Analysis of Consumers Through ZMET Confirm Comfort and Safety Items as of the Preferred Choice of Car

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1 PMKT Revista Brasileira de Pesquisas de Marketing, Opinião e Mídia ISSN: (Impressa) ISSN: (On-line) Editor: Fauze Najib Mattar Sistema de avaliação: Triple Blind Review Idiomas: Português e Inglês Publicação: ABEP Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Pesquisa Analysis of Consumers Through ZMET Confirm Comfort and Safety Items as of the Preferred Choice of Car Análise de Consumidores Por Meio do ZMET Confirmam Conforto e Segurança como Itens de Preferência na Escolha de Automóveis Submission: Aug./26/ Approval: Mar./11/2014 Fabian Furlaneto Master in Clinical Neurosciences (LINC) at the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Psychiatry at Universidade Federal de São Paulo - UNIFESP-EPM. Graduated in Advertising with specialization in Marketing at Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing - ESPM. Professor of Marketing at Escola Superior de Administração, Marketing e Comunicação - ESAMC. Professional Address: Rua Dr. Egydio Martins Ponta da Praia Santos/SP - Brasil. Álvaro Machado Dias Post-doc, PhD and MSc in Neurosciences, School of Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo - FMUSP. Degree in Psychology at Universidade de São Paulo USP. Professor at Universidade Federal de São Paulo - UNIFESP-EPM, affiliated to the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Clinical Neurosciences. Leader of the research group of CNPq, neurocognitive studies in decision making. Conducts studies in neuroeconomics, neuromarketing and topics of clinical neurosciences.

2 ABSTRACT Despite the large number of Brazilian studies on buying behavior, these have been restricted to the description of consumer preferences and gender-related trends. The aim of this study is to evaluate the behavior of consumers in face of a purchase decision involving high-valued goods (vehicles ranging from R$ 70,000.00), using the technique of Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique - ZMET. The subjects enrolled in this study are typical representatives of this country's middle class, according to the criterion of economic classification Brazil from Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Pesquisa - ABEP. A series of interviews (N12) with ZMET where applied, with the aim of building mind maps. After what, consensus map was created. To achieve such a goal, we used the NodeXL - software Social Network Analysis - SNA. This preliminary and pioneer study demonstrated the usefulness of the method, at the same time that it showed that safety and comfort are the most important factors in choosing a car in this price range. The semantic map that was produced can have a strategic role in future marketing actions. KEYWORDS: Cars, consumers, marketing strategies, neuromarketing, ZMET. RESUMO Apesar do grande número de estudos brasileiros sobre o comportamento de compra, estes têm sido restritos à descrição das preferências dos consumidores e às tendências relacionadas com o gênero. O presente estudo visa avaliar o comportamento dos consumidores na decisão de compra de um bem de alto valor agregado (veículos na faixa de R$ ,00), utilizando a técnica do Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique - ZMET. Os sujeitos envolvidos neste estudo são típicos representantes da classe média brasileira, de acordo com o Critério de Classificação Econômica Brasil da Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Pesquisas - ABEP. Foi aplicada uma série de entrevistas (N12) com o ZMET para a construção de mapas mentais. Depois disso, criou-se o mapa do consenso. Para isso, foi utilizado o NODEXL - software de Social Network Analysis - SNA. Este artigo, de caráter pioneiro e preliminar, demonstra a utilidade do método, ao mesmo tempo em que revela que segurança e conforto são os fatores mais importantes na escolha de um carro nesta faixa de preço. A rede de associação conceitual formada pode ter grande valor estratégico para novas ações de marketing. PALAVRAS-CHAVE: Automóveis, consumidores, estratégias de marketing, neuromarketing, ZMET. V. 14, pp , Abril,

