Word of mouth, youth and their brands

Andrew Needham (Founding Partner at Face, London, UK.)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Publication date: 14 March 2008



This paper aims to describe the ways word‐of‐mouth (WOM) can operate in social network platforms such as Facebook


Using Headbox, a research and seeding community for 30,000 16‐25 year olds who share their thoughts, their opinions and their ideas and get rewarded for it, consumer insights on brands and how positive and negative WOM are described.


The paper finds that the importance of co‐creation is vital in diffusion. Co‐creation implies that marketing happens with young people rather than it being directed at them.

Research limitations/implications

Results are limited to technological societies where the web has permeated and is accessible as a means of general communication

Practical implications

Managerial implications suggest a new mindset toward marketing and greater emphasis on the active role of social communities in the youth market


A new approach to marketing using social networking and a very large sample suggests that we are near to a clearer understanding of the complexities of diffusion by WOM.



Needham, A. (2008), "Word of mouth, youth and their brands", Young Consumers, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 60-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/17473610810857327

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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