With the growth of BBS and blogs in China, Internet Word of Mouth, or IWOM, has become an increasingly important issue for brands trying to understand and influence consumers. Sam Flemming, who tracks IWOM in China, has an interesting post on how Dell has learned to respond to the buzz online in an effective way.

After Dell’s colorful, new Inspiron line went out-of-stock due to unexpected demand, there was a spike in online buzz from frustrated consumers. While Dell could not resolve the delayed orders, they did communicate with netizens through their Direct2Dell blog. Rather than drawing the media’s attention through a traditional press release, Dell spoke directly to their consumers in a honest way, appeasing some of the netizens and avoiding a potentially larger issue.

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