Brand Blogging & Word-of-Mouth Marketing


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Brand Blogging & Word-of-Mouth Marketing

  1. 1. BSI Brand Blogging & Word-of-Mouth Marketing Marketing 2.0 Conference, Paris 2008
  2. 2. Join the conversation MARKETING 2.0 CONFERENCE
  3. 3.
  4. 4. Agenda • Stories and WOM • Storytelling and a theory of consumer brand blog stories – Why look at blogs (self report stories) – Myths & Archetypes – Brand Relationships – Propositions for processing • Processing Method (includes netnography) • Versace, Tommy Hilfiger & Paris blog stories • Implications for mining consumer brand blogs • Automating brand studies
  5. 5. How stories explain behaviour and help sensemaking “…in such personal memoirs as diaries and journals, a person seeks unconsciously and partly self-consciously a narrative frame for life…” (McAdam, 1993). “When people punctuate their own living into stories, they impose a formal coherence on what is otherwise a flowing soup” ( Weick, 1998, p128). – Confusing social and personal experiences or “messy” situations (Bruner, 1990) are put into a rational story that sequences the events to make sense of the world outside them – “sequencing is a powerful heuristic for sensemaking” (Weick, 1995, p129) – People’s self understanding is based on narratives they construct to make sense of their lives (Gergin & Gergin, 1983) – “The ways in which people typically explain and predict social behaviour have a great deal in common with how people understand and tell stories” (Read, 1987). – “Stories provide simplified cause-effect accounts of puzzling, unexpected, dramatic, problematic, or exemplary events” (Tilly, 2006).
  6. 6. WOM Communications ……..we believe that WOM communications are structured as story. That is, when consumers relate their experiences with products, services, and brands to others, they typically tell their listener a story, with themselves as the protagonist. Delgadillo and Escalas (2004)
  7. 7. Our theory of Consumer Brand Stories • A consumer comes to know a brand by creating a story of herself • The created story brings the different parts of herself into a whole • A good consumer story – beginning, middle, end (plot structure) – Imagination integrating past, present, and future – Parts of story enacted in daily life – Exists in mind of the consumer – "inciting incident" (McKee, 2003) resulting in an imbalance (Woodside and Chebat, 2001) to occur moving protagonist from balance to inbalance resulting in action. – A moral and teaching perspective – Suspense (Brewer and Lichtenstein, 1982; Durgeen, 1988 ;Gergen and Gergen, 1988). • Written story provides sensemaking to herself and readers
  8. 8. Why self report blog stories ? • Focus on the words reflecting lived experiences involving brands • Consumer blog entries are the interpretations of self rather than researcher interpretations of consumers’ interpretations of use of brands and products. • Analyzing consumer self report blogs, consumer researchers do not ask what, when and where intentionality questions to solicit the necessary information. • Elegance of this approach side-stepping of the bias of the researcher framing issues to achieve consumer own-framing • Self report stories explanation of the consumer’s behaviour including roles brands and products play in these stories.
  9. 9. Myths • They pretend to be nothing but entertainment, but in fact address the hopes and fears of the whole human race” (Brayfield, 1996) • “Myths provide ideals to live by, and they work to resolve life’s most vexing questions. ” (Holt 2003, p. 44). • “Myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the human life”(Campbell, 1991, p5), • stories “about the wisdom of life” (Campbell, 1991, p11) • “practical models for understanding how to live” ( Vogler, 1998) • “evoke the eternal because they explore the timeless concerns of human beings – birth, death, time, good and evil, creativity and destruction” (Cousineau, 2001). • “Myths of different cultures all probe similar enigmas: life and death, creation and destruction.” (Manhart,2005).
  10. 10. Book of Hopi, Frank Waters • Where did I come from? • Why is there something rather than nothing? • Why is there evil in the world? • What happens to me when I die? • How close should I be to my mother, father , brother , sister, wife, husband, cousin, son, daughter, lover or friend ? • What are my duties,my obligations? • What is taboo and what should I avoid? • What is the purpose of my life, my visions? • Whom should I imitate? • Who are the heros and heroines? • Who are the villains? • Who is our enemy? • What are the stages along life’s way? • Who are my helpers, guides, allies ? • What is disease? • How can I be purified, healed? • What should we do with bounty, wealth, surplus? • What is our relationship with animals?
