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1 – 10 of over 2000
Article
Publication date: 27 February 2020

Christina Saenger, Veronica L. Thomas and Dora E. Bock

When consumers experience a self-threat that calls their self-concept into question, the ensuing psychological discomfort motivates them to restore their self-perceptions…

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Abstract

Purpose

When consumers experience a self-threat that calls their self-concept into question, the ensuing psychological discomfort motivates them to restore their self-perceptions on the threatened attribute. Although consumers can restore a threatened self-perception by consuming products and brands that possess the desired symbolic associations, this study aims to propose that word of mouth can serve to resolve self-threat and restore a threatened self-perception when the brand at the center of a word-of-mouth communication is symbolically congruent with the domain of the threat.

Design/methodology/approach

Experimental online survey research was conducted, inducing self-threat, manipulating brand and word-of-mouth conditions and measuring self-perceptions. Data for three studies were analyzed using SPSS and Hayes’ (2013) PROCESS macro.

Findings

Three studies show that spreading word of mouth can restore consumers’ threatened self-perceptions when the brand is symbolically congruent with the threat domain. Word of mouth about a symbolically congruent brand alleviates psychological discomfort, resulting in higher self-perceptions on the threatened attribute. The restorative effect is amplified for lower self-esteem consumers.

Research limitations/implications

Participants in the focal conditions were required to spread word of mouth, which may not be an organic response for all consumers; although not spreading word of mouth is ineffective, other compensatory consumer behavior options exist. The brand option was provided to participants, which allowed for control but may have reduced some of the realism.

Practical implications

Positioning brands to meet consumers’ psychological needs encourages the development of consumer–brand attachments. Brands that resonate with consumers reap the benefits of consumers’ active loyalty behaviors and enjoy stronger brand equity. The present research implies a new way consumers can form brand attachments: by spreading word of mouth to resolve self-threat. As many consumers post detailed, personal information online, this research suggests firms can align their brand messages with relevant identity-related discrepancies.

Originality/value

This research extends the symbolic self-completion compensatory consumption strategy to the word-of-mouth context, showing that consumers can achieve the same restorative effect as consumption by spreading word of mouth. This research also contributes to compensatory word-of-mouth literature by establishing the role of brand meaning.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1995

Chow Hou Wee, Seek Luan Lim and May Lwin

Wordofmouth is a powerful communication tool which is often beyond the control of the marketer. This study used a 3 x 2 x 2 factorial experiment in a laboratory…

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Abstract

Wordofmouth is a powerful communication tool which is often beyond the control of the marketer. This study used a 3 x 2 x 2 factorial experiment in a laboratory simulation to examine the main and interaction effects of three independent variables — message, source and user‐type — on credibility and behavior intention. The experiment involved 1,440 respondents from two different demographic sample groupings — secondary school students and undergraduates. ANOVA results for the experiments showed that, generally, source and user‐type were found to be significant factors affecting the credibility of wordofmouth. In terms of source, father was perceived to be more credible than close friend as a wordofmouth source. Likewise, past users were found to be more credible than non‐past users. Message was, however, found to affect significantly the behavioral intention variable. Negative message was found to generate the strongest negative behavioral intention than positive message and two‐sided messages. Two‐sided message was also found to have a stronger effect than positive message in behavioral intention. In addition, t‐tests results also revealed significant differences in perceptions between the two samples.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 7 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Veronica L. Thomas and Christina Saenger

The purpose of this paper is to examine the conflict between consumers’ need to spread word-of-mouth about brands to express identity and the motivation to protect…

1404

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the conflict between consumers’ need to spread word-of-mouth about brands to express identity and the motivation to protect identity-linked brands from outside adoption that could dilute the brand’s symbolic associations. Current studies examine the interactive effects of self-brand connection (SBC) and consumer need for uniqueness (cNFU) on intentions to engage in brand-promoting and brand-protecting word-of-mouth behavior to in-group and out-group recipients.

Design/methodology/approach

Experimental scenario stimulus-based survey research was conducted, including scales measuring intentions to engage in promoting and protecting word-of-mouth, SBC and cNFU. Data for four studies were collected via online surveys and were analyzed using Hayes’ (2013) PROCESS macro and the Johnson–Neyman technique in SPSS 21.0.

