Human Nature and the power of buzz
Every once in a while I get a mail that warns me of something terrible that could happen to me if I consumed that soft drink, or if I used those plastic bags in my freezer, if I held my mobile phone close to my ear...
Now none of these have a grain of truth in them. They are hoaxes. Yet people never bother to check the veracity of what is being said, instead forward such mails to others on their mailing list.
Ever wonder why?
Well, its part of our nature to want to help. It makes us feel good about ourselves. Our good deed for the day is thus done. We like us a little better now. Now, that's exactly why buzz works. Its our inherent desire to want to inform others about our experiences, which we believe would be useful to them, that makes us spread the word. In effect, this is the genesis to 'word of mouth'.
Marketers need to careful about word of mouth because of the 'credibility' it carries. A positive word of mouth can do wonders as much as a negative one can even kill a product.