3 1. INTRODUCTION Until now, studies of buying behavior of Brazilian consumers were restricted to the description of your preferences, the understanding of individual behavior and the mapping of attitudes and preferences that distinguish men, women and members of different social classes. According to the literature review conducted in this article, do not exist, for example, studies incorporating the peculiarities that consumers and shoppers have, and few studies using the tools and methods introduced by the neurosciences. This contrasts to what happens in Europe and especially in the United States, where the use of such techniques has driven the field as a whole, improving communications strategies, distribution and perceived value. This study aims to understand preferences in a specific context, through the use of a sophisticated and underused method in Brazil called the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique - ZMET. This is a qualitative research technique able to identify thoughts and rescue information, often unknown or forgotten of own person, but potentially important in marketing strategies for increasingly competitive and commoditized markets. 2. CONSUMERS AND SHOPPERS Consumers are individuals or organizations that buy products or hire services for direct use or incorporate them into other product or service, here excluding those who buy them to resell them (KOTLER, 2003). The decision-making process in purchasing goods and services can happen individually or in groups. In individual decisions, the client may exert the following roles: being the purchaser, user, payer, or a set of these. When an individual is responsible for the purchase of a product or service, he is called the buyer, the user is who will enjoy the good or service purchased and who has financed the purchase is known as a payer. Of course, there are situations in which the user may not be the payer or the buyer (e.g. a child who consumes a sweet which she gained from the mother, who does not work out, but is responsible for purchasing the house, but who paid the invoice has been the father), the user may be paying, but not the buyer (like the person who provides the resource and outsources the purchase process), you can be the buyer, but not the payer (like teen requesting money to parents to buy an outfit), and the user can play the role of shopper and payer. With this set of perceptions about the role of the individual in the buying process, it is essential to marketing professionals to be aware of the distinction between consumers and shoppers (buyers), who often represent the mean to market competitiveness. Bearing on this distinction, campaigns designs can be tricky. For example, whereas shaving creams are masculine products, they are mostly bought in the supermarket, where the presence of wives exceeds that of husbands. V. 14, pp , Abril,

4 This caveat suggests that sales campaigns may reach their higher effects by fulfilling the symbolic demands of married women, in regard to the men they want at home. For instance, an advertisement capable of promoting the idea that a specific shaving cream may increase female desire indiscriminately can actually turn out to produce suboptimal results, despite its powerful effects on consumers, as it contradicts shopper s aspirations. In contrast, another product, who promotes more subtle, noble and less appealing associations from the average consumer's viewpoint, may be successful for the same reasons. As a general rule, the possibility of conflicting values between consumers and shoppers suggests that this issue should be treated with care. Moreover, this perspective points to the necessity of rigorously assessing the subjects profiles of the subjects in the consumption chain, before conducting marketing research related to buying behavior (ENGEL; BLACKWELL; MINIARDI, 2000). This truism is not systematically applied in Brazil, where marketing methodologies remain far from scientific, especially in regard to cohort sampling. In regard to the cases when consumer and shopper are not represented by the same individual, one may hypothesize that shoppers' influence on purchase decisions (which will, by definition, reach consumers) differ in accordance to products categories. We still lack research on these differences in Brazil, but there are suggestions from other marketing contexts pointing that brands of products for the house are picked exclusively in light of shoppers' preferences, whereas certain garments are more porous to consumers' brand aspirations (SHETH; MITTAL; NEWMAN, 2001). Underhill (2009), from a multisensory perspective, reinforced the fact that purchases go beyond a routine of acquisitions and, through its refreshing effect, allow self-awards, balances in relation to frustrating experiences and the materialization of affective messages at various levels. Under this view, the same happens in the relationship between consumers and shoppers where the focus is on the psychology of providing and caring for someone, as commonly exploited by several advertisers. The shopper, through his sensory experience, accepts or rejects certain products in light of their attractiveness and the affective or pragmatic relation with the shopper. Here we find another gap to be fulfilled by marketing research: how do these different relations relate to buying behavior? For instance, what gifts (fragrances/garments/objects) men of different ages (standardized socioeconomically samples) are most likely to purchase for women of different age groups and strategic approaches when they are boyfriends, husbands and/or fathers? This adds to the necessity to advance knowledge about consumers' and shoppers' particular mental processes, the phenomenological experiences that these positions facilitate and their biases. The naturalist observation of consumers should be complemented by methodologies with the ability to grasp mental models and processes that intermediate conclusions and decisions. This may be achieved either by the use of specific psychological or neuroscientific strategies (ZALTMAN, 2003). V. 14, pp , Abril,

