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Spread the word: the effects of word of mouth on customers’ product perceptions. An analysis of the effects of different source types and review sentiments on the source and message credibility and the buying intention.

Manders, M.M.A. (2013) Spread the word: the effects of word of mouth on customers’ product perceptions. An analysis of the effects of different source types and review sentiments on the source and message credibility and the buying intention.

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Abstract:People talk about brands, companies and product experiences everyday. This happens in either positive or negative ways as a result of their own experiences. On the other hand, people planning to buy a particular product or service search for information to reduce their uncertainty on which product to buy. They want to make sure the choice they make is right. This information seeking behavior takes place either by talking with acquaintances but also online on for example review websites, reading reviews from strangers. As the Internet becomes more and more popular and people are free to write about their opinion anywhere they want, it becomes a harder task to control this word of mouth for companies everyday. So, question is where should they focus on to create and maintain a positive mindset about the products/services they offer. This quantitative research focused on the different effects that either communication of a known source versus communication of strange source has on the perceptions of consumers as well as the differences existing concerning tone of voice, namely negative or positive word of mouth. In this research, 247 students participated, who were approached at Radboud University Nijmegen. Results show that customers do appreciate information from a known source much more than communication from an unknown source, this means that known sources are evaluated as being more credible than unknown sources. This especially seems to count for intangible products where people have to rely on other people’s opinions because they are unable to experience the service before actually buying it. The research does also show significant effects on the buying intention for positive reviews and significant stronger effects of negative reviews from a known source than from a unknown source.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/64038
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