  11. 11. Archetypes • Deep structure for motivation and meaning • “psychic templates” (Gray, 1996) that are hardwired thought patterns underpinned by unconscious knowledge (Jaffe, 1971) • patterns of instinctual behaviour that are in a state of readiness to act as a compensatory response of the unconscious to typical human situations with the response pattern of how a human functions. • “powerful inner patterns…..dominant forces within us”( Bolen ,1984). • “emergent property” of a biological system as the archetype “crosses from unconscious activity to consciousness”( Gray, 1996).
  12. 12. Cultural Archetype - Rapaille • “logic of emotion” (Rapaille,1995) that imprints from the first emotional experience • Learning through emotion rather than intellect. • The imprinting moment is the “first time when you create a mental structure in your brain” ( Rapaille, 2005) • Taste of ice cream, fresh aroma of coffee, heat on a stove top or a birthday • Smell, taste, sound, object, concept, product and service • “you never get a second chance to have a first experience” (Rapialle, 1990)
  13. 13. Taxonomy of Archetypes Archetype Profile Hero Trust/Reliability Wise old man Continuity/Heritage Creator Newness/Invention Mother of goodness Care/Nurturing Little trickster Humour/Spontaneity Engima Uncertainity Aniti-hero Danger/Unrepentance Change Master Change/Newness Ultimate Strength Testing/proving Siren Seduction/Destruction Powerbroker Domination/control Loyalist Certainty Wertime, 2002, Building Brands and Believers, John Wiley
  14. 14. Fournier (2001) • Anthropomorphizing the brand (Brand is active relationship partner) • 15 consumer/brand relationships 1.Arranged marriages 6.Casual friends 11.Marriages of convenience 2.Committed partnerships 7.Best friendships 12.Compartmentalized friendships 3.Kinships 8.Rebounds 13.Childhood friendships 4.Courtships 9.Dependencies 14.Flings 5.Enslavements 10.Enmities 15. Secret affairs
  15. 15. Propositions for processing P1: A protagonist consumer P2: Consumer storytelling theory extends beyond highly risky consumption acts to the more mundane and improvisational presentations of self (to self and others) in everyday life. P3: Stories protagonists tell about themselves consciously and/or unconsciously often match the plot lines scripted by brand controllers (e.g., Nike’s myth of individual achievement through perseverance) or by deep-seated, “hardwired” (see Hirschman 2000; Rapaille 2005) cultural archetypal myths. P4: The story presents a protagonist engaging in actions to achieve goals. P5: The story informs about conscious and/or unconscious thoughts of the protagonist and other actors. P6: The story informs personal evolution or change in the life of the protagonist occurs. P7: The story informs how events involving the protagonist take place. P8: The story has an inciting event (a crisis or turning point) involving the protagonist along with a beginning and a resolution. P9: The story presents the protagonist in clear-cut situations. P10: the storyteller provides a lesson learned— a gloss/gist of wisdom—in a sensemaking summary comment in the closing or opening author’s interpretation to the story.
