Word of mouth: The case for disloyalty

Justin Kirby

Research shows that stimulating advocacy for FMCG products is best achieved through customers who are not loyal to the brand and who have a contacts network who don't currently buy it

In the ‘dog eat dog’ world of customer acquisition and retention, it is commonly believed that your most loyal customers are your greatest allies when it comes to converting others. Naturally, you'd want these loyal customers to be the key participants in marketing campaigns designed to drive product recommendations. Or would you?

For the past five years, we have been running consumer engagement campaigns with our Yooster panel in Australia, designed to gain market insight and foster advocacy for FMCG/CPG brands and products.

The London School of Economics & Political Science's Dr Alain Samson recently conducted an independent investigation by analysing the secondary data from a selection of Yooster campaigns. He detailed the results in an academic paper, ‘Product usage and firm-generated word of mouth: some results from FMCG product trials’ (International Journal of Market Research, vol 52, no 4, 2010).