5 Marketers usually try to deduct the thoughts of consumers based on their oral or written statements (like "I would never change brand") or their behavior; in contrast to that, it is worth considering that there are several mental processes underlying does verbal/behavioral reactions which, for example, are crucial to brand loyalty and other evident markers of purchase patterns: "Such constructs are not the actual thoughts or behaviors, but rather represent the interpretation of these thoughts or behaviors to marketers". (ZALTMAN, 2003:169). From the association of the ideas that we have developed so far, one may consider that a deeper understanding of the mental processes that distinguish (and to some extent relate) consumers and shoppers should be followed as it can take the field to a whole new stage of scientificmethodological development. 3. STATE OF THE ART IN QUALITATIVE MARKETING RESEARCH Marketing surveys have been improving and gaining more prominence in corporate strategies as observed recurrent transformations throughout the marketing environment. It is possible to notice the emergence of new qualitative methodologies and fusions between qualitative and quantitative research strategies (VIEIRA; TIBOLA, 2005). The phase of strategic planning has gained momentum. Designs are now thought as decisive to success and methodological flaws are being revised. This is changing inferential approaches (AMA, 2011). Inferential techniques aim to identify the perceptions and attitudes of a type of offer, the subsequent refinement of it and have traditionally anchor in qualitative and quantitative analysis of behavior and perception of representative members of interest groups, on the supply focus that can develop into the so called "focal group". These groups are delineated by a research technique that collects data trough of the group interactions for discussing special topics suggested by the researcher, and may be characterized as a resource to understand the process of constructing perceptions, attitudes and social representations of human groups (MORGAN, 1997; VEIGA; GONDIM, 2001). Focus groups emerged with the development of group interviews (BOGARDUS, 1926; LAZARSFELD, 1972). In these cases, the interviewer directs the group because their relationship is individual, differently of focus groups in which the moderator tries to interfere as little as possible, facilitating the process of discussion and focusing on psychosocial processes. Unlike the analysis of the applicant group inserted in depth interviews, focus groups, individual groups are studied as a whole, even if the answers are not unanimous, the prevailing opinions are considered, such as those of the group being (GONDIM, 2003). This same sphere of qualitative research techniques, unlike the focus groups, the technique of in depth interviews are conducted individually by an equally skilled interviewer through an unstructured interview about a particular topic (NOTESS, 1996). Depending on the nature discussed the interviews last minutes but can extend for hours, depending on the case under study (CHAUVEL, 2000). V. 14, pp , Abril,