  16. 16. Processing Method • Netnography • Degrees-of-freedom for interpreting case data (Campbell,1975) • Analysis and interpretation of lived consumer brand story Degrees Analysis and Archetypal Netnography of interpretation Patterns Freedom
  17. 17. Consumer Brand Blog Studies Luxury Goods Fashion Country Tiffany Abercrombie & Fitch Sydney LVMH Tommy Hilfiger Paris Gucci Old Navy Tokyo Versace Beijing New York
  18. 18. Netnography (Kozinets,2002) • Entrée to blogs – Preliminary search of blogosphere – Intelliseek ( – Technorati ( • Preferred method of selecting blogs – Google (brand-product-category-activity) – Extended search terms generated from contemporary magazines as well as Princeton (synonym sets)
  19. 19. Extended Search Terms Gucci , gucci handbags, gucci sunglasses , gucci shoes , gucci fabric, replica gucci handbags , discount gucci sunglasses , authentic gucci bags , knockoff gucci , gucci eyewear , gucci pants , cheap gucci bags , gucci totes , gucci handbag , gucci replica , imitation gucci , ladies gucci watch, gucci outlets, gucci inspired , gucci suit , fake gucci handbags , gucci clothing , gucci knock offs ,gucci bracelet , gucci jewelry , gucci shoe , authentic gucci handbag , eau de Gucci, gucci shirt , replica Gucci, gucci products, gucci bag , cheap gucci sunglasses , www gucci com ,gucci clothes , gucci rush , gucci timepieces, gucci jerseys , discounted gucci handbags ,gucci rush for men , gucci mens watch , designer gucci , gucci jackie o bag ,gucci outlet ,gucci knock off ,sale gucci ,discount gucci , gucci for women ,gucci model , gucci underwear ,gucci tennis shoes , gucci heels ,envy by gucci ,gucci cufflinks, gucci fragrance , gucci envy for men ,lunettes Gucci, gucci watch bands , gucci 1500 series, gucci hat , gucci outlet store , gucci bags , gucci eau de toilette ,gucci watch , gucci jewellery ,gucci watches, gucci man ,gucci purses, authentic Gucci, gucci purse , gucci wallet , fake gucci, gucci aftershave ,mens gucci , gucci envy , gucci wallets, www gucci , gucci mens and gucci belt.
  20. 20. Netnography II (Kozinets,2002) • Data collection & analysis – Automatic download using net snippets or onfolio – Purposive sampling (Wallendorf & Belk,1989) • Exclude brand managers, self- promotion, suspect messages & off-brand • Seek rich/detailed stories – Devotees (strong consumption weak attachment to online) – Insiders (strong ties to online and consumption activity) – Classify Brand • reporters, opposers, supporters and managers
  21. 21. Netnography II (Kozinets,2002) • Analysis and Interpretation ~ 50 to 60 stories • Member check (Hirschman 1986) – 1. What did they leave out (i.e. what might they have put in ?) – 2. Anything reported that should not be in ? – 3. Is the researcher interpretation surprising or what you may have expected ? • Communication via email, instant messaging or Skype.
  22. 22. Pattern Matching • Building and testing alternative sets of propositions – Campbell (1975) and Wilson and Wilson (1988) • How well do our stories match with the storytelling paradigm? • What Archetypal patterns exist • Consumer Storytelling Degrees of Freedom Instrument Degrees of Freedom Instruments Blog story or report Proposition 1 Proposition 2 Proposition 3 Prposition 4
  23. 23. Degrees of Freedom Instrument for Pre-Screening Stories Consumer Storytelling Degrees of Freedom Instrument Blog: ________________________________________________________________ Title of Blog Entry: ____________________________________________________ Please circle N = No; ? = Not sure; Y = Yes for each item below. Item No ? Yes 1.Protagonist experiences an inciting incident? N ? Y If yes, describe the inciting incident: ________________________________________ 2. Mundane presentation of self in everyday life of a protagonist is apparent in the story? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________ 3. Consumption stories matches myth identified for brand? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________ 4. Protagonist engages in actions to achieve goals? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________ The blog presents a story that informs about conscious and/or unconscious thoughts of the protagonist and other actors? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________ The blog presents a story about how personal evolution or change in the life of the protagonist occurs? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________ 7. The blog informs how events involving a protagonist occur? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________ 8. The blog has a beginning, middle, and ending? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________ 9. The blog presents a protagonist in clear-cut situations? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________ 10. The blog has a protagonist who offers a lesson learned? N ? Y Evidence: ________________________________________________________________