Findings

The results of four studies demonstrate that the interaction between SBC and cNFU tempers intentions to engage in brand-promoting word-of-mouth and amplifies intentions to engage in brand-protecting word-of-mouth, when the recipient of the word-of-mouth communication is an out-group, but not an in-group, member.

Originality/value

This work exposes the conflict between identity-expression and fear-of-imitation by demonstrating that consumers’ tempered intentions to spread brand-promoting word-of-mouth and amplified intentions to spread brand-protective word-of-mouth are deliberate strategic mechanisms used to protect brand meaning. In doing so, this research exposes cNFU as a factor that influences self-brand-connected consumers to engage in a negative brand behavior and qualifies work in identity-expressive word-of-mouth that suggests that self-presentational concerns lead consumers to avoid spreading negatively valenced word-of-mouth about identity-linked brands.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Xuehua Wang

This study aims to investigate the effects of inconsistent wordofmouth on service quality perception and purchase intention during the service encounter.

7843

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the effects of inconsistent wordofmouth on service quality perception and purchase intention during the service encounter.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot study and a subsequent formal experiment with six scenarios were designed to test the inconsistent wordofmouth effect. Participants were recruited from a major university located in Southern China.

Findings

The results revealed that service quality perception and purchase intention were influenced more by the final wordofmouth event than by the initial one and were more favorable with more positive wordofmouth events.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should study more factors such as source effect of wordofmouth and knowledge about the service in investigating the inconsistent wordofmouth effect on service quality perception and purchase intention.

Practical implications

Consumers' service quality judgment and purchase intention seem to be highly driven by the most recent wordofmouth activities. Thus, to stimulate consumption levels, companies can use creative and innovative promotion tools for consumers to talk about their service and elicit consumers' purchase interest. Other tools such as involving consumers in delivering the service and developing referral incentive schemes are also beneficial to establish positive wordofmouth.

Originality/value

This paper adds value to the wordofmouth literature by studying the inconsistent wordofmouth effect on consumers' perceptions of service quality and purchase intention towards the service, which lacks strong conceptual and empirical evidence.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2013

Lloyd C. Harris and Emmanuel Ogbonna

The aim of this article is to supply grounded empirical insights into the forms of negative wordofmouth by front‐line, customer contact employees.

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to supply grounded empirical insights into the forms of negative wordofmouth by front‐line, customer contact employees.

Design/methodology/approach

The article adopts a qualitative approach through interviews with 54 front‐line employees in three retail organizations: food, clothing and electronic goods.

Findings

The paper finds four different forms of negative wordofmouth behaviours which are labelled customer‐oriented, anti‐management/firm, employee‐oriented and anti‐competitor wordofmouth. The paper shows how each of these behaviours varied in terms of the target audience (the intended listeners), the focus of attention (the focal point of comments), the motivation (the perceived rationale for the behaviour) and the extent to which employees perceived their own comments to be truthful.

Research limitations/implications

The article calls for an expansion of research horizon to incorporate a fuller understanding of the dynamics of employee (mis)behaviour in the workplace in relation to resistance, subjectivity, instrumentality and clandestine control of certain aspects of workplace dynamics.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that managers should be concerned with front‐line employee negative wordofmouth especially because some of the examples which were uncovered are potentially damaging to both financial and non financial performance measures.

Originality/value

The article contributes insights into the neglected area of employee negative wordofmouth. The article argues that the identification of the forms of employee negative wordofmouth is an important step towards developing a theory of employee negative wordofmouth that is especially pertinent to front‐line service work. The article develops a series of propositions which future researchers may find useful in advancing research in this area.

Book part
Publication date: 27 September 2021

Timothy L. Keiningham, Roland T. Rust, Bart Larivière, Lerzan Aksoy and Luke Williams

Many companies focus considerable resources on managing and enhancing positive word of mouth (WOM). WOM management, however, has become increasingly complex given the rise…

Abstract

Many companies focus considerable resources on managing and enhancing positive word of mouth (WOM). WOM management, however, has become increasingly complex given the rise of online channels and the corresponding increasing breadth of connections giving and receiving WOM. Given the generally believed importance of WOM to business outcomes, managers seek to leverage key drivers that they believe will enhance positive and minimize negative WOM.

