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BAR - Brazilian Administration Review

versão On-line ISSN 1807-7692


CLARO, Danny Pimentel  e  BORTOLUZZO, Adriana Bruscato. Profiling the Buzz Agent: Product Referral and the Study of Social Community and Brand Attachment. BAR, Braz. Adm. Rev. [online]. 2015, vol.12, n.2, pp.209-228. ISSN 1807-7692.

The buzz agent is any consumer perceived by others as a source of product referral. Previous literature in word of mouth (WOM) has looked into characteristics of individuals who successfully persuade others to choose a brand. While there have been studies in this field, the literature is still scattered and little has been done to profile the consumer playing the buzz-agent role. We aim to deepen our understanding about the consumer who must be recruited as a buzz agent by a firm in a WOM marketing (WOMM) initiative. The proposed profile is comprised of three key characteristics: the consumer's position in the social community, nature of ties in the community and brand attachment. We tested our hypotheses with a survey of 542 consumers from a controlled population. Rather than relying on self-reported questions about referral behavior, we asked respondents in the population to name the individuals to whom the respondents go to obtain information to help pick a brand. This accurately pinpoints which individuals fit the profile of a buzz agent. Results show that buzz agents are popular in their social community (friends and tech experts), carry dissimilar brands as target consumers and are product experts. Our study identifies a profile of consumers that helps firms select buzz agents for WOMM initiatives.

Palavras-chave : buzz agent; word of mouth; social community; brand.

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