s a great way to bring people to your site in your target audience that you can either 1) retarget later or 2) subtly introduce to your product in the process of your review.
- The more personal the review, the better. Share your emotional experience while using the product (joy, frustration, relaxation, surprise, etc.) to connect with your reader.
- It’s important that your reviews remain authentic--never overly promotional (as if you are selling something) and also never overly disparaging (as if you are saying “buy my product instead.
- Photography can be powerful! Break down the whole experience of using the product/service for a thorough and detailed review.
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Title Tip: It’s important to mention the name of the product/service you are reviewing in your blog along with the word “review.” Your SEO keyword focus will most likely be “[product name] review.” For SEO purposes, we recommend keeping your title to less than 60 characters. For social sharing, making the title more personal with first-person language, a reaction (“and I’m never going back!”), or something a little more conversational may increase the click through rate.
Note: For the purposes of this template, we’ve included the title in-line. However, for your post this should be added as the “Article Title” at the top of this view.
Misfits Market Review: How Does Ugly Produce Stack Up?
Introduction: Introduce the review briefly with some “Who/what/when/where/why.” What your history is with the product/service? Why did you want to give it a try? What problem did it solve? When/where did you first hear about it? Etc. All are valid and compelling reasons to introduce the need for a review and allow the reader to connect with your personal experience with the product and trust your review.
My partner and I were looking into a local CSA (community supported agriculture), but missed the window to sign up. We still wanted to buy organic, local produce, but couldn’t go to the farmers market because of our work schedules.
That’s when we stumbled into the world of ugly produce delivery, and Misfits Market. Misfits Market is an ugly produce subscription that offers large boxes of produce delivered to your door. While certainly not a replacement for CSAs or farmer’s markets (please support your local farmers), Misfits Market has changed the way I do grocery shopping, as well as the way I think about produce and food waste.
Now more than ever, I have been thinking about shipping, and the processes that move our food around the country. With COVID-19 ramping up demand for home-delivery of all things, here is my Misfits Market review.
On mentioning your brand: In the introduction, you may want to briefly mention your brand. A best practice is to introduce yourself in the context of your company, for example: “At [company name], I spend a lot of time thinking about sustainability, so I love trying other services that are helping make the world a greener place.”
What is Misfits Market?
Product Overview: Describe the product/service a little more in-depth here. What purpose does it serve? What makes it unique/draws consumers to it? If applicable, what does the business behind it stand for and how long has the business been around? Think of this section as a mini-FAQ for the product. You might consider breaking down core elements of the product under smaller H3 subheadings for a better reader experience
Misfits Market is a subscription service offering weekly and bi-weekly (once every two weeks) deliveries of “misfit”, “discarded” and “overstock” produce. Misfit, also known as misshapen or “ugly” produce, is produce that fails to hit specific cosmetic guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
With proper infrastructure, this “ugly” produce can end up at food banks or special grocery stores. However, this infrastructure is difficult and expensive to set up, leaving most farms without an effective way to sell this “ugly” produce.
The Process: From Farm to Doorstep
Founded in 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Misfits Market works in collaboration with farms across the United States, Canada and Mexico. This produce is shipped to packing centers, where Misfits Market employees are “paid a living wage” to pack subscription boxes. From there, subscription boxes are shipped to customers through carriers like FedEx and Lasership.
All Misfits Market produce is USDA organic, and includes a range of offerings depending on the season. This winter, most of my produce boxes included some of the following fruits and veggies: apples, beets, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collards, cucumber, grapefruit, green beans, kale, leeks, lemons, mango, onions, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and grape tomatoes. You can always find a full list of current Misfits Market produce offerings on their website.
A note on external linking: Adding an external link might seem counterintuitive--why would you want your reader’s leaving your site? It’s actually good SEO practice to include some external links in your content. What’s more, if doing so provides extra value/help to your readers, you’ll be building a stronger relationship with them!
The Subscription: Pricing and Selection
Misfits Market offers two types of subscription: a smaller, $22 box titled “The Mischief” and a larger, $35 box named “The Madness.” Shipping for either box runs $4.50. Billing is done per box shipped.
In most areas, you cannot pick which produce will be in your box, meaning you will get a mostly seasonal, mostly local assortment of fruits and veggies.
Subscribers can choose weekly or bi-weekly delivery, as well as set their preferred delivery date. You can also skip an upcoming delivery, all the way up to deliveries nine weeks away, as long as the delivery hasn’t shipped yet.
Misfits Market allows users to pause their subscription entirely, for up to six months. You can also, of course, cancel at any time.
The Good: Quality Produce, User Experience
Pros of the Product: In this section, break down the best parts about the product (yes! Even if it is a competitor product!) Share what you most enjoyed about the product and section these experiences and features with easily-skimmable H3 headers. Try and find at least 2-3 good things.
My experience with Misfits Market has been largely positive, with more recent additions to the service making it much stronger and more robust.
A note on photography: It’s best practice to include 2-3 photos in your blog posts which can be populated with alt-text to help the SEO of your blog post! Breaking up your article with photos also adds additional enjoyment to reading a piece, especially if your listicle is long. For reviews, it’s best to use at least some of your own photography.
For the first few months, I stuck with the Mischief Box, delivered weekly. The box always came on time, and never arrived overly damaged or poorly assembled.
