Başak Abdula

Insight Expert - FutureBright Group, Founding Partner

Pınar Kocabıyıkoğlu

Insight Expert - FutureBright Group, Founding Partner

In search of the untold


In search of the untold

ZMET portrays consumer insight

It has long been common knowledge that the consumer does not make his or her decisions based on conscious thought or logic, that the frontal lobe does not play a major role in shaping their purchasing behaviour. Humans are not rational beings. This is why brand managers, publicists and consumer insight specialists alike have got their work cut out for them. The key to the door into behaviour lies in the reptilian brain, unbeknownst to and unexplainable even by the consumer himself. We in the marketing world are dependent on the dynamics between the individual and collective subconscious.

We have spent over a century asking the consumer all manner of questions, endeavouring to used their answers to lead successful brand and communication strategies. But it is not possible to understand -really understand- the consumer by means of their conscious associations, logical answers and statements about their feelings. The consumer gives us one set of answers one day only to make different decisions at the will of their subconscious the next.

Opening the door into the subconscious is vital for the marketing and brand world. Since the human being does not see the world through words, but through images, words have no place behind that door, so its key lies in images. The words we use merely act as interpreters. The term consumer insight takes on a new shape as it filters out of the world of imagery and is moulded into solid words; the involvement of the conscience limits, weakens and subjects images to the pitfalls of interpretation. This is why as we always say insight comes not from research but from the researcher, their instinct, their ability to take an initial step back when looking at a given problem, to take culture, context and the collective subconscious into account. The researcher has to delve deep into their own self to understand others and pursue clues about the hidden brain and the inexpressible.

If people found it easy to convey how they felt using words, they would not need hundreds of metaphors to do so. Thankfully we have metaphors to help us translate images into words. Just like our relationship to the world, our relationship to certain categories and brands are shaped by certain universal metaphors. Metaphors act as representations in our conscious world, of groups of emotions within our hidden brain.

For six years we at FutureBright have applied the ZMET approach, using images and metaphors to successfully glimpse through the crack in the door to our hidden brain. With the help of our art directors, consumers’ deeper feelings, individual stories and imagery come to life in the form of collages. As someone goes through the images they need to express their opinion on a given subject, they single out one out of an infinite number of images. Or, perhaps more accurately, they are lead to it. As soon as they see a specific image in light of whatever they are feeling deep down but cannot name or put into words, the subconscious tells them, “this is the one”.

This is precisely how ZMET paints the picture of consumer insight. It bypasses words and the conscious mind and speaks to the consumer instead in the mind’s mother tongue: the language of imagery. The resulting collages are worth far more than their marketing value; they have deep artistic meaning and value, drawing strength from the uniqueness and emotional abundance of each person.

Of course, human behaviour and feelings are shaped by the society in which they live, cultural codes and the collective subconscious. That’s why the tens of thousands of images and thousands of collages that we have analysed over six years also reveal a compelling and at times shocking panorama of society’s deeper state of mind and the collective subconscious.

Knowledge is rarely both wide-ranging and deep. For this reason, with our belief in open data, we want to share with you the insightful and artistic value of what we see when we look at this this colossal work in its entirety, collectively, as we enter and explore each individual story that makes up the whole picture, with instinct as our guide.

‘Back to the Essence: Images Turkey’s Subconscious’ will take you on an epic, lyrical, deep and true voyage through this land.