Language Use in Word of Mouth

Gaby Schellekens, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Peeter Verlegh, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Ale Smidts , Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
This research examines speakers’ use of language abstraction in word of mouth and the effects of abstraction on receivers of WOM. First, we examine when and why consumers use more concrete or more abstract descriptions of experiences and demonstrate that (in)consistencies between brand attitudes and experiences lead consumers to systematically vary language abstraction when describing a product experience. Second, we argue that language abstraction can be used strategically and show that a persuasion goal systematically affects the description of a product experience. Third, we find that the language abstraction in a message affects the buying intention of receivers.
[ to cite ]:
Gaby Schellekens, Peeter Verlegh, and Ale Smidts (2010) ,"Language Use in Word of Mouth", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 98-101 .