  24. 24. Consumer Storytelling for Buying and Wearing a Versace Coat Blog: Purchase of a Versace coat and a drive home: “Long Coat ,no knickers…..” Story gist: Purchasing a Versace coat the protagonist behaves in a risqué manner driving to her “man”. Please circle N = No; ? = Not sure; Y = Yes for each item below. Item No ? Yes agonist experiences an inciting incident? N ? Y dence: Wearing a Versace coat with just lingerie on whilst being chased by a local police car with two police ndane presentation of self in everyday life of a protagonist is apparent in the story? N ? Y dence: Description of the store near Harrods and in Bicester as well as the exact price of the clothing being s umption stories matches myth identified for brand? N ? Y ence: “… I felt like I was one of those film stars sweeping into the room wearing the most wonderful outfit.” gonist engages in actions to achieve goals? N ? Y nce: In order to get “her man” she wears her coat with only underwear driving home. blog presents a story that informs about conscious and/or unconscious thoughts of the protagonist and other actors? N ? Y nce: When caught by the police whilst driving and using a mobile phone she indicates she is going to a “Vic ty”. blog presents a story about how personal evolution or change in the life of the protagonist occurs? N ? Y nce: Once wearing the Versace coat the protagonist is transformed into a siren. log informs how events involving a protagonist occur? N ? Y nce: The story progresses from the protagonist wearing a Versace coat, being fitted for Rigby & Pellar linge home and being with her man. log has a beginning, middle, and ending? N ? Y nce: The story commences with the protagonist finding a Versace coat at a cheap price and then progresses y the police and finally gets home. log presents a protagonist in clear-cut situations? N ? Y e: It is very evident from the story that the protagonist is the centre of attention in all the major scenes includ home when her man is watching television. blog has a protagonist who offers a lesson learned? N ? Y
  25. 25. Analysis of Brand Stories – Brand Study • Events & narrative interpretation maps a balance/imbalance mapping and flow diagram of relationships for each blog communication (Woodside & Chebat (2001) • Applying Degree of Freedom instrument • Leximancer computer software – Smith(2000) • Consumer Brand Relationship classification
  26. 26. Elaboration of Pollee Buying and Wearing a Versace Coat 20."I resorted to 21. Would I buy 2. Fur Coat 19." I arrived at my mans standing in front of the + Versace again? Best - house, 'nice coat' he said...." TV and slowly coat I ever bought! unbuttoning my two buttons" 1. Pollee + 18."Quick as a flash I told them I was going to a fancy + dress ‘vicars and tarts party’."....."I pulled up my coat 3. Designer Shop to show the top of a leg and told them that was all they were getting!" 13." into a garage and use the loo" 17."The problem I had was that the evening was very 4. "I have discovered a + warm and they asked why I was wearing a coat when it lovely second hand ladies was so hot. " wear shop in Beachamp Place near Harrods in Knightsbrisge which has 12. "On speaking to the man of designer wear at vastly 16."Versace did not let me down. The coat, all the moment I found he was at reduced prices." encompassing, only using two of the buttons home .... We agreed I would get provided kept my chastity covered. This coat has a takeaway on the way back.". quality and after several dry cleanings because of the colour still looks as good as new!" 5.I bought a Valentino short leather skirt (and the leather is baby soft, ok I know I said I wouldn't wear fur - so I'm 15. “The local constabulary [two police inconsistent! ) which would cost £600 11. "Proud of my purchase and officers] wanted to discuss me using a mobile new for £110 and it it relly as new - you having just been into Rigby and phone while driving." would never have guessed it's second Pellar for my six month refit of hand. lingerie I started my journey ...." 14." It didn't take long to change into the lingerie and on a whim I didn't redress but just put on my coat. " 6. "I spoed [English for spied] a beautiful cream coloured cashmere coat .- Versace no 7."The fit of the coat 10."Having worn Versace I less for 150 pounds......... was wonderful and I 9. "This coat was less than 6 would definitely look to buy No way would I be able to felt like I was one of 8."Versace is available at so something else from their months old and had been afford one of these at the real those film stars many stores now, almost always 'stable' as the finish on this sent in by a lady who gets price of nearly £1,000." sweeping into the room tied up by anti theft devices so coat is the best. It has been her clothers for nothing and wearing the most this was the first time I had ever hand stitched and reeks of wears them once or twice wonderful outfit." been able to try Versace on." quality." and then sends them in for resale."
