The one-sentence summary

Generating word of mouth is the cheapest way to generate brand publicity, but you have to start it.


  • Everyone has a different definition of buzz, but roughly it has to be organic, centred on conversational value, peer driven, and spread outwards from trend setters to trend spreaders and on to the mainstream
  • The only thing consumers trust these days is personal experience
  • Word of mouth (WOM) should be renamed WORM because of the way it insinuates itself into the conscious
  • There is a Buzz Continuum which runs from the lunatic fringe (2%), to the Alphas (8%), to the Bees (20%), to the mainstream (50%), to the laggards (20%)
  • Much of buzz marketing lies in the critical zone between “best kept secret” and “everyone’s doing it”


  • It is probably worth trying to explain and categorise a phenomenon which plays a large part of modern marketing but is quite hard to describe
  • Media saturation is nicely summarised: “a single weekday edition of the New York Times contains more data than a typical c.17 citizen of England would have encountered in a lifetime”
  • It acknowledges the similarity to the Tipping Point book and tries to build on it by explaining the role of superconnectors and by adding a degree of quantification and case history work to the concept
  • It offers four springboards to generate buzz:

1. Cultivate a culture of creativity

2. Give ‘em (consumers) what they always wanted

3. Capture the moment

4. Challenge the conventions

  • It is honest enough to include advice on how to handle negative buzz as well as generate the positive – a form of crisis management


  • The thinking is not particularly original. It is very much a reorganisation of lots of other recent work that covers influencers, tipping points, and how to seed trends in influential minorities in order to ignite mass acceptance
  • It is written by people who work for Euro RSCG, so it is rather self-congratulatory and from time to time strays into the realm of credentials