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How customers think : essential insights into the mind of the market /

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A New Approach to Understanding How-and Why-Customers Buy Despite the resources spent on market research, nearly 80 percent of new offerings fail. The pattern is predictable: Customers say they want something, companies create it, and once it's available, customers don't buy it. Why? Is it because customers just don't know what they want? Gerald Zaltman sorts through this puzzle and concludes that, at some level, customers do know, but marketing's most overused tools-surveys, questionnaires, and focus groups-and conventional thinking don't dig deeply enough to help them discover and express it. In this mind-opening book, Zaltman argues that 95 percent of thinking happens in our unconscious. Therefore, unearthing your customers' desires requires you to understand the "mind of the market," that dynamic interplay between the consumers' and the marketers' thoughts that determines the outcome of every buying decision. Building on research from disciplines as diverse as neurology, sociology, literary analysis, and cognitive science, Zaltman offers rich insights into what happens within the complex system of mind, brain, body, and society as consumers contemplate their needs and evaluate products. Zaltman illustrates how leading companies are "mining the unconscious" "-with remarkable results, and introduces innovative tools and techniques that help marketers: * Develop research questions that speak to the unconscious brain. * Evoke valuable meaning through a customer's metaphors-and instill those images in brand communications. * Measure consumer reactions to marketing stimuli-and alter advertising or positioning strategies accordingly. * Build "consensus maps" that reflect a market segment's universal thinking-and reengineer them to boost customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales. * Understand how their own minds work-and how they can think in creative new ways. The mind of the market is waiting to be explored. Make sure your competitors don't get there first. BACK JACKET: "If you read this book carefully and actively, then you will never approach the disciplines of consumer behavior or market intelligence the same way again."-Anil Menon, Vice President, Worldwide Market Intelligence & Brand Strategy, IBM Corporation "This book is an enlightening convergence of business theory, case study analysis, brain science, and human nature. Zaltman is to be commended for his vision and creativity. His work in marketing innovation is the most significant to come along in some time."-Robert S. Scalea, Chief Strategy Officer, J. Walter Thompson, North America "How Customers Think moves easily among the data stores of brain science to make a powerfully compelling case that the world of marketing research cannot afford to ignore. Zaltman lucidly plucks some of the most intriguing and profound insights from our knowledge explosion today."-Kenneth S. Kosik, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School "Finally, a practical perspective on marketing that answers the question, 'Why haven't our approaches been working all these years?' How Customers Think clearly articulates why focus groups and traditional customer surveys fail to deliver competitive advantage. While the book delineates the significant limits of our 'legacy techniques,' it provides an equally clear action plan for delivering bankable insights. These ideas will turn marketing and research on its heels."-William L. McComb, President, McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals "The insight that companies need multidisciplinary science to fully comprehend and act upon customer behavior should factor heavily into any business leader's strategic planning process. This more holistic approach opens new and superior avenues to create competitive advantages in the never-ending fight for the customer's loyalty. Zaltman's book is invaluable to any CEO or marketing professional devoted to excellence."-Lars Pettersson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sandvik AB

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