Aktualisiert: 23. Mai 2019
People talk to each other. They share opinions about hot political topics, the latest news about their favorite stars, and tips on a good tech deal from their favorite brand. No piece of advice is more welcome than the one coming from a trusted source - such as from your buddy trying to stop you from going for that cheap piece of clothing that’s going to fall apart after its first round in the dryer.
Word-of-mouth, or WOM, is considered the most reliable, authentic and trustworthy source of information. In fact, 92% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above traditional advertising.* Over the course of the last 20 years, WOM got upgraded to eWOM, electronic word-of-mouth. This change makes WOM even trickier and more disruptive than it used to be before social times, as it doesn’t involve actual co-presence - or even actual talking anymore. The sharing of information shifted to web forums, online communities, social media, and shops, where the users themselves generate most of the online content: influencers, enthusiasts, and customers huddle together, each one of them feeling entitled to expressing their own opinion.
This is consumer’s paradise. If you want to buy something but still feel unsure about it, a quick search for the product name followed by the word “review” and you’ll know it all - in form of unboxing videos, customer-generated reviews, and comparison websites. The internet became a powerful tool that enables conscious consumers to conduct refined market research before reaching for their wallets.
eWOM is great for your brand, too: if the sentiment around your brand and/or products is positive - in terms of favoring reviews and mentions - consumers will be more likely to choose your brand over competitors with a worse eWOM. Furthermore, reviews can provide you direct market feedback and ideas and innovative products - if you get your consumers to out what they like or dislike about a current product version.
On the other hand, WOM can also be bad for your brand if you have worse or fewer reviews than your competitors. Your eWOM health can get out of hand and can quickly turn into your professional eWOM hell.
Knowing what people say about your brand, products, and services on the web is the first step toward tuning up any modern brand and marketing strategy. Only when you have an idea of your current eWOM, you can take measures (re)act on your real brand needs.