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Connecting with Consumers Using Deep Metaphors

Published: May 5, 2008, HBS Working Knowledge

Author: Martha Lagace

Think of famous brands you know: Hallmark cards and Coca-Cola soft drinks, for example. What do these products have in common for consumers? An emotional meaning that taps into thoughts and feelings related to the positive aspects of transformation, according to Gerald Zaltman and Lindsay Zaltman, authors of Marketing Metaphoria: What Deep Metaphors Reveal about the Minds of Consumers (HBS Press, 2008). Transformation is just one metaphor that finds expression in products that satisfy deeply held consumer needs and desires. Other metaphors they notice include balance, journey, and connection.

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