Tag Archives: social sector

“Deep Metaphors” connect with people

Gerald and Lindsay Zaltman of HBS (yep, it’s HBS catchup day) wrote a book on marketing using deep metaphors: Marketing Metaphoria: What Deep Metaphors Reveal about the Minds of Consumers. You can read an interview with them here, to get a better idea of what the book covers, and what they mean by “deep metaphors”:

Deep metaphors are basic frames or orientations we have toward the world around us. They are “deep” because they are largely unconscious and universal. They are “metaphors” because they recast everything we think about, hear, say, and do.

One example that they discuss is Coke’s highly successful “I’d like to teach the world to sing” campaign, which didn’t say much about Coke, but tapped into the deep metaphors of connection and social balance. The book apparently details 7 of the most commonly used deep metaphors across a variety of products.

If consumer goods are able to tap into these deep metaphors to improve sales, this information ought to be extremely useful to social sector organizations actually working to improve things like social balance. Perhaps the trick is to keep the message metaphorical, since “most thinking occurs without awareness”? Are we hurting ourselves by talking about literal benefits to society rather than speaking in metaphors? Is speaking to the unconscious more powerful than trying to raise consciousness?

Conversation: The Future of Social Enterprise

Harvard Business School professors V. Kasturi Rangan and Susan McDonald are hosting a conversation based on their recent paper, The Future of Social Enterprise. Click here to read a summary of their findings and join in the conversation.

The questions posed center around social sector evolution and measuring ROI and social impact – the conversation started today and already has some interesting posts.  These web forum conversations generally only last a week or two, so check it out now in order to participate!

Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector – HBS Interview

HBS Working Knowledge pointed me to this interview with Jane Wei-Skillern about the recent casebook that she and her HBS colleagues James E. Austin, Herman B. “Dutch” Leonard, and Howard H. Stevenson wrote: Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector. Jane co-authored several works with Greg Dees and Beth Anderson that I read when I was working with them at CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Enterpreneurship), and I really like her work. The book will be added to the list of many that I’d like to buy and read one day. Right now, I’ve got too many in my “to read” pile to go out and buy more!

My favorite part of the interview is excerpted below (emphasis mine), but it’s a brief interview and definitely worth reading in full.

A major challenge facing business leaders is how to enhance the effectiveness of their social responsibility initiatives while substantially improving overall organizational performance.

This challenge cannot be overcome through incremental change in existing activities. Instead, it requires a fundamental transformation in the way that companies do business. It entails identifying new opportunities, creating new strategies, and establishing the structures and processes needed to pursue them. It is more powerful to envision this challenge as an entrepreneurial undertaking aimed at the innovative cogeneration of social and economic value.