Inside, veggies are a little disorganized, but separated by weight to avoid bruising, with smaller vegetables in compostable bags. Boxes usually came with an ice pack that can be safely drained and recycled.
Lining the box was either a ridged paper lining or an insulated paper and plastic liner. The ridged paper lining is easily recyclable. The insulated paper and plastic liner, however, contains hard-to-recycle #4 recyclable plastic, which is an unfortunate knock against otherwise sustainable packaging.
The Mischief box contains a good mix of vegetables and fruits, all of which are very tasty, and sometimes oddly shaped. I received the largest beet I’ve ever seen last week, and often receive massive lemons. Produce occasionally sport very minor blemishes, but nothing major, and nothing out of line for a company touting misfit and rejected produce.
I also noticed that some of the produce goes bad faster than if I were buying it in a grocery store. This limited lifespan is likely a combination of farm sorting, all organic produce and shipping times. Living in a two-person, vegetarian home, spoiled produce rarely became an issue.
Tip: Even though this section is titled, "The Good", not everything needs to be a glowing review. It's okay to mention some slight drawbacks or inconveniences associated with the product, so long as there is a positive spin (so that it makes sense in "the good" section!)
One aspect of Misfits Market I really appreciated was the account settings. Namely, I loved the fact that I was billed weekly, per box, and did not have to commit to a monthly or yearly subscription.
I also loved that I could choose upcoming boxes to skip, even boxes that were scheduled for over a month away. This feature made holiday planning incredibly easy, and helped me save money, as well as shipped produce that might have gone bad on my shelf otherwise.
Some of Misfits Market’s more recent features have made the subscription even more appealing. As I mentioned earlier, most areas cannot pick which produce comes in their box.
However, Misfits is gradually rolling out a choose-your-produce feature, currently available to certain customers and areas.
This feature is first-come-first-serve, meaning if I want popular produce like cara cara oranges or flat leaf spinach, I have to make my produce selections as far in advance as possible. The selections change each week, depending on harvest, availability and season.
But, once this feature is available to everyone, Misfits will have eliminated its biggest drawback: having no control over produce selections.
Lastly, I appreciated Misfits’ focus on whole state availability: being available in every part of the states in which you can order. This offering is a real positive for folks living in more rural areas, who might not have easy access to high quality, organic produce. Unfortunately the service is not available in every state.
The Bad: Lack of Choice, Availability
Cons of the Product: For a fair review, you need to provide the drawbacks of the product/service. You may also point out that while it wasn’t right for you, these quality might be positive for someone else. This section does not need to be as in-depth as the “good” section, but should have at least 1 or 2 qualities listed.
It is wise not to make this section significantly longer than your “good” section, however. Having a lengthy “the bad” section (unless it’s a tongue-in-cheek humorous piece!) could make your review seem biased, or worse, could make your brand seem negative or unfriendly.
There are a few drawbacks to Misfits Market, but most of them are pretty clear from the outset.
When I was not able to pick my own produce assortment, I often received vegetables that weren’t my favorite, such as celery, turnip, red onion and green bell pepper. While I did make sure these items were used, not being able to control what was inside my box was frustrating.
Trying to figure out how to use uncommon produce turned into a fun experience for me, but it might not be your idea of fun. If you like your meals quick and easy, and do not want to do a lot of thinking after a long day at work, Misfits Market may not be for you.
On a similar note, if you have multiple food allergies, you should steer clear of Misfits Market altogether. Because most subscribers cannot choose their produce assortment, there is no good way to avoid cross contamination with produce you may be allergic to.
An Improvement, Not a Solution
Lastly, and this is more a criticism of ugly produce marketing than Misfits Market, the sustainability and overall good gained by ugly produce subscriptions is blown out of proportion. Yes, utilizing ugly produce is a good thing, and more businesses and consumers should!
However, ugly produce accounts for a small portion of overall food waste in America. The majority of food waste comes not at the farm or supplier level, but at the consumer level.
Put simply: households buy too much food, leading to tons of spoiled food waste. Buying organic, ugly produce is great, but make sure you can utilize all the food you get, ugly or not.
Is Misfits Market Worth It?
Conclusion: Think of this section like a conclusion paragraph at the end of a grade school essay. Do the pros outweigh the cons? For you? For a specific audience? Who would you recommend this product for based on the good/the bad and who would you not recommend the product for? Finally, in this section, you can briefly mention your own product and how it aligns with the product/service you are reviewing. Just make sure not to be overly promotional!
All in all, for most people, the pros of Misfits Market far outweigh the cons. The user-friendly subscription offers high-quality, ugly produce in plain, eco-friendly packaging. Especially with access to the newer features like produce selection and the marketplace, Misfits Market is a great way to take the load off your grocery shopping, and is likely to save you a little bit of money, too.
Misfits Market is not for everyone, though. If you have food allergies, are a picky eater, or want total control over what produce is in your kitchen, Misfits Market is a tough sell. If you’re looking to radically cut your food budget, Misfits Market may only help you get so far. And if you do not live the eastern states, it’s likely that Misfits Market isn’t available to you at all.
If Misfits Market is for you, check out their website. Unfortunately, due to high demand stemming from COVID-19, new subscribers must sign up for a waitlist. But, I found Misfits Market a great way to get delicious, sustainable produce in a smooth experience.