Sunday, April 01, 2007

WOM; Being Mother Nature

-->When it comes to skiing, WOM remains an extremely powerful influencer. I often completely build my entire skiing weekend plans around a single WOM episode, involving a suggestion from an individual. The All-East-Pass has provided me with a unique flexibility allowing me to ski five great mountains within New England for one fixed price. Every weekend I persevere to travel to one of these five options to accumulate the most benefit for my initial investment. However, I frequently find myself traveling to other mountains as a result of single conversations with other skiing enthusiasts. Despite the additional costs of lift tickets associated with skiing resorts that are not included on my pass, I hardly ever question the integrity of a fellow skier’s recommendation. Moreover, I have yet to have a bad experience at a mountain, which was specifically recommended by another skier. Keep in mind; most of these recommendations derive from individuals whom I have no prior relationship with, which emphasizes the strength of the suggestion. So why is it that WOM is so effective in driving skiers to different mountains? Is it that every diehard skier desires to remain “in the know” and they all take the lead of a suggestion to articulate this? Or could it be that the skier community has such a tight clandestine relationship with each individual in the community demonstrating harmonious interests with everyone in the community, and out of trust, only the legitimate recommendations are spoken. Could WOM take on the personality of both “credibility” and “influencer.” I challenge the class or any other blog viewers to come up with an industry, which reflects such a powerful influence of WOM.
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4 comments:

kitch24 said...

Just a thought...perhaps the restaurant industry rivals that of the skiing industry. Although, many people have very different tastes meaning an individual who loves one restaurant might suggest it to a friend who ends up hating the same place. Additionally, the variable of the large volume of selections on the menu, as well as the different wait-staff which might service a consumer all contribute the very different experiences that one customer might have compared to another customer within the same setting. I think the skiing industry is still most affected by WOM.

kfalcs said...

I also think that the communities that arise in the sports world, are incomparable to anything else. Almost like teammates, when someone shares a passion for the same sport that you do, there forms an instant sort of comaraderie. While the feelings of trust may be an illusion, I think a respect is often attached to someone who shares a passion such as skiing. While an advertising attempts to play the role of your fellow skier, you know better.

Megan said...

I was thinking that the WOM surrounding surfing is probably similar--my feeling is that because skiing and surfing can be either amazing or extremely dangerous depending on the conditions (although I've honestly never done either), the conversations are reflective of that. From an outsider's perspective, maybe part of the reason that skiing communities are so close-knit, even relationships between strangers, because everyone knows their doing something potentially dangerous and they look out for each other. So, skiing and surfing communities could recommend or discourage peers depending on how the action was, and the trust legitimizes the WOM.

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