6 One perspective that is being discussed by researchers who focus new methodologies is the difficulty to produce insights from questionnaires. At this point, the ZMET stands as one of the most promising qualitative alternative, as it encompasses various techniques and deeper approaches leading to better understanding of the thoughts of individuals, while paving the way to both verbal and visual insights, which can powerfully inform campaigns. The method, however, requires trained interviewers to perform guided conversations, knowledge to conduct the production of non-verbal metaphors and mental maps construction skills to guide synthesis. According to Zaltman and Coulter (1995), the use of metaphorical images and sensory metaphors assist individuals to express notions standing beyond their conscious knowledge - that's where insight resides. Moreover, a synthetic map of verbal and visual images bears light on the brand s unconscious, its strong and weak points, and opens a plethora of possibilities to explore those aspects. For the correct application and effective data quality, researchers should follow ten steps: 1. Story Telling: after a period of a week to ten days thinking about the topic and collecting images, the respondent is asked to tell his story. This must be done because human memory is based on your history (SCHANK, 1990). 2. Missed Issues and Images: asked the participant to describe a question to which he could not find any pictures, but I would have found. This procedure allows the participant to report images that have emerged after the process of collecting images or during the interview. 3. Sorting Task: the participant must distribute their images in groups that have some meaning and then label each one of these groups. This will be instrumental in the preparation of most of the themes and constructs. 4. Construct elicitation: using a modified Kelly Repertory Grid Technique and The Laddering Technique (KELLY, 1963; SHAW; MCNIGHT, 1980; GUTMAN, 1982; LEWIS; KLEIN, 1985; REYNOLDS; GUTMAN, 1988; VALETTE-FLORENCE; RAPACCHI, 1991). These techniques are effective for the construction of elicitation, identifying from three similar figures as two may be different. In other words, it tries to find variations that make sense or literally have nothing in common relating to the subject matter. 5. Most Representative Image: the participant must show the most significant image for the theme that represents your feelings. 6. Image opposite: the interviewer asks the participant to describe images that represent the opposite of the given question. To understand what something are you must know what it is not. 7. Sensory Images: the participant is accused on his other senses and asked to say what they would and would not represent the subject of research. People think through all your senses and your thoughts are sensory images (MACDOUGALL, 1992; HAT; JANTRANIA, 1992; DANESI, 1990; CLASSEN, 1993). 8. The Mental Map: the interviewer reviews all constructs discussed with the participant and asks whether these constructs are accurate representations of their thoughts and if any item was forgotten. Then the participant creates a map illustrating the most important connections related to the topic. 9. The Summary Image: the participant creates a summary image or a montage using your own images. After the final image was done is asked the participant to describe your image. 10. The Vignette: the participant is asked to create a vignette or a short film to help in the communication of important issues related to the topic. V. 14, pp , Abril,

7 At the end of the interviews, these are analyzed with the purpose of identifying key themes for further construction of the consensus map, which should represent the thoughts and constructs of the majority. With this approach is possible to see links between certain variables that provides a brand and uncover the challenges of body, mind, society and psychological processes, retrieving, interpreting and presenting with the aid of ZMET (VIEIRA; TIBOLA, 2005). Although the methodology of ZMET is widespread in the United States and used for the understanding of consumers' thoughts about a brand or ideology or concept, it is important to note that it still has many underdeveloped aspects and that controlled studies remain scarce. But results are stimulating. In a recent study by Olson and Zaltman (2012) about the U.S. economy, after the great recession of 2008 when they used the ZMET to understand the thoughts and feelings of Americans, the results were fundamental to drive the strategies of some companies. As a result, the study identified new paradigms for old stereotyped appeals of Americans as "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet" with "struggle, hard work and resilience." This explains the success of some campaigns like Chrysler that its approach was "imported from Detroit" in an allusion to the importance of the city and around the automotive industry after years of American deindustrialization. In another study reference, Hyundai, before starting a campaign got the 9th place went to the 1st place in the ranking according to 2011 Brands 100 Keys Loyalty Leaders Index. Olson and Zaltman (2012) attributed the success of the campaign to its empathetic approach that sympathized with the new reality of the American people due to economic conditions and proposed allowing consumers to return their new Hyundai if they lost their source of income. In sum, the technique can be of great value, generating directions closer to reality, effectively contributing to the strategic planning of businesses and the proper development of new products and services, while there's still room for improvements and associated developments, linking it to other up to date (or more traditional) methodologies. This study aims to present the results of an original application of ZMET associated with conceptual maps (using the mathematical technique known as graph analyses), with the aim of better understanding purchase patterns for the automobile industry, in Brazil. 4. METHODOLOGY The subjects in this study were selected adopting the Economic Classification Criterion Brazil elaborated by the Brazilian Association of Research Companies - ABEP. Participation was restricted to the economic environment in classes A and B, aged 20 to 54, in other words, young adults and middle-aged. Another important selection criterion for this study, the educational level of the subjects was to have at least incomplete higher education. V. 14, pp , Abril,