Implicit in these actions is the belief that leveraging key drivers to enhance positive (or minimize negative) WOM results in generally positive outcomes across channels and connections. This research investigates whether this belief is correct. We examined WOM behaviors from over 15,000 consumers from 10 different countries in eight industry categories, as well as consumer attitudes toward the various brands investigated. Our findings indicate that efforts to enhance positive WOM typically have mixed effects – enhancing positive WOM in some channels while decreasing it (or even enhancing negative WOM) in other channels. Therefore, managers need to have a greater understanding of the complexity of leveraging attitudinal key drivers when seeking to enhance WOM to minimize potential negative outcomes.

Details

Marketing Accountability for Marketing and Non-marketing Outcomes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-563-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 June 2021

Yi Bu, Park Thaichon and Joy Parkinson

This chapter is a descriptive study of digital marketing to stimulate electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM) through the social impact of content creation. This chapter firstly…

Abstract

This chapter is a descriptive study of digital marketing to stimulate electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM) through the social impact of content creation. This chapter firstly introduces the background, concept, and development of e-WOM. Secondly, discuss the relationship between digital marketing and e-WOM. Finally, make recommendations for the business. In the discussion of the relationship between digital marketing and e-WOM, this chapter expounds the social impact of content-generating, one of the essential means in digital marketing. It discusses the relationship between social impact and e-WOM. This chapter can provide references and the basis for exploring the relationship between digital marketing and e-WOM.

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

Christine T. Ennew, Ashish K. Banerjee and Derek Li

Financial service providers have long placed considerable faith in positive word of mouth communication as a means of attracting new customers and a variety of studies of

8394

Abstract

Financial service providers have long placed considerable faith in positive word of mouth communication as a means of attracting new customers and a variety of studies of customer choice of bank highlight the significance of personal recommendation. Given that financial services tend to be characterised by a predominance of experience and credence qualities, word of mouth communication is particularly valuable, providing the potential consumer with vicarious experience of the service under consideration. The impact of word of mouth is probably at its strongest when it originates from social contacts because of their greater perceived reliability. By its very nature, this form of communication is outside the formal control of an organisation and yet its impact is such that the ability to influence or encourage word of mouth could be a powerful marketing tool. This paper provides an exploratory analysis of the importance of word of mouth and the factors which influence its role within an organisation’s marketing strategy, with particular reference to customer referral campaigns. Empirical evidence is collected from the (rapidly changing and liberalising) financial services sector in India.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Timothy Lee Keiningham, Roland T. Rust, Bart Lariviere, Lerzan Aksoy and Luke Williams

Managers seeking to manage customer word-of-mouth (WOM) behavior need to understand how different attitudinal drivers (e.g. satisfaction, positive and negative emotion…

2979

Abstract

Purpose

Managers seeking to manage customer word-of-mouth (WOM) behavior need to understand how different attitudinal drivers (e.g. satisfaction, positive and negative emotion, commitment, and self-brand connection) relate to a range of WOM behaviors. They also need to know how the effects of these drivers are moderated by customer characteristics (e.g. gender, age, income, country). The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate these issues a built a large-scale multi-national database was created that includes attitudinal drivers, customer characteristics, and a full range of WOM behaviors, involving both the sending and receiving of both positive and negative WOM, with both strong and weak ties. The combination of sending-receiving, positive-negative and strong ties-weak ties results in a typology of eight distinct WOM behaviors. The investigation explores the drivers of those behaviors, and their moderators, using a hierarchical Bayes model in which all WOM behaviors are simultaneously modeled.

Findings

Among the many important findings uncovered are: the most effective way to drive all positive WOM behaviors is through maximizing affective commitment and positive emotions; minimizing negative emotions and ensuring that customers are satisfied lowers all negative WOM behaviors; all other attitudinal drivers have lower or even mixed effects on the different WOM behaviors; and customer characteristics can have a surprisingly large impact on how attitudes affect different WOM behaviors.

Practical implications

These findings have important managerial implications for promotion (which attitudes should be stimulated to produce the desired WOM behavior) and segmentation (how should marketing efforts change, based on segments defined by customer characteristics).

Originality/value

This research points to the myriad of factors that enhance positive and reduce negative word-of-mouth, and the importance of accounting for customer heterogeneity in assessing the likely impact of attitudinal drivers on word-of-mouth behaviors.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 30 July 2018

Abstract

Details

Marketing Management in Turkey
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-558-0

1 – 10 of over 2000