Dr. Martin Oetting and his colleagues at trnd, a Europe-based word of mouth marketing company, have released some interesting research based on a survey of 30,000 panel members. The study revealed that people were most likely to remember positive stories about products and companies, rather than negative. When asked about their latest word-of-mouth experience, an overwhelming majority (89 percent) of survey participants mentioned a positive story, while a mere 7 percent recalled a negative experience.
The study also found that some categories are more prone to negative word of mouth — such as transportation and telecom (communications) — than others. Yet, word of mouth about most FMCG products was positive.
These findings echo US studies, such as those from Keller Fay Group , which show that most word of mouth is positive.
What’s the takeaway? People want to pass along positive stories and feel good? Perhaps people are more likely to focus on what works vs. what does not because they want to experience the better things in life. I wonder how these findings would vary if we were to ask questions about political and social climate vs. products and companies. How would people report on the news they hear from the media, friends and family after being exposed to so many negative reports on the economy and political battles?