Cover image for How customers think : essential insights into the mind of the market
How customers think : essential insights into the mind of the market
Zaltman, Gerald.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Harvard Business School Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxii, 323 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
A voyage from the familiar -- A voyage to new frontiers -- Illuminating the mind : consumers' cognitive unconscious -- Interviewing the mind/brain. pt. a: Metaphor elicitation : appendix -- Interviewing the mind/brain, pt. b: Response latency and neuroimaging -- Come to think of it -- Reading the mind of the market : using consensus maps -- Memory's fragile power -- Memory, metaphors, and stories -- Stories and brands -- Crowbars for creative thinking -- Quality questions beget quality answers -- Launching a new mind-set.
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
HF5415.32 .Z35 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HF5415.32 .Z35 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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How to unlock the hidden 95 per cent of the customer's mind that traditional marketing methods have never reached. This title provides practical synthesis of the cognitive sciences. Drawing heavily on psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and linguistics, Zaltman combines academic rigor with real-world results to offer highly accessible insights, based on his years of research and consulting work with large clients like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble. An all-new tool kit: Zaltman provides research tools - metaphor elicitation, response latency, and implicit association techniques, to name a few - that will be all-new to marketers and demonstrates how innovators can use these tools to get clues from the subconscious when developing new products and finding new solutions, long before competitors do.

Author Notes

Gerald Zaltman is a Professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School and a Fellow at Harvard University's interdisciplinary Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Harvard Business School professor Zaltman notes that despite enormous amounts of time and money dedicated to customer surveys and marketing, approximately 80% of all new products fail within six months or fall significantly short of their profit forecast. This shouldn't be surprising, he convincingly argues, since "a great mismatch exists between the way consumers experience and think about their world and the methods marketers use to collect this information." He calls for creative questioning that probes the unconscious values underlying consumers' reactions to products and marketing campaigns. Drawing on an impressive array of recent multidisciplinary research, Zaltman is especially provocative on the importance of memory, metaphor and storytelling in customers' decision making and the ways marketers might use these findings. Marketers worried about the scale and complexity of the surveys Zaltman advocates will breathe a sigh of relief as he outlines efficient methods to develop a set of shared values in a target market by creatively interviewing a small sample of customers. In fact, large vision and practical application go hand-in-hand for Zaltman. He may caution, rather abstractly, that successfully gauging the mind of the market depends on developing creative surveys and quality thinking about information gathered, but he also reminds readers to frame campaigns for a product in terms that vividly communicate its function and its emotional appeal for consumers. Zaltman's smart, practical analysis and many success stories will hold special appeal for those facing competitive markets, as well as for those rethinking more limited marketing approaches. (Feb. 21) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Zaltman (marketing, Harvard Business School) offers an insightful new way of understanding consumers. In the first part of the book he suggests that marketers too often assume that consumers behave in a rational fashion and that consumer behavior can be studied and influenced independent of other behaviors. He then argues that a new paradigm recognizes that elements of "mind-brain-body-society" are interdependent and cannot be studied independently. Thought mostly occurs in the unconscious and is brought to consciousness largely through metaphors--and marketers' unconscious minds influence consumer behavior more than they realize. The bulk of the book (eight chapters) develops this theme using insights from a variety of disciplines such as neurology, cognitive science, sociology, and literary analysis. Throughout his argument, Zaltman offers numerous examples and experiences to illustrate his points. It is the final section that sets the book above so many others; it offers practical advice on how marketers can change their mindsets to more fully appreciate consumer complexity and, from this new perspective, capitalize on it. Any student, academic, or practitioner interested in better understanding consumer complexity will benefit from this fascinating but highly readable book. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections. G. Riecken Georgia Southern Univesity

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Part I Preparing for an Expedition
1 A Voyage from the Familiarp. 3
2 A Voyage to New Frontiersp. 27
Part II Understanding the Mind of the Market
3 Illuminating the Mind: Consumers' Cognitive Unconsciousp. 47
4 Interviewing the Mind/Brain: Metaphor Elicitationp. 73
Appendix The Metaphor-Elicitation Processp. 101
5 Interviewing the Mind/Brain: Response Latency and Neuroimagingp. 111
6 Come to Think of Itp. 129
7 Reading the Mind of the Market: Using Consensus Mapsp. 149
8 Memory's Fragile Powerp. 165
9 Memory, Metaphor, and Storiesp. 189
10 Stories and Brandsp. 211
Part III Thinking Differently and Deeply
11 Crowbars for Creative Thinkingp. 237
12 Quality Questions Beget Quality Answersp. 263
13 Launching a New Mind-Setp. 285
Notesp. 291
Indexp. 311
Acknowledgmentsp. 319
About the Authorp. 323