Saturday, November 8, 2008

Negative word-of-mouth is good???

Word-of-mouth as all of us know is something that no one has control over. Before you realize it, the news would have jumped networks of people and reached the other end of town. Everyone of us talk about a lotta products day in and day out.

Either intentionally or otherwise we talk about stuff from say shoes to music to restaurants to movies etc and offer our opinion to everyone we interact with.

This may be either to help someone else buy, provide knowledge about the product, for self pride, just an intention of sharing, to find common ground or may be even to reduce dissonance. For any company if this is a positive word-of-mouth, then they surely would'nt have any regrets!

What if its negative word-of-mouth?

Well, my answer to this question is based on the book 'Grapevine' by Dave Balter & John Butman. Products as such are never perfect and people accept this fact. A Negative word-of-mouth can be powerful. If the company responds positively to a negative word-of-mouth, it can turn detractors into loyalists. Moreover negative word-of-mouth can bring out the quiet advocates - who can be even more powerful than everyday fans.

For instance, take the Apple iPhone. If you carefully examine it, it does'nt have a few common features such as forwarding of msg's and taking long videos BUT try talking a person(who intends to buy an iPhone) out of the idea of buying a iPhone. Well I'm pretty sure he would give you 10 other reasons to buy the iPhone and may even draw ficticious statistics outta thin air to prove his stance. Moreover the Cult brand status of Apple here is one main reason why people behave so irrationally...!

So your word could be swifter than a bird! ;)


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