The creation of buzz and fame

Peter Field

Much has been written in recent years about the effectiveness-enhancing power of 'fame' or 'buzz', as it is variously referred to. Recent analysis of the IPA dataBANK (1) confirms this power, identifying fame as the single most effective broad communications strategy of those examined by the data.

Fame is not simply about generating brand awareness (which turns out to have limited value for most established brands). It is about building word-of-mouth advocacy for the brand – getting it talked about, creating authority for the brand and the sense that it is making most of the running in the category. Fame works – and it makes hard-pressed communications budgets stretch further by getting consumers to do some of the work. Fantastic; but why don't more brands court fame? It is clearly not straightforward to achieve.