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Product usage and firm-generated word of mouth: some results from FMCG product trials

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Theory and past research suggests that greater levels of consumer involvement and product usage lead to higher levels of word of mouth (WOM). This paper presents some tests of hypotheses related to product usage and WOM, based on secondary consumer panel data from five fmcg product trials. The main findings are that brand usage range within a product category has a pervasive effect on pre-trial intentions to recommend the trialled product, as well as the actual number of WOM conversations generated by the trial and their effectiveness (the rate of attitudinal conversion based on interest generated). Frequency of product use only significantly affects the number of WOM conversations. Second, compared to non-users, being a loyal user of the trialled product (having used the brand more frequently than other brands) has a negative effect on WOM effectiveness, while non-loyal users' WOM is more effective compared to that of loyal users. The study thereby provides more evidence that loyal users are not necessarily the best targets of WOM marketing campaigns, and suggests that research on the interaction between involvement or product usage and loyalty in relation to firm-generated WOM may be an interesting area of further research.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29012/

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