  27. 27. Elaboration of Trip to Paris Blog Communication 18."We went on Fat 17. "I wanted Paige to get a feel Tire's day trip to + 19....."I know Paige will for shopping experiences that she Monet's gardens and treasure the memory of would not have at home (aka the 16. "On our trip to Giverny, we met a young house in Giverny, about this girl's trip for many ubiquitous mall). " woman from Brisbane, Australia who was an hour outside Paris."+ years to come." traveling on her own and we invited her to join us. Three of us enjoyed delicious and innovative soufflés, while Paige had the rack of 3. Paris lamb. We shared two dessert soufflés, one + chocolate and the other cherry/almond. Yum" 11.Sites •The Marais •Notre Dame •L'Arc de Triomphe - 248 steps up and 248 steps + down... 15." Michael Osman is an American artists living in Paris." •Champs Elysee 1.Gayle "He supplements his income by being a •Jacquemart Museum + tour guide." I" found out about him on •Louvre Lite Fodors" •Musee D'Orsay "So I engaged Michael for two days." •Les Invalides, Napoleon's Tomb and the 2. Paige Napoleon Museum •Sacre Coeur •Monmartre + 14. “Dinner at La Dome with D-Day American •Rodin Museum soliders.They had decided to come to Paris to •Pompidou Museum find the Harley Davidson store so they could •Train to Vernon, bike to Giverny with Fat Tire buy Harley Paris t-shirts." Bike Tours 4.”The occasion 5. “I am a was my cousin • Canadian and get Paige’s 16th” 13."The father stretched out his cupped hands •Eiffel Tower by in French.” which held all of the pieces they were able to recover, including the memory stick and he very solemnly said, "El muerto...". 9. "I bought a Paris Pratique pocket-sized book at a 6. "All I can say is WOW! We rented a 2 Metro station. This handy guide has detailed maps bedroom, 1 ½ bath apartment (two of each arrondisement, as well as the metro lines, 12. Unforgettable Memories the bus lines, the RER and the SCNF (trains). I'll showers), "Merlot" from ParisPerfect and boy was it "This trip had so many memories, but here are a few choice never be without this again." ever perfect! " highlights........On our very first night, knowing that the Eiffel Tower light show started at 10:00 p.m.... she [Paige] dropped her camera…down 6 flights…we were stunned…Spanish Family standing below [with pieces of the camera]” 10."Six months before our trip, I gave 7. “We had a full view of the Eiffel from 8. "We were walkable to many good Paige a couple of good guide books on our charming little terrace. ....We were bistros, cafes and bakeries and only a Paris and suggested she let me know within walking distance to two metro stops few blocks from the wonderful market what her interests were since after all, (Pont d'Alma or Ecole Militaire) " street Rue Cler." this was to be her trip."
  28. 28. Elaboration of Unzipped - Tommy Hilfiger Jean Wearer Communication 16." Most of all, I wanted to go 15. "I reached the car (out of breath!).........slid back inside and talk to the jeans up to my waist, zipped them up, and Valentine. I wanted to tell her fastened the button. Rapture! I was never so glad + about the whole silly situation 2. Aching back to be wearing pants in all my life. Happiness But life, as I well know, is not - flooded over me. I wanted to sing a song. I the movies, and I was not about wanted to hug someone. I wanted to apologize to to risk humiliation twice in one 1. Scott Tommy Hilfiger and take back the nasty things evening—my hips snugly _ I'd said about his questionable parentage. “I was ensconced in denim." + emotional! No hard feelings?“ 3. Wheeled garment bag for - Christmas trip home + 14."It was with horror that I realized my + 5. Attractive sales next predicament: getting to the counter. women My pants were looser than ever, and the 4. Store motion of walking would surely just speed their escape. " - 12."I did not have $700 to spend on Italian luggage, so my choice was 6. Pants unzipped 13. “You know, I think I'm going pretty clear after about five go ahead and get the Travelpro.” minutes.........choose the Travelpro ..... Her face lit up like a child's on because I had the Financial Acumen to Christmas morning. recognize that it was a great buy." 7. "Not only that, but I happened to be wearing a pair of loose-fitting jeans that day, purchased in a foolish attempt to look with it. (Damn you and your marketing, Tommy Hilfiger!) These pants were almost loose enough to fall off when they were fastened, and in their current state I feared that they would slip to the ground at the slightest encouragement." 11. "Valentine: Zis bag has many expandable pockets. Me: Ah. (Left-hand Hike. Right-hand Cover.) 9. "Part of the problem was that Valentine: Zis makes eet 10." I adopted a two-pronged 8. "There’s nothing more dreadful than Valentine, which I later learned very useful for short trips or strategy. The first phase, the being embarrassed in front of a person you was her name, was an excellent long trips. Hike.......The second phase of find attractive, and this seemed like the saleswoman. I have never met Me: I see. (Right-hand my plan, the Cover....." inevitable outcome of my current anyone so knowledgeable about Hike.)" situation. " luggage."
