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San Diego State University

Fowler College of
Business Administration

Intellectual Contribution

Investigating How Word of Mouth about Brands Influences Purchase and Retransmission Intentions
Baker, A., Donthu, N., Kumar, V.
Type of Research
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Contribution Type
Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Contribution Category
Publication Title
Journal of Marketing Research
Digital Object Identifier
This study investigates how valence, channel, and strength of the social tie of a word-of-mouth (WOM) conversation about a brand impact the purchase intentions and WOM retransmission intentions of WOM recipients. The analysis uses a nationally-representative sample of 186,775 individual conversations on 804 different brands. The authors found insights linking WOM valence, WOM channel and social tie strength that could not be revealed had the WOM conversations been analyzed in an aggregated form. The findings contribute to research investigating differences between offline WOM and online WOM. The authors find that the relationship of WOM valence with purchase intentions is exacerbated when the conversation occurs offline, while offline conversations tended to be more strongly associated with WOM retransmission intentions regardless of the conversation's valence. The results also provide insights into how interpersonal characteristics influence WOM outcomes. Specifically, the authors find that the strength of the social tie relationship does tend to influence a WOM receiver's intentions to purchase a brand; however, social tie strength had a much less significant impact on a consumer's WOM retransmission intentions.