The Effect of Uniqueness on Word-Of-Mouth Agency: the Moderating Roles of Product Category and Availability

Amar Cheema, Washington University in St. Louis, USA
Andrew Kaikati, University of Minnesota, USA
This research explores psychosocial benefits and costs associated with WOM agency. We demonstrate that while being a WOM agent may be attractive for consumers who are market mavens, WOM agency may hurt consumers who are high in their need for uniqueness. Study 1 demonstrates that the detrimental effect of WOM agency is greater for publicly consumed than for privately consumed luxury products. Study 2 replicates the hypothesized effect by manipulating uniqueness. Study 3 identifies boundary conditions for this effect: the effect of need for uniqueness on public luxury products is attenuated when the product is not available for general purchase.
[ to cite ]:
Amar Cheema and Andrew Kaikati (2007) ,"The Effect of Uniqueness on Word-Of-Mouth Agency: the Moderating Roles of Product Category and Availability", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 519-521.