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Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand

Buzz: Harness the Power of Influence and Create Demand

by Ann O'Reilly, Ira Matathia, Marian Salzman

How to master the power of buzz
Trendspotters and bestselling authors Marian Salzman and Ira Matathia demystify buzz and show how marketers can create and leverage it for the success of their products and services. The world we inhabit is in constant flux, and the captive audience on which advertisers relied for years no longer exists. Branding today requires a


How to master the power of buzz
Trendspotters and bestselling authors Marian Salzman and Ira Matathia demystify buzz and show how marketers can create and leverage it for the success of their products and services. The world we inhabit is in constant flux, and the captive audience on which advertisers relied for years no longer exists. Branding today requires a flexibility and creativity that have thus far eluded many traditional practitioners. When there is no clear forum for communicating your brand message to the audience, you must have your audience do it for you. The authors show how and why buzz works, examining case studies like Kate Spade, Madonna, Bulgari, Ford, Nokia, and French Connection. They explore the role specific consumer groups play in setting trends, show how influence works, reveal the efficacy of shock ads, and explain how to manage brand momentum. This book is a dynamic guide that sheds new light on the topic of buzz using real-world examples and case studies that show how marketers can manufacture the seemingly authentic word-of-mouth to which today's cynical consumer responds.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Marian Salzman has a knack for telling you what you'll be doing before you know it yourself." (The Observer, 29 June 2003)

"...an enjoyable read, liberarally peppered with illuminating and insightful case studies..." (Marketing, 3 July 2003)

“…well covered…” (Gulf Business, July 2003)

“…brand owners must get their wares talked about. The question is: how? The authors of Buzz... believe they have an answer…”(Financial Times, 24 July 2003)

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Creating Demand By Harnessing Influence
The authors of Buzz, three seasoned trendspotters who coauthored Next: Trends for the Near Future, know "buzz," and offer numerous tips and strategies for harnessing its power. Together, they present numerous case studies and examples of how buzz works, who is using it to grow, and how it can be used to get people talking about a product or service.

Buzz marketing is the state of the art, and has become the best way for companies to spread their messages and products to the mainstream. Using clever advertising techniques and product launches, marketers are learning to go beyond traditional advertising to reach their prospects, and the authors of Buzz have analyzed what it is and present it to help marketers tap its limitless potential.

They write that buzz marketing works because audiences have become so fragmented that traditional marketing practitioners can no longer reach them like they once did. Buzz works best when there is no clear forum for communicating a brand message to an audience because it taps those in the audience to do the advertising themselves. Hence, watching proactive consumers, otherwise known as "prosumers," embrace a brand works to introduce others to the product because everyone else wants to be like them.

The Buzz Chain
The authors explain that every individual in a "buzz chain" has the freedom to accept or reject a branding message, which empowers them. Because the marketplace assails everyone with about 3,000 marketing messages each week, more radical and creative solutions are necessary to break through the clutter and make an impact on the consumer. Creating buzz includes using old-fashioned advertising in fresh ways, as well as using shocking, compelling and sometimes controversial selling techniques to reach consumers. The authors write that buzz marketing is not the same as publicity stunts and promotional extravaganzas. They view these as fleeting moments of hype. Buzz, on the other hand, carries consumer interest through to continued brand loyalty while eliciting empowerment and delight, and is generally conveyed through a trusted source in a one-on-one format.

The way buzz moves from person to person is word of mouth. According to a recent report, this valuable medium is responsible for influencing 67 percent of sales of U.S. consumer goods. The authors point out that there are those among us who wield a powerful influence on others because of the minds they influence: Alphas. They place a premium on the acquisition of new experiences and information. They are "cool," approachable and generous with their knowledge and connections. Alphas distinguish themselves from other consumers with their:

  • Insatiable hunger for stimulation.
  • Disregard for convention.
  • Urge to take risks.
Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Buzz Masters
The authors write that there is another group of consumers that could be an even greater asset when generating buzz. "Bees" are connected and communicative consumers who appropriate ideas from Alphas and translate them into usable and digestible information for the mainstream. Bees are buzz masters who serve as conduits through which information reaches the masses. The authors suggest that marketers should spend their time and money trying to reach Bees instead of Alphas because these are the people who actually move ideas and products.The next step in generating buzz is focusing on the right Bees. The authors remind marketers that:

  • People buzz about the ideas that have an impact on their lives: family, friends, romance, relationships.
  • People buzz when they are given access to exclusive information, products or services.
  • People buzz when they are passionate about something.
  • People buzz about the shocking or unexpected.

The authors warn marketers that they cannot take credit for buzz: Prosumers are the ones who will take a brand's message to an extended audience.

Why We Like This Book
The authors of Buzz offer numerous insights into the world of buzz marketing by defining the concept and explaining how marketers can tap into this important phenomenon. By stressing the importance of authenticity, relevance, real role models, and word of mouth, the authors demonstrate the incredible power of buzz and offer many important tips to those who would like to harness it. While providing hundreds of examples of how buzz has been and can be used, the authors also reveal numerous current trends that can be extremely valuable for those who want to grasp this powerful tool and use it to charge their brands. Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

MARIAN SALZMAN is a seasoned advertising executive and one of the world’s leading trendspotters. Chief Strategy Officer at Euro RSCG Worldwide, she is also the coauthor, with Ira Matathia and Ann O’Reilly, of the international bestseller Next: Trends for the Near Future. A trailblazer who was awarded the first online market-research franchise on AOL, Salzman is widely considered to be the inventor of online focus groups.
IRA MATATHIA is the bestselling coauthor of Next. He is also the Managing Director at Euro RSCG, MVBMS Partners, and a former president of Chiat/Day in Canada and New York. He is a well-known speaker on the international circuit.
ANN O’REILLY is a writer and editor who has worked for agencies such as Chiat/Day and Young & Rubicam. She currently serves as Editorial Director of S.T.A.R. (Strategic Trendspotting and Research) at Euro RSCG, and is also coauthor of Next.

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