Gerald Zaltman

No matter how radical a new product is, it will always be perceived initially in terms of some frame of reference. It is essential that this frame be understood, especially if it is an inappropriate one detrimental to early trial of the product.

Connecting with Consumers Using Deep Metaphors

Consumer needs and desires are not entirely mysterious. In fact, marketers of successful brands regularly draw on a rich assortment of insights excavated from research into basic frames or orientations we have toward the world around us, according to HBS professor emeritus Gerald Zaltman and Lindsay Zaltman, authors of Marketing Metaphoria. Here’s a Q&A and book excerpt.

Hearing the Voice of the Market: Competitive Advantage Through Creative Use of Market Information

Hearing the Voice of the Market provides a detailed plan that enables managers throughout the organization to make more frequent and better use of market information. The book shows managers how to develop the two capabilities that distinguish the successful, market-oriented firm–competent curiosity, and competent knowledge use. The two are closely linked: inadequate information cannot be used well, and sound information is wasted if it … [ Read more ]

How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market

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 … [ Read more ]