Marketing managers of new products have long been interested in understanding how consumer word-of-mouth (WOM) can influence the financial success of products. While there is an extensive body of recent WOM research, empirical findings about the relationship between WOM and marketing outcomes tend to vary substantially across WOM types, contexts, research methods, marketing outcomes, and brand traits. This chapter endeavors to provide a more cohesive understanding about the current state of WOM research with a strong emphasis on considering how current insights are particularly relevant during the new product launch stage. The authors summarize recent studies about the antecedents of WOM as well as research that investigates the consequences of consumer WOM. They conclude their review and discussion by introducing a research framework for brands, WOM, and new products, and explain how the framework could be used by marketing scholars to direct future research efforts into this arena.
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