MIB501 – CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR
INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT [DUE ON: Oct 2021]
The written report of this individual assignment is worth 20% of your final grade. You are required to submit a typewritten report [and an e-copy via Moodle] on the due date. The report should be around 11-14 pages in length [A4 size, font 12, double spaced].
The Meaning of Haute Couture [high fashion brands and luxury products]:
The Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique [ZMET]
In order to ensure that everybody participates in the learning process, we are required to conduct an assignment that incorporates some of the important themes in consumer behaviour that we will be discussing in class meetings. More specifically, we have chosen to use the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique as a method to see how we arrive at what is most meaningful to us when we consume products and services, particularly Haute Couture [high fashion and luxury products] that have become prominent in our society. We are thinking of fashion companies which produce various types of luxury goods such as Prada, Armani, Versace, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Yves St. Laurent, Galliano, etc.
The Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique or ZMET was created by Professor Gerald Zaltman who teaches at Harvard Business School. It is a hybrid methodology that includes the use of visual image analysis.
According to Zaltman, this approach stems from the fact that communication is primarily non- verbal and that our thinking is mostly image-based. Metaphors are the basic building blocks of human thought and can be both visual and/or verbal. Since metaphors are mental images that are chiefly visual, we can communicate them through collections of pictures/graphic design, art works or photographs. You may follow the steps shown below to take on a weekly basis to complete this exercise.
In order to do this assignment, it is important that you visit an upscale shopping mall that sells luxury brands in Hong Kong. This will enable you to do the final step in this project that requires an assessment of shop atmospherics in luxury brand stores such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc.
Provide an introduction to what high fashion/luxury products [e.g. clothing and accessories] mean to you. Fashion houses are targeting younger consumers today with collections that are
more accessible. Do you own anything that could be classified as such – clothing or accessories? Describe the purchase, the context [e.g., special occasions such as wedding or graduation], the price and how it fits your style and wardrobe. How important are high fashion and luxury goods to you? Do you watch fashion shows [live or on TV- how often in a week] and read fashion magazines [which ones and how often – week, month, etc.]? Then follow the ZMET steps described below.
(2) ZMET Steps
- Step 1: Collect 10 images [from sources such as magazines, pictures of landscapes, photographs of family, art photographs, etc., but not advertisements for the high fashion companies – because this will defeat the purpose of exploring what you would freely think about these fashion companies] that best represent what high fashion means to you. You can certainly use your own photographs and art works that have some connections to Rank them in terms of which of these images are the most meaningful to you. The one that is ranked number 1 would be the most important and number 10 would be the least. Since you have now identified the most representative image [the image ranked number 1], can you think of an image that is the opposite of this particular image?
For instance, if the cut and quality is most important attribute [picture may be of artist’s interpretation of fashion] then the opposite of that could be a mass produced poorly cut item.
- Step 2: Briefly look at the images that you have Are there any additional thoughts that come to mind for which you could not find the appropriate images? Please list these thoughts. Also, sort the ten images into smaller but meaningful categories; that is, reduce them into fewer piles. Identify them; then, briefly describe these categories and how they are interrelated.
[For instance, you would have 3 categories.]
- Step 3: Choose any two categories [from the three you have identified in step 2] and examine the images within each of them Then, describe how any two pictures in each of the chosen categories are related to each other but different from the third picture.
[For instance, you might have three pictures in a pile and the category could be called “expensive but worth dying for.” In your opinion, two of the images might be more related to each other than the third. Please describe this process.]
- Step 4: Now, that you have ranked and categorized the ten images, let us look at the meaning of each of them in Provide a description for each of the ten images. Do it in stages and in a systematic fashion so that you provide a reasonable account. Choose the first and second pictures and give an individual description of why these images convey what you consider to be the most important elements of your relationship to high fashion. In other words,
describe what these pictures say about what high fashion/luxury goods means to you. Choose images that you can describe in detail!
- Step 5: Choose the third and fourth pictures and describe them individually.
- Step 6: Choose the fifth and sixth pictures and describe them
- Step 7. Choose the seventh and eight pictures and describe them
- Step 8: Choose the ninth and tenth pictures and describe them
- Step 9: Create a summary image [a collage] that expresses your most important thoughts and give a short description of your rationale. For example, you might decide to use only four or five images.
(3) Managerial Implications
- Identify the target-segment[s] and describe how the consumer/product relationship for this group[s] has influenced [or not] the pricing How effective is this strategy?
- Visit two of the luxury brand stores [e.g., LV, Gucci] and examine their physical and social What are 2-3 key features of the store environment? Discuss how each feature might influence the affective, cognitive and behavioural responses of typical customers.
MIB501 Consumer Behaviour Assessment Rubric for Individual Assignment
[8 – 10 marks]
[5 – 7 marks]
[0 – 4 marks]
|Provides a clear introduction and background to the issue
|Provides a clear and well organized introduction about the motivation for the topic, and essential background information of the selected issue.||Provides an introduction that is reasonably clear and reasonably well organized, and includes motivation for the topic, background information of the selected issue.||No or unclear introduction, and absence of motivation, background information, or description of the selected issue.|
|Identifies and demonstrates understanding of ZMET technique and consumer behaviour concepts [30%]||Identifies and shows good command of ZMET technique and consumer behaviour concepts that apply to the selected issue.||Identifies and shows fair command of ZMET technique and concepts that apply to the selected issue.||Concepts are not identified or identified inappropriately. Shows insufficient command of ZMET technique and concepts that apply to the selected issue.|
|Presents relevant arguments in logical order; consistent contents that flow effectively [20%]||Relevant arguments are presented in a clear and logical manner. Different sections and sub-sections contain appropriate titles and sub-titles as needed. Different parts of the report are consistent, very good connection between different parts, and the arguments/issues are easy to read and follow.||Arguments are generally relevant and most are presented logically. Different sections and sub-sections contain appropriate titles and sub-titles as needed. Different parts of the report are generally consistent, good connection between different parts, and the arguments/issues are fairly easy to read and follow.||Arguments are not relevant nor presented logically.
Different parts of the report are inconsistent, no connection between different parts, and the arguments/issues are difficult to read and follow.
|Draws conclusions that are consistent with analysis
|Very strong connection between analysis and conclusions; there are no inconsistencies.||Reasonable connection between analysis and conclusions; there may be minor inconsistencies.||No or very weak connection between analysis and conclusions.|
|Uses acceptable style and grammar
|No or virtually minimal spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and paragraphing errors.||Few spelling errors, generally appropriate grammar, sentence structure, and paragraphing.||Numerous spelling errors; inappropriate grammar, sentence structure, and paragraphing used throughout the document.|
|Ethical and professionally responsible analysis and solutions
|Sources are appropriate, well documented and effectively cited. Where appropriate, the discussion and conclusions are ethically sound, credible, and not frivolous.||Sources are fair, reasonably well documented and cited. Where appropriate, the discussion and conclusions are ethically sound, credible, and not frivolous.||Sources are inappropriate, not well documented and poorly cited. Discussion and conclusions are not ethically sound, credible, or are frivolous.|