Thursday, April 11, 2002

Metaphor Marketing and Marketing Metaphors
I just spent the last hour working through an interesting exercise with Tom Fishburne, a student at the Harvard Business School. He's part of a team working on a research project looking at readers' impressions of and experiences with Fast Company. One of the tools they're using is the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), a "patented research tool which allows people to understand their own thinking more fully and to share this thinking with researchers."

Basically, Tom asked me to pick five photographs or images from magazines and newspapers that remind me of the magazine and working here -- and relate to my thoughts and feelings about FC. We spent the hour talking about what made me pick the images I selected, what I thought the pictures communicated, and how the pictures fit into my experiences working for Fast Company -- and what we do as an organization (and in the magazine). He took the pictures and my initial notes on them with him -- at my prompting -- so I can't get into what I said or how I feel, but I thought it might be useful to share some ZMET-related resources.

  • Storytelling: A New Way to Get Close to Your Customer
  • Metaphor Marketing
  • La Di Da on ZMET
  • ZMET for Metaphor Marketing
  • Emerging Perspectives, Summer 2001

    I've asked Tom to send me my pictures and notes when he's done with them. Perhaps I'll be able to share more upon my return.
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