8 All subjects also completed the questionnaire Self-Report Questionnaire - SRQ-20 (MARI; WILLIAMS, 1986) and for effective participation, had a lower or equal to 7 points. In addition, all were informed about the character of anonymous and voluntary participation in the research. For the present study evidenced the ZMET, technique currently employed in marketing for the development of advertising campaigns, product design, and packaging and also in search of deep knowledge of the consumer. For the application of ZMET, participants previously selected who met the selection criteria received the initial instructions for the selection of representative images of the subject matter, which could be extracted from any source: magazines, newspapers, internet etc. Between seven to ten days, the selected participants returned to the procedure of the ten steps with ZMET scheduled times for individual care, in a comfortable and private setting, in an office with controlled temperature and free from noises dispersants for good performance during the experiment. At the end of the procedures were built the individual mind maps and identified the relevant issues in this group. 12 individuals were interviewed. The words quoted were considered for the development of the consensus map, only those who had at least 25% of incidence. After completing all the steps, all the results of ZMET, including the mind map of the consensus obtained by NodeXL Software Network Analyses - SNA software that generates graphs representative of the primary links between words of consensus, mainly analyzed qualitatively and statistically. 5. RESULTS After all approaches made in the interviews it was possible to infer that, beyond the mind and consensus map of the most quoted words in the interviews, there are more ignorant perceptions of individuals that allow elaborate more significant strategies for the agents involved in the purchase of a car in the process range of R$ 70, It can be observed, for example, that individuals who cited security (Figure 1), also cited other attributes such as technology, comfort, design, family, travel, leather, freedom and speed, which at first does not make clear the existence of relationships between them, the same happening with regard to comfort then comes word that the same attributes, technology, leather, travel, security, speed, design, family and freedom. V. 14, pp , Abril,

9 Source: Research data. FIGURE 1 Consensus mind map. However, by observing the consumer reports (Figures 2a and 2b and 3a and 3b) when explaining the results of their images prepared by gluing, emerge some more consistent relationships between the attributes and key words in the consensus of the group, security and comfort. Source: Research data. FIGURE 2a Link between security and other words. V. 14, pp , Abril,

10 Source: Research data. FIGURE 2b A thought car. A car made based on technology allows you to urban use park, is the car that gives you security in unpredictable places, as this curve, which gives you autonomy and freedom. (CONSUMER REPORTS). Source: Research data. FIGURE 3a Link between comfort and other words. V. 14, pp , Abril,

11 Source: Research data. FIGURE 3b Personal projects. By means of personal and professional projects you have the freedom to travel and to enjoy a comfortable life. (CONSUMER REPORTS). In Figure 2b, the individual relates technology both for comfort and to promote safety while in Figure 3b, the binding comfort comes with a possible reward for a competitive and stressful life. According to the theory of the hemispheres Ontoria, Luque and Gomez (2004) in physiological terms, the theory suggests a potential prevailing in the human personality divided into rational or emotional, each of these characteristics orchestrated by a dominant hemisphere. Nevertheless, one cannot characterize the potential buyers who participated in the study as rational. This is explained due to the comparative nature of the purchase. The multi-factor complexity of decision making in this process can be inferred from these results, as much as the greater importance of rational attributes, when compared to more appealing (affective) features. Still, one should not overlook the emotional involvement, which often play a major role and is generating cognitive conflicts resolved after the purchase with rational justifications (KOTLER, 2000). Accordingly, it is noticeable in this study the balance between rational and emotional words with a gentle slope to rational words, since safety and comfort obtained grades of 2,105 and 4,137, respectively, when subjected to a questionnaire validation words applied to 20 subjects. After reading the words on a form, subjects were asked to assign a score by marking a variant line between 0 (fully rational) and 10 (quite emotional), as shown in Chart 1. V. 14, pp , Abril,

