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Article

Charles Hancock and Carley Foster

This paper aims to explore how the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET) can be adopted in services marketing to provide deeper customer experience insights.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET) can be adopted in services marketing to provide deeper customer experience insights.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores how ZMET interviews, which use images selected by the participant to facilitate discussion, can be used by researchers. This paper draws upon a study of 24 student experiences at a UK university.

Findings

Adopting this qualitative method for services marketing can counter depth deficit when compared to other qualitative approaches, because it is participant led. However, the method requires competent interview skills and time for the interview and analysis. We find that ZMET has not been widely adopted in academia because of its commercial licenced use. The paper illustrates how to use the ZMET process step-by-step.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are limited to student experiences. Further research is necessary to understand how researchers could use ZMET in other areas of services marketing.

Practical implications

This paper provides guidance to researchers on how to use ZMET as a methodological tool. ZMET facilitates a deeper understanding of service experiences through using participant chosen images and thus enabling researchers to uncover subconscious hidden perceptions that other methods may not find.

Originality/value

ZMET has been used commercially to gain market insights but has had limited application in service research. Existing studies fail to provide details of how ZMET can be used to access the consumer subconscious. This paper makes a methodological contribution by providing step-by-step guidance on how to apply ZMET to services marketing.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article

Mingjie Ji and Brian King

Scholars have rarely applied an embodied perspective when studying hospitality experiences. They have given even less attention to methodological considerations. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Scholars have rarely applied an embodied perspective when studying hospitality experiences. They have given even less attention to methodological considerations. This paper aims to introduce Zaltman’s Metaphor elicitation Technique (ZMET) to explore various domains of the embodied experience.

Design/methodology/approach

In demonstrating the applicability of the ZMET procedure to understanding embodied hospitality experiences, the researchers present a study of emotional encounters that involve the dining experiences of Chinese tourists with Western cuisine. The focus of the paper is on data collection, i.e. detailing the step-wise procedures of ZMET that have received minimal scholarly attention.

Findings

Through the medium of this empirical study, the ZMET example uncovers deep metaphors and answers previously unanswered questions about embodied experiences. The detailed information and nuanced insights that are generated through this ZMET application offer the prospect of enhanced understanding of the hospitality experience.

Originality/value

This investigation contributes an innovative research method to the embodied experience in the hospitality and tourism context.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 30 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article

Carl Johan Lagerkvist, Julius J. Okello and Nancy Karanja

The purpose of this paper is to examine consumers’ perception of food safety for vegetables at traditional urban market outlets in a developing country context and test…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine consumers’ perception of food safety for vegetables at traditional urban market outlets in a developing country context and test whether curiosity-motivated information acquisition and personal control over choice of stimuli influence consumer involvement, resulting in more differentiated mental models.

Design/methodology/approach

The Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) in standard and modified form was used to develop consumers’ mental models for food safety.

Findings

The cognitive content and structure of aggregated consumers’ mental models were identified and mapped. The maps included negative and positive meanings, indicating a need to tackle the hygiene problems prevailing in most traditional markets. ZMET generated a more differentiated map when people were empowered with a camera to collect stimuli.

Research limitations/implications

Using ZMET to understand food safety perceptions avoids consumers being led in their responses, views and feelings about food safety.

Practical implications

Policy, regulatory frameworks and marketing actions by value chain actors in the fresh vegetable subsector should give priority to tackling the hygiene problem prevalent in most traditional markets in developing countries.

Originality/value

This paper provides novel needs-driven theoretical and practical insights into the actual meaning representation of food safety, which actually drives consumer thoughts and behaviour. Making use of a camera in the collection of self-provided images for the ZMET interview led to higher levels of involvement and further differentiation of mental models.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Book part

Po-Ju Chen

This study adopted the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) because of its sophisticated imaging techniques in eliciting mental models. Scholars across…

Abstract

This study adopted the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) because of its sophisticated imaging techniques in eliciting mental models. Scholars across disciplines have been exploring paradigms beyond positivism due to the question about the adequacy of quantitative measures to capture complete accounts and to deal with vital problems. The marketing literature also advocates the need of a new methodology to examine consumers’ underlying thought and behavior that might help alleviate the industry's inability to translate research findings directly into practices. This study elicited tourists’ mental models, which were depicted on an integrated consensus map with three metaphoric themes. Marketers might translate these metaphoric themes directly into practices. The results of this study strongly support the use of qualitative methodology, more specifically the ZMET, as a means for obtaining the underlying tourists’ behavior that often remain far beyond the reach of traditional research methods.