  29. 29. Automated Concept Analysis hand Prices trip Emic Emic Paige store Emic bag pants told walking neighbourhood lady simply few people car film coat hand Paris trip Tommy Hilfiger The Leximancer The close map interprets a Versace Coat association of Paige dominance of the and Gaile (emic “I”) is wheeled bag over the concept relating most the main observable the pants in Scott’s closely to Pollee (emic) is finding from the story. However, price. The second hand Leximancer output Scott as a self- shop enabling Pollee to for this story. concept “I” overlaps buy a Versace coat at a more with the pants price about 15 percent of than the bag the new coat retail price is a scene critical in developing the plotline of the story.
  30. 30. Near-conversational interactions with the primary brand • Gayle’s, “I love Paris” • Scott’s – “Damn you and your marketing, Tommy Hilfiger!” – “I wanted to apologize to Tommy Hilfiger and take back the nasty things I’d said about his questionable parentage.” • Pollee’s, “Versace did not let me down.”
  31. 31. Unconsciously driving myths and archetypal patterns inform & affect the protagonist behavior • Fairy godmother and Gayle • The Siren and Pollee • The Trickster and Scott
  32. 32. Consumer Brand Relationship • The ironies of neither using-returning the bag nor the jeans serves to illustrate Scott’s story as a satire of his life with brands and serves as a self-exposé of a “secret affair” with Tommy Hilfiger, that is, a privately held relationship considered risky if exposed to others. • The Versace story expresses characteristics of the Versace coat assisting in a courtship relationship and participating directly in a secret affair. Courtships refer to an interim relationship state possibly on the road to a committed partnership contract—the man of the moment morphs into “my man” with no hindrances apparent to a possible committed relationship. Versace is a co-conspirator with Pollee in a secret affair when she wears the coat without knickers— a highly emotive, private bonding that leads to a risky exposure to police officers.
  33. 33. Advertising & marketing Implications from mining consumer brand blogs • Insights on brands from a corpus of self report consumer brand stories on blogs. • Understand first hand the conversations between consumers and brands to uncover creative plotlines e.g., – Fairy Godmother to attract travellers to Paris or – the Siren to rejuvenate tiring relationships by acquiring Versace • Classify what types of brands attach themselves to what type of myths and the resonant archetypal pattern. • Provide inputs for a new product or service not yet positioned in the marketplace • Assist marketing executives to see what is happening at the fringes with brands and thereby springboard new ideas for energising brands and tipping point trends not hitherto seen. This includes lead users (Von Hippel,1988)
  34. 34. Architecture for Automating Brand Studies Google Agents / Technorati Crawler MetaInfo Data P1 –P10 Web Services Connectors Emoticons Fournier Archetype ROSE Semantic Semantic Core Functions Ontology Security Connectors Brand Study Stories (P1-10) K Reports base Brand space Emoticon (ROSE) sentiment Fournier Archetypal classification Patterns
  35. 35. Concluding Remarks • This research shows how an analysis of unsolicited consumer stories found on blogs can help to formulate highly effective marketing and advertising strategies. • Blogs can be vey useful in understanding first hand the conversations that take place between brands and users as well as the consumer enactments engendered by brands. • A focus on consumer self-report stories avoids issues of researcher/experimenter biases that normally arises from asking a consumer brand intentionality questions. • Consumer stories found on Blogs help provide direction for story genre and consumer-brand relationships for products or services not yet available in consumer markets or requiring repositioning. • There is a scarcity of research on consumer self-storytelling relative to consumer attitude research and with the growing availability of Weblogs this presentation demonstrates the advertising implications that can flow from analysing consumer self report brand stories found on the Web.
  36. 36. Caution! “Children never put off till tomorrow what will keep them from going to bed tonight” ADVERTISING AGE