Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1394517
 
 

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The Effect of Need for Uniqueness on Word of Mouth


Amar Cheema


University of Virginia (UVA), McIntire School of Commerce

Andrew M. Kaikati


University of Georgia - Terry College of Business

2010

Journal of Marketing Research, 47, 553-63, 2010

Abstract:     
This research studies a psychosocial cost associated with positive word of mouth (WOM): positive WOM can decrease the uniqueness of one’s possessions, which hurts high-uniqueness individuals (pilot study 1). As a result, high- (vs. low-) uniqueness individuals are less willing to generate positive WOM for publicly consumed products that they own. However, high uniqueness does not decrease willingness to generate WOM for privately consumed products (studies 1 and 2) or for products that participants don’t intend to buy (study 2). The effect of uniqueness is more pronounced for WOM that includes positive recommendations, compared to WOM that only contains product details (study 2). Illustrating the process, pilot study 2 demonstrates that for publicly consumed products, WOM recommendations are perceived to be more persuasive than WOM that provides details. Study 3 confirms that high- (vs. low-) uniqueness consumers are less willing to recommend a public product to others, but are as willing to discuss product details. Study 4 analyzes content of real-world WOM and finds evidence that supports these results.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 11

Keywords: word of mouth, need for uniqueness, recommendations, social influence

JEL Classification: C91, C93, M31, M37, D82

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Date posted: April 25, 2009 ; Last revised: June 13, 2012

Suggested Citation

Cheema, Amar and Kaikati, Andrew M., The Effect of Need for Uniqueness on Word of Mouth (2010). Journal of Marketing Research, 47, 553-63, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1394517

Contact Information

Amar Cheema (Contact Author)
University of Virginia (UVA), McIntire School of Commerce ( email )
P.O. Box 400173
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4173
United States
434-924-3034 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.amarcheema.com
Andrew M. Kaikati
University of Georgia - Terry College of Business ( email )
Terry College of Business
111 Brooks Hall
Athens, GA 30602
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.terry.uga.edu/profiles/?person_id=829
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