Details

Advances in Hospitality and Leisure
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1489-8

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Article

Chiara Mauri

This paper aims to shed light on the demand side of sustainability, that is, on its perceived meaning. The goal is to understand how people think of sustainability, the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to shed light on the demand side of sustainability, that is, on its perceived meaning. The goal is to understand how people think of sustainability, the concepts they evoke when they talk of sustainability and the images and symbols they use to explain these concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a mixed method. First, ten individuals are interviewed using the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET), a protocol developed by Gerald Zaltman in the early 1990s. The concepts and categories emerging from the ZMET have been analyzed, integrated and classified to identify key dimensions.

Findings

Ten concepts related to sustainability are the most recurring in the ZMET: problems and solutions, individual behavior, environment and ecosystem, technologies and innovations, social fairness, food and nutrition, mobility, education and mindfulness, sustainable development and utopia/ideal world.

Research limitations/implications

Ten interviews is a small number to provide a comprehensive analysis of all the meanings of sustainability. To obtain a more complete picture, the number of interviews may need to be increased to 15–20.

Practical implications

The fact that the two concepts appearing with the highest frequency in the ZMETs are “problems and solutions” and “individual behavior” signals that though people understand that there are many problems to be solved in the world as it is now, even the single individual can contribute with his/her behavior.

Social implications

Sustainability is an issue that involves society as a whole; hence, its improvement requires concerted political action coordinated at the national and local levels. The key point of this action is education of people, to make them aware of what sustainability really is.

Originality/value

Although the literature on sustainability is rather abundant, extant literature has mainly focused on the supply/managerial side such as sustainable and responsible companies, corporate social responsibility and also sustainable tourism. This paper sheds some light on the more neglected side of the demand perspective.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

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Article

Philip Sugai

To define the similarities and differences in perceptions that mobile consumers in culturally distinct markets hold towards the mobile internet.

Abstract

Purpose

To define the similarities and differences in perceptions that mobile consumers in culturally distinct markets hold towards the mobile internet.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET), mental maps between consumers from Indonesia and Japan were developed and compared.

Findings

Results showed clear structural similarities between aggregate maps, while differences were found in experiential factors such as technical infrastructure or the underlying business model. The main barriers to widespread consumer adoption of the mobile internet were not found in cognitive structures unique to individual markets, but appeared instead to be caused by inefficiencies within the wireless ecosystem.

Research limitations/implications

These results identified factors from a number of pre‐existing theories relevant to the mobile platform, suggesting the need to develop a new, more inclusive theory of mobile consumer behavior. ZMET was also shown to be an effective comparative analysis tool applicable to cross‐cultural research.

Practical implications

Marketers can establish sustainable competitive advantage by effectively addressing the many negative aspects consumers raised about the MobileNet. Additionally, these results suggest that the mobile platform can serve as the foundation for truly co‐creative marketing initiatives.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to explore the cognitive structure and content of consumer perceptions of the mobile internet. This study was also the first to apply ZMET as a comparative tool, as well as the first to extend ZMET to include composite weights of construct dyads.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article

George Anghelcev, Mun-Young Chung, Sela Sar and Brittany R.L. Duff

Successful marketing communication campaigns require a thorough assessment of the public's current perceptions and attitudes toward the topic of the campaign. Such…

Abstract

Purpose

Successful marketing communication campaigns require a thorough assessment of the public's current perceptions and attitudes toward the topic of the campaign. Such insights are most likely attained if a range of research methods are employed. However, in the area of pro-environmental campaigns, there has been an over-reliance on quantitative surveys. To illustrate the benefits of complementary, qualitative approaches, this paper reports a qualitative investigation of perceptions of climate change among young South Koreans.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a variant of the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), a hybrid protocol which combines photo elicitation with metaphor analysis of subsequent in-depth individual interviews. Unlike survey research, ZMET uncovers the emotional, interpretive and sensory mental structures which, along with factual knowledge, make up the public mindset about climate change.

