Main Topic: Deep Psychological Metaphors Related to Coffee in a Chinese Cultural Setting

Hosts: Stephen Huang, James Stanworth, Clyde Warden

A research from the Taiwan Council of Agriculture supported a research project examining the potential for a marketing strategy to increase sales of locally produced Coffee. Professor Warden choose to examine subconscious perceptions of coffee consumption in order to develop a more effective brand strategy. This show covers the details of this research, with an emphasis on localized procedures , such as ZMET (Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique) , deep psychological interviews, laddering, and some other marketing research methodologies in the Chinese context.

This eleven month project required final reports and presentations to be turned in to the responsible government officials. The project final report and PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded here (both in Chinese).

Download: Final Report

Download: PowerPoint Presentation
This approach significantly differed from traditional econometric oriented research done for the COA, so the reviewers were a bit sceptical to say the least. I visited them on numerous occasions to make progress reports, and slowly they got the idea that building a brand image is vital, and that image must link to deep metaphors consumers have about coffee.  

By combining the ZMET method with a strong grounded theory approach, I was able to support claims of validity. 

Questions about the most representative image. 

Questions about how this data fits into the four Ps, specifically how positioning is addressed. 

The ZMET methodology is not without its critics . Not only is it a bit hard to believe any unified data can emerge from these interviews, it is difficult to see how validity and reliability issues are addressed. In the show we try to answer some of these concerns.

While quantitative criteria focus on Validity and Reliability, qualitative criteria focus on Credibility, Transferability, Dependability, and Confirmability (download the paper linked to in the show notes for a good introduciton to this topic).

Coffee is the transition of going somewhere or getting somewhere

The Show:

Length: 55 minutes. Download MP3 25.47MB (Right click->Save As).


Presentation of Research Results (Video & Audio):

This is the final report to the Ministry of Agriculture who sponsored Prof. Warden's research into marketing strategies for Taiwan domesticly produced coffee. The presentation is in Chinese. 

Length: 31 minutes.

Summary Images from ZMET:

Show Links:

Bottom Line:

  • The role coffee plays in a tea dominant culture differs from a coffee culture.
  • Coffee is a hedonistic product.
  • Coffee in Taiwan is more popular cold than hot.
  • Coffee is a relaxer and an energy booster.
  • Strong feelings and emotions are attached to coffee consumption.
  • Validity is shown in the most representitive photo (photos with giving a gift).
  • Coffee in Taiwan has a strong message of making a transistion or going somewhere.

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