12 After marking the line that had exactly 10 cm, these marks were measured using a ruler and the notes properly recorded and tabulated to calculate the group average. CHART 1 Average of the scores given by the subjects. PALAVRAS VALIDAÇÃO CLASSIFICAÇÃO Security 2,105 Rational Comfort 4,137 Rational Trip 6,116 Emotional Family 5,553 Emotional Freedom 7,274 Emotional Speedy 4,837 Rational Technology 3,684 Rational Design 6,874 Emotional Leather 6,647 Emotional So these findings point more obvious ways and therefore more effective for creating communication strategies. The average age of respondents was 35 years, 58% of subjects were female and married. Of those interviewed, 17% did not have cars. Considering all the individual mind maps, 134 were quoted. Leather, design, technology and speed showed 25% incidence, 33.33% freedom, family and travel showed 41.67% and 66.67% comfort and safety. Considering the analysis of correlation between the question of help in choosing the words of consensus identified in the individual mind maps it was observed that, for most individuals, the most important when choosing a car of high value items are comfort, which appeared in 70% of cases, and security, which appeared in 60% of cases. 6. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW STUDIES The aim of this study was to evaluate the behavior of consumers across the buying decision of a consumer product with high added value (vehicles ranging from R$ 70,000.00) with the use of ZMET. The results corroborate the known empirically that the market data safety and comfort are the most important factors in choosing a car of average value of R$ 70,000.00, but delineate most interesting approaches in regard to marketing strategies. Thus, demonstrate the potential of neuroscience in understanding the consumer, suggesting that these should definitely collaborate on the development and improvement of products and services, as well as in directing the actions of communication, promoting effectiveness in meeting the expectations and desires of consumers. V. 14, pp , Abril,

13 Furthermore, the use of other tools such as eye-tracking, electroencephalogram - EEG, galvanic skin response, among others can contribute massively to this field of study that is still under development. However, neuroscientific studies in marketing in Latin America are scarce. In Brazil, one of the few Labs with research areas and professors dedicated to the field of neuroeconomics and neuromarketing is the Laboratory of Clinical Neurosciences of UNIFESP, despite the large number of international studies have demonstrated the strategic potential in the combination of these fields of study (ADOLPHS 2010; AMBLER et al., 2004; BERNS et al., 2008; KING-CASAS et al., 2005; CLARKE; DOEL; HOUSIAUX, 2003; DICKHAUT; RUSTICHINI; SMITH, 2009; KÖRDING et al., 2004; KRUEGER; GRAFMAN; MCCABE, 2008; MCCABE et al., 2001; MCCLURE et al., 2004; PLASSMANN et al., 2008; ROSSITER; SILBERSTEIN, 2001; SANFEY et al., 2003; VECCHIATO et al., 2010; WALTER et al., 2005; ZAK, 2004). 7. REFERENCES ADOLPHS, R. What does the amygdala contribute to social cognition? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1191(1): pp , AMBLER, T.; BRAEUTIGAM, S.; STINS, J.; ROSE, S.; SWITHENBY, S. Salience and choice: neural correlates of shopping decisions. Psychology & Marketing 21(4), pp , AMERICAN MARKETING ASSOCIATION - AMA. Chicago, Disponível em: <http://www.marketingpower.com/aboutama/pages/default.aspx>. Acessado em: 12 ago ASSOCIAÇÃO BRASILEIRA DE EMPRESAS DE PESQUISA ABEP. Critério de Classificação Econômica Brasil. Disponível em: <www.abep.org>. BERNS, G. S.; CAPRA, C. M.; MOORE, S.; NOUSSAIR, C. Three studies on the neuroeconomics of decision-making when payoffs are real and negative. Advances in health economics and health services research, 20, pp. 1-29, BOGARDUS, E. The group interview. Journal of Applied Sociology, [S.I.]: BONE, P. F.; JANTRANIA, S. Olfaction as a Cue for Product Quality. Marketing Letters, v. 3, n. 3, pp , CHAUVEL, M. A. Insatisfação e queixa a empresa: investigando os relatos dos consumidores. In: ENCONTRO ANUAL DA ANPAD, 24, 2000, Florianópolis. Anais... Florianópolis: ANPAD, CLARKE, D. B.; DOEL, M. A.; HOUSIAUX, K. M. The consumption reader. Psychology Press, CLASSEN, C. Worlds of sense: exploring the senses in history and across cultures. New York: Routledge, DANESI, M. Thinking Is Seeing: Visual Metaphors and the Nature of Abstract Thought. Semiotica 80, 3/4, pp , V. 14, pp , Abril,

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