On Brands and Word-of-Mouth

Renana Peres, Ron Shachar, Mitchell J. Lovett
2011 Social Science Research Network  
We also thank the review team for their comments and insights. 2 On brands and word of mouth Abstract: Brands and word-of-mouth are cornerstones of marketing. Yet, their relationship has received relatively little attention. This study aims to enhance our understanding of brand characteristics as antecedents of WOM by executing a comprehensive empirical analysis. For this purpose, we constructed a unique data set on online and offline WOM and characteristics for over 600 of the most
more » ... brands. To guide this empirical analysis we present a theoretical framework whose fundamentals are consumers and what stimulates them to engage in WOM. It argues that consumers spread the word on brands as a result of three drivers: social, emotional, and functional. Through these drivers we identify a set of thirteen brand characteristics that play a role in stimulating WOM -three of them have not been studied as WOM antecedents: level of differentiation, excitement and complexity. We find that many of the brand characteristics we identified, including the three that were studied for the first time, play an important role in WOM. We also find that while the social and functional drivers are the most important for online WOM, the emotional driver is the most important for offline WOM. These results portray an interesting picture of WOM and have meaningful managerial implications for brand management and investment in WOM campaigns.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1968602 fatcat:mizep4d7qrd2djawsvxwk6ezje