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Marketing Metaphoria: What Deep Metaphors Reveal About the Minds of Consumers Hardcover – April 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1422121153 ISBN-10: 1422121151

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Customers are harder to pin down than we think and they must be listened to more carefully. For that insight alone, this book should be welcomed. --The Financial Times, May 22, 2008

For marketing managers who are interested in thinking deeply about their products/brands and their relationship with their customers, this book is a must buy. --AMA Book Review, June 25, 2008

About the Author

Gerald Zaltman is an emeritus professor at the Harvard Business School, and recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to marketing thought and practice. He has served on the Advisory Board of Harvard's "Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative." Lindsay Zaltman is Managing Director at Olson Zaltman Associates. His work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times, Fast Company, Business 2.0, and Variety. He has lectured extensively at various Fortune 500 companies and conferences.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422121151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422121153
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Anybody who has read "How Customers Think" will know that.
Mark
As a metaphor elicitation specialist I was wowed by some of the fine detail, such as the description of the relationship between deep metaphor and emotion.
Ms. J. S. Rees
The information is great and if you know what to do with it then you'll be very glad you read this book.
John Morgan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Felipe Korzenny on August 26, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read Gerald Zaltman's work over the years. Sometimes he has made real important contributions. This time I am afraid to say that he promises something he does not deliver.

His (their) "metaphor" approach is supposed to be the subject of the book. But instead of sharing how to go about uncovering metaphors, the authors spend their time reverse engineering commercials and providing ex-post-facto explanations that justify the "theory" of deep metaphors. Qualitative market researchers have been asking consumers for metaphors since I can remember. For about 30 years I have asked consumers to tell me "what is it like to" do something, etc. Consumers do respond with metaphors that can be very useful. So, what is so proprietary about this approach? To be fair the book offers a taxonomy of metaphors. But the taxonomy does little to help the marketer actually connect with the consumer (unless you buy their consulting services). Because metaphors work in-context, and in-culture, not in a vacuum. The authors attempt to erase the importance of culture by claiming that understanding universals is enough. That contributes to marketing misconceptions instead of advancing the discipline.

I would like to caution readers that this approach to attract clients to their practice is unlikely to advance our understanding of consumer behavior. Post-hoc rationalizations can be interesting, but anyone can explain past events. The problem is predicting them.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dave Lakhani VINE VOICE on May 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying I think that Gerald Zaltman is a marketing genius and I love all of his work including this book.

His detailed explanation of the deep myths that are effective in advertising and creating stories that sell is impressive. His research is clearly deep and insightful. But, he doesn't give a clear path to illiciting metaphors in your own group (he uses his proprietary process, Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique) and he gives more information about that in his previous book "How Customers Think." He also doesn't give a clear outline of how marketers might implement his findings in their own work. I'd like to have seen more specific examples around how you can apply these techniques in the stories you create.

This book deserves deep study though for the metaphors he idendifies and the motivating examples he uses to demonstrate each metaphor. With a little thought, creattivity and experimentation you'll be able to figure out how to apply them to your own creative and to your strategies.

The book is very easy to read and understand and in typical Zaltman fashion he makes very detailed research easy to understand and read. This along with his previous book should be on your regular research shelf. I realize I'm being a little picky about my criticism of this book but I'm so used to walking away feeling like I have new immediately implementable tools and this time I felt great but like he'd left some of his magic out and I missed it.

Get this book, you'll be very happy you did.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael McCarthy on June 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By way of full disclosure, I was a graduate assistant for Jerry Zaltman when he was a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Naturally, I've followed Jerry's many publications for these past 20 years and have never found the time I've invested in reading his latest ideas less than incredibly worthwhile.

Interestingly, I bought this book based solely on the title and my expectation that it would be full of new ideas and insights about how using metaphors in marketing tactics would influence consumer behavior. While this book does cover material related to that sort of thing, it really covers so much more. The first two chapters on thinking deeply, "Workable Wondering" and focusing on consumer similarities set the stage for how to take the insights and ideas from the next 7 chapters (one per each deep metaphor) and incorporate them into your own thinking. The last chapter ties things together and presents a number of ideas for how Deep Metaphors may influence a number of marketing strategies and tactics.

This book is written to stimulate your thinking about how Deep Metaphors apply in many areas of marketing and consumer behavior. It doesn't present a list of "to dos" or lay out a plan of action that you should follow. Instead, you'll find yourself seeing what you, your consumers and your competitors do in a new light.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julie Curtis on August 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
On the treadmill of front-line marketing, it's easy to get caught up in the never-ending lists and deadlines, rather than stepping back to think more broadly and deeply about who we really are, who we're trying to reach and what we're really trying to accomplish.

As I read the Zaltmans' Marketing Metaphoria, it felt like a sudden holiday getaway that whisked me away from my lists and deadlines and into a calmer, almost meditative place. Readable and engaging, this book helped me step back and reflect on the great metaphors that make humans tick. The Zaltmans' genius is in not only identifying these metaphors, but also helping the reader understand their relevance in marketing and communication strategy. The book does a beautiful job illustrating how "deep metaphors" are the story elements and images that create meaning and purpose in people's lives. With many great examples they also illustrate how insightful marketers can use these deep metaphors to create meaning and purpose for companies, brands and products in people's lives.

Like any great holiday getaway, at the end I was not only refreshed and rejuvenated, but I was changed for the better. This book's vivid examples and passion for the subject make it irresistible for marketing professionals to look for themselves, their customers, brands and companies amongst the metaphors - and to begin "deep thinking" about their work.

For anyone interested in more than just superficial communication, marketing, image or brand, this book will provide gratifying insights that change how you understand and craft the stories you tell.
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