Findings

The analysis revealed a multifaceted mental model of climate change, whereby factual, interpretive and emotional knowledge is organized around themes of loss, human greed, affective distress and iconic representations of tragic endings. The causal dynamics of climate change are construed along a continuum of psychological distance, with antecedents placed in proximity and effects assigned to distant temporal, geographical and psychological spaces.

Practical implications

Four message strategies for climate change mitigation campaigns are identified based on the findings.

Originality/value

The study makes a methodological argument for supplementing survey research with image-based qualitative investigations in the formative stages of pro-environmental campaigns. More specifically, the article demonstrates the applicability of ZMET to social marketing communication. Apart from the methodological implications, this appears to be the first in-depth qualitative investigation of public perceptions of climate change in East Asia, a populous and fast developing region which has become a major contributor to the world’s carbon emissions, and an important player in the global effort toward mitigation.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

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Book part

James Forr, Glenn L. Christensen and Eric D. DeRosia

Many forecasting methodologies used in the new product development process are superficial techniques that either fail to incorporate the voice of the consumer or only…

Abstract

Many forecasting methodologies used in the new product development process are superficial techniques that either fail to incorporate the voice of the consumer or only touch on superficial consumer attitudes while completely ignoring the affectively laden hedonic aspects of consumption. This chapter demonstrates how a relatively new qualitative methodology, the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), can provide managers with insight into the critical psychosocial and emotional landscape which frames how consumers react to a new offering. These insights can be leveraged at any stage of the new product development process to forecast and fine-tune deep consumer resonance with a product offering.

Details

Advances in Business and Management Forecasting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-787-2

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Article

Ibrahim Taylan Dortyol

This research aims to uncover consumers' deeply hidden thoughts and feelings about store scent and its effects on shopping experiences.

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to uncover consumers' deeply hidden thoughts and feelings about store scent and its effects on shopping experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a qualitative approach, this research uses Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET). All the steps of the ZMET have been performed, and important constructs and contents have been explored.

Findings

Ultimately, a hierarchical value map was presented. Accordingly, the naturalness and intensity of the scent played a prominent part in its effectiveness. The pleasantness and complexity of the scent, the malodor, congruity and incongruity of the scent, as well as nostalgia, were seen as the predominant originator constructs that resulted in approach or avoidance reactions.

Research limitations/implications

These findings have practical implications for managers seeking to design a store atmospherics making way for consumers to engage with the store and the brand. The cultural milieu in which the study was performed could be seen as a possible limitation of the study. This cultural angle should also be taken into consideration while the findings were considered.

Originality/value

Using ZMET as an innovative research method makes the study significant. By doing so, the metaphors of consumption are extended to the sensory marketing field to provide a more comprehensive understanding on the effects of store scent. Moreover, the study contributes to the existing literature of smell marketing.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Article

Dag Håkon Haneberg and Lise Aaboen

The purpose of the present paper is to explore entrepreneurial learning at the centre of communities of practice.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present paper is to explore entrepreneurial learning at the centre of communities of practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Learning perspectives from the community of practice concept are applied to interpret and discuss results from an in-depth empirical investigation using a novel qualitative method, the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET), to study the entrepreneurial learning behaviour of ten coaches in a student venture incubator. The coaches are students with a certain level of entrepreneurial experience. Given their coaching roles and practices, the coaches are considered “community insiders”.

Findings

The findings show how the socially situated entrepreneurial learning of community insiders could be considered an adaptive process following multiple learning trajectories depending on with whom and about what the entrepreneur involves in social relationships.

Practical implications

Policy makers seeking to facilitate communities of practice should enable learning activities for community insiders and organic development in addition to networking events and support for the entire ecosystem in order to enable bridging of communities of practice.

Originality/value

The present paper focuses on the entrepreneurial learning of community insiders using a novel qualitative method, ZMET. The paper empirically demonstrates that community insiders learn through an adaptive process and participation in multiple communities of practice. This is both in interaction with the nascent entrepreneurs whom they coach as well as when interacting with other community insiders.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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