Cognitive scientists claim 95% of all human thought is unconscious. New research tools are emerging which can help executives tap consumers’ unconscious thoughts to better understand their preferences. Filene Research Institute recently partnered with Doorway to Dreams Fund (D2D) to test one such methodolgy, called the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET).
ZMET is an innovative research methodology that elicits insights about human decision making through metaphors and storytelling. Using a sophisticated interview technique, researchers encourage consumers to create stories and identify images about their feelings related to a topic of study. From these stories emerge metaphors, messages, and imagery that professional marketers use to build brands and products (e.g., “Chevy, Like a Rock”). This study focuses on how Low and Moderate-Income consumers approach (1) money and savings, and (2) their children’s financial futures.
This report represents the first phase of our work on this topic . We are currently working with a handful of credit unions on phases two and three of this project. An updated version of this paper will be available in the second half of 2008.
Finally, special thanks goes to the National Credit Union Foundation for its generous financial support to make this study possible.