Buzz Marketing

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There is no doubt that the implementation of positive Buzz marketing can lead to great results for brands, products and services. This is largely due to the impact that word of mouth marketing can have when one individual spreads information about a brand across internet blogs in the technologically driven era. However, before dissecting the impact of Buzz marketing and the channels in which buzz marketing is received, it is important to understand the exact role of buzz marketing from a promotional perspective.


It is fair to say that the ‘Buzz’ – created through word of mouth - represents the process by which information of a specific brand, product or service, is transmitted from one individual to the next. While this process can be set up by marketers to ensure that products are subject to Buzz, there is a belief that Buzz Marketing is completely out of a company’s control: “Buzz marketing is something that takes on a life of its own. I do not know that you can create it, but you can put your brand in a position to take advantage of grassroots opportunities” (Littman, 2008, pg 19). Littman’s diagnosis of Buzz marketing helps us gain a greater definition of the process itself. It appears that Buzz marketing is better understood as the public’s response to the qualities and functions of a product, brand or service, rather, than the deliberate plan of a marketer. Littman further suggests that Buzz Marketing is “getting the media talking and saying nice things about your brand” (Littman, 2008, pg 18).

'marketing tactics vs beyond marketers control'

Littman’s article gives the illusion that Buzz Marketing in beyond the control of the Marketers, there has been instances where by companies have been successful in encouraging the Buzz amongst its consumers. Dye speaks of the myths surrounding Buzz Marketing, by questioning that “Buzz just happens” (Dye, 2000, pg 142). To counter Littman’s buzz philosophy, Rye suggests, “buzz is increasingly the result of shrewd marketing tactics in which companies seed a vanguard group, ration supplies, use celebrations to generate buzz, leverage the power of lists and initiate grassroots marketing.” Dye’s suggestion highlights that companies can deliberately push for the buzz and control the communicative response from consumers. Dye then reinforces this by stating “not all customers are created equal, the vanguard have disproportionate ability to shape public opinion”. She extends with example of Abercrombie & Fitch which actually promotes students from popular fraternities and sororities to work in stores. They naturally wear the A&F clothes more frequently in doing so endorse the fashions. Company have also seen to ration supply, both Disney and Volkawagen have used such tactics with their product. Disney in 1991 have introduced the “disappearing classics” campaign, where they would retire certain video, allowing limited time to purchase them.

More recently Volkawagen one year after introduction of their retro beetle, they implemented a internet-only sales in two new colours “vapour blue” and “reflex yellow” with exactly 2,000 cars available in each colour. Not only did it prove to be additional round of publication for the already popular cars, it created its own share of buzz. Within two week consumers quickly snapped up half of the limited edition models. Rye also emphasises the importance in using exploit icons to beget buzz, celebrity endorsement is commonly used and proved to be effective. Literary publicists eagerly lobby staffers at Harpo, knowing that many books Oprah Winfrey selects for her book club pole-vault onto the New-York best sellers list. Finally it was buzz marketing that facilitated Harley’s Davidson remarkable turnaround against its Japanese rivals. Harley relied on word of mouth through its newly established Harley’s Owners group. It was their sole purpose to create a identity,...
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