Examining the Effectiveness of Firm-Sponsored Word-Of-Mouth Communications: the Role of Disclosure and Relationship Tie Strength

Andrew Kaikati, University of Minnesota
Rohini Ahluwalia, University of Minnesota
Firms are actively recruiting consumers to be word-of-mouth agents who talk to other people they know about the firms’ products, with a view to influencing their opinions and purchase behaviors. These agents can choose to disclose their firm-affiliations to others; however, the effect of disclosure on persuasion is not clear. We identify three factors that affect message persuasiveness under these settings: type of disclosure (forewarn vs. post-warn), relationship tie (strong vs. weak), and relational-interdependent self construal (high vs. low). The findings of two studies suggest that the type of disclosure matters, especially for consumers high in relational-interdependence, receiving product opinions from a consumer agent who is a friend.
[ to cite ]:
Andrew Kaikati and Rohini Ahluwalia (2008) ,"Examining the Effectiveness of Firm-Sponsored Word-Of-Mouth Communications: the Role of Disclosure and Relationship Tie Strength", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 221-224.