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Article review: The buzz on buzz. Essay

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Updated: Dec 9th, 2019

The article overview

The present article deals with such important phenomenon as buzz about products. The author focuses on the myths concerning this phenomenon. Dye (2000) also reveals the most effective strategies to create buzz.

Dye (2000) notes that many marketers think that buzz is an “explosive self-generating demand” phenomenon (as cited in Dye, 2000, p. 140). However, the author argues that buzz can be predicted and it can be also created as it also follows certain rules and principles. Dye (2000) provides certain myths existing in the world of business.

Thus, the first myth is concerned with the type of products which can evoke buzz. Thus, the researcher states that not only outrageous products can be “buzz-worthy” (Dye, 2000, p. 140). The second myth is that buzz cannot be created as it just happens. The author depicts several strategies to create buzz.

Dye (2000) claims that it is important to give the product to vanguard (those who can shape other people’s preferences), to create ration supply as people tend to have products that are unavailable for others, to use icons (celebrities) to create buzz, to understand the influence of lists and to focus on creating grass roots (i.e. addressing community).

The third myth is concerned with the audience to address to create buzz. Some think that the target audience will create much buzz. However, Dye (2000) provides examples that verify that it is possible to achieve success addressing quite unexpected groups of people who will create much buzz.

The fourth myth the author debunks is connected with the period of time to act. Thus, Dye (2000) states that companies should not necessarily react when buzz is at its highest. Finally, the fifth myth is concerned with the use of media.

Thus, the author claims that the use of media can lead to negative outcomes, as people can feel that they are pushed to make this or that decision. Finally, Dye (2000) reflects upon the future of buzz. The researcher claims that the Internet (forums, websites) will play an important (or even crucial) role in creating buzz.

Key points

One of the most important findings of the author is the idea that buzz can be generated. Importantly, the author highlights the products which can evoke buzz. Actually, almost all types of products can evoke buzz. Notably, products associated with entertainment, recreation and health can be largely or partially driven by this phenomenon. However, there are products which are immune to it: oil, gas, utilities.

The author also portrays features of products which are likely to evoke buzz. These are uniqueness (be it functionality, price, look, etc.) and visibility (people should see the products used by others).

Of course, this information can affect marketing strategy of any company. More so, it can affect market. Thus, companies can understand to what extent to rely on word of mouth while marketing this or that product or service.

Apart from this, the author reveals myths concerning buzz. Basically, these myths can be regarded as typical mistakes made by marketers. For instance, one of the greatest misconceptions is that excessive advertising can lead to word of mouth.

Thus, the author notes that such advertising can make people feel that they are being persuaded and they are being manipulated. Of course, this will lead to opposite effects. This finding does shape marketing strategy as companies which want to make use of word of mouth will try to use media (TV, radio, print advertisement is also included) moderately.

Those who make a decision to create buzz should forget about conventional strategies or at least rethink the strategies they are going to use.

Admittedly, the author’s remark concerning the use of the Internet is one of the central findings. Nowadays marketers have already acknowledged the great power of the Internet. Dye (2000) suggests that the use of forums and creation of certain websites is beneficial for developing buzz.

It is possible to add that social networks contribute greatly to the development of buzz. Marketers can focus on these means to create buzz about their products.

Follow-on research

It is possible to state that the article under consideration was written when people only started understanding the power of the Internet. The word of mouth was regarded as some phenomenon which could hardly be understood and analyzed. The article in question was one of the first to show that this phenomenon can be studied and used when marketing products.

Now many researchers provide various strategies to market products with the help of word of mouth. For instance, Duan et al. (2008) focus on such online means as online reviews. The researchers report that online ratings do not affect films’ box office revenues. Nonetheless, the authors add that the number of online reviews drastically affects films’ box office revenues.

Thus, Duan et al. (2008) focus on one of the manifestations of word of mouth. Companies can use this information to develop buzz about their products as the number of discussions does affect popularity of the product. Likewise, Berger and Schwartz (2011) claim that word of mouth affects sales. The researchers focus on psychological aspect of the issue.

They try to understand what can evoke word of mouth. They try to understand what makes people talk about products and eventually buy products. The researchers also emphasize the role of the Internet (especially social networking) in their article. Admittedly, these data can help companies develop successful strategies to develop new products and to market them.


It is important to note that the present article provides valuable insights that can shape the process of product development. Thus, Dye (2000) portrays the features of the products that evoke word of mouth. Therefore, while developing new products companies should pay attention to these features. For instance, it is essential to make the product unique.

Companies should understand that the product should have at least one unique characteristic feature (look or efficiency, etc.). It is also important to make sure that the product (and its uniqueness) is visible. Thus, the company should make sure that the product can be recognizable. This will make people interested in the product.

This will make people talk about the product. This will inevitably lead to buzz. It is also important to understand that word of mouth does affect sales, so it is also necessary to debunk all myths concerning this phenomenon to work out the most effective marketing strategy.

Finally, it is also important to think of the most appropriate marketing strategy when developing product as these two processes are interconnected. The present article provides information that verifies this statement as it contains examples when word of mouth created demand in products that were only in the stage of development.

Reference List

Berger, J. & Schwartz, E.M. (2011). What drives immediate and ongoing word of mouth? Journal of Marketing Research, 48(5), 869-880.

Duan, W., Gu, B. & Whinston, A.B. (2008). Do online reviews matter? – An empirical investigation of panel data. Decision Support Systems, 45(4), 1007-1016.

Dye, R. (2000). The buzz on buzz. Harvard Business Review, 78(6), 139-146.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Article review: The buzz on buzz'. 9 December.

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