The Power of Positive Word of Mouth (WOM)

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There is a common assumption that word of mouth tends to be negative, and that negative WOM has greater impact than positive talk. It turns out that both are untrue. More than two-thirds of all brand WOM is actually positive in nature, while less than 10% is purely negative. That’s over eight times more positive than negative WOM.

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The Power of Positive Word of Mouth (WOM)

  1. 1. © 2014 Keller Fay Group | Not to be quoted or distributed without written permission The Power of Positive WOM Keller Fay TalkTrack® Insights March 2014
  2. 2. Introduction: Positive and Negative WOM 2 “What is the breakdown between positive and negative WOM?” “Negative WOM has to be more impactful on consumer behavior than positive WOM, right?” Two of the most frequent questions we hear about WOM: We’ll address those questions and more in this presentation.
  3. 3. Executive Summary • More than 2/3 of all WOM is positive, compared to less than 10% that is negative. – Leading categories for positive WOM include personal care & beauty, beverages, household products, food/dining and media/entertainment. – Even polarizing categories like financial services and telecom earn over 50% positive WOM. • Positive WOM is more likely than negative WOM to be viewed as credible and to result in information pass along. – Travel, media/entertainment and retail/apparel are the leading categories where positive WOM is rated as even more credible and likely to be passed along than negative WOM. 3
  4. 4. All Product Categories Earn > 50% Positive Sentiment 4 -24% -12% -19% -18% -15% -16% -15% -14% -15% -13% -13% -16% -14% -18% -9% -8% -7% -6% -6% -5% -6% -6% -4% -8% 52% 58% 64% 64% 68% 69% 71% 71% 72% 71% 74% 67% Net Sentiment (positive less mixed & negative WOM) 43 MixedNegative Positive 57 52 52 51 50 WOM Sentiment by Category All Categories Personal Care & Beauty Beverages Media / Entertainment Household Products Food / Dining Retail / Apparel Travel 47 46 Automotive Technology Financial Services Telecom 38 36 28 14 Source: Keller Fay’s TalkTrack®, Oct. 2012 – Sept. 2013
  5. 5. Positive WOM is More Credible and More Likely To Be Shared 5 45% 37% 64% 53% Credibility/Believability Likelihood to Pass Along Positive WOM Rated Highly Credible/Likely to Lead to Action Mostly Negative WOM Mostly Positive WOM Source: Keller Fay’s TalkTrack®, Oct. 2012 – Sept. 2013
  6. 6. In These Key Categories, Positive WOM Exhibits the Most Decided Advantage Over Negative WOM 6 69% 67% 67% 65% 65% 45% 48% 47% 47% 52% Travel Media/Entertainment Food/Dining Retail/Apparel Financial 61% 56% 53% 53% 53% 36% 33% 38% 41% 42% Travel Retail/Apparel Media/Entertainment Telecom Technology Mostly Positive WOM Mostly Negative WOM % of WOM Rated Highly Credible/Likely to Lead to Action Credibility / Believability Likelihood to Pass Along Source: Keller Fay’s TalkTrack®, Oct. 2012 – Sept. 2013
  7. 7. © 2014 Keller Fay Group | Not to be quoted or distributed without written permission The Keller Fay Group Bringing best-in-class tools to word of mouth strategy and measurement

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