3 Índice Index i ÍNDICE / INDEX El sentido creativo en la estrategia de marketing: El uso de metáforas como herramienta estratégica Marketing strategy as creative sense-making:using metaphors as a strategic tool Tomaž Kolar University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)... 1 La relacıón entre las marcas y la cadena de sumınıstro: Una ınvestıgacıón de las PYMES turcas que recıben apoyo de marca The relation between brand-supply chains: A research on turkish small and medium size enterprises (SMES) receiving brand support Dilber Ulaş Ankara University, Ankara (Turkey) Hatice Çalipinar Hacettepe University, Beytepe, Ankara (Turkey) La fidelización de la marca: Lo qué desean los clientes y lo que podrían echar de menos de la marca del distribuidor. Importa el estilo de fidelización? Focus of brand attachment: What customers love and would miss about their retail brand Does attachment style matter? Eva Thelen Guenther Botschen University of Innsbruck School of Management (Austria) La imagen turística de las capitales europeas. Un estudio exploratorio a través del Método EPI European capitals tourism image. An exploratory study through EPI Method Enrique Ortega Martínez Universidad Complutense de Madrid (España) Sylvie Christofle Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis (France) Beatriz Rodríguez Herráez Universidad Complutense de Madrid (España)... 59
4 Cómo de fuertes y significativas son las marcas de los bancos croatas? How strong and meaningful are croatian bank brands? Durdana Ozretic-Dosen Vatroslav Skare Zoran Krupka Faculty of Economics and Business-Zagreb (Croatia) NeuroMarketing: Evaluación de las marcas comerciales. Un estudio sobre la resonancia magnética funcional imaginaria Neuromarketing: Valence assessments of commercial brands. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fmri) study José Paulo Santos ISMAI - Superior Institute of Maia (Portugal) Sofia Brandão São João Hospital, Oporto (Portugal) Daniela Seixas Oporto University, Oporto (Portugal) Mercados de gran consumo y lanzamiento de nuevos productos en España 121 Fast moving consumer group market and new product development in Spain Yolanda Yustas Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Madrid (España) Cristina Rojo Nielsen Company, Madrid (España) Cómo el sistema de calidad en el punto de venta influye en la calidad de las relaciones y en los resultados del marketing en el sistema de franquicia How pos-system quality influences relationship quality and marketing performance in the franchise system Jonghoon Kim University of Incheon, Incheon (Korea) Consecuencias en el comportamiento de la calidad del servicio: Diferenciación del comportamiento sobre las quejas entre las dimensiones de la calidad Behavioral consequences of service quality: Differentiation of complaint behavior among quality dimensions Pinar Basgoze Hacettepe University, Beytepe, Ankara (Turkey) Leyla Özer Hacettepe University, Beytepe, Ankara (Turkey)
5 Índice Index iii Fabricantes y distribuidores: Desarrollando innovación Manufacturers and retailers: Innovation development Cristina Rojo Nielsen Company, Madrid (España) Yolanda Yustas Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Madrid (España) La adopción y difusión de la innovación en los mercados industriales: Una investigación empírica de las PYMES de Ankara-Ostim Innovation adoption and diffusion in the industrial markets: An empirical research on the small and medium size enterprises in Ankara-Ostim Leyla Özer Hacettepe University, İIBF Beytepe, Ankara (Turkey) Gaye Açıkdilli Baskent Unıversıty, TBF Bağlıca, Ankara (Turkey) Aspectos del marketing de la empresa global en la sociedad de la información Marketing aspects of the global enterprise in the information society Lidia Sobolak & Aleksandra Radziszewska Czestochowa University of Technology (Poland) Las motivaciones y las acciones comerciales de las PYMES mexicanas en los mercados exteriores Motivations and commercials actions of mexicans SMES in the international market Claudia Ramírez Carranza Universidad Complutense de Madrid (España) Cambio en los consumidores turcos: Efectos de los factores económicos, demográficos y del macro marketing mix Changing turkish consumers: The effects of economic, demographic, and macro marketing mix factors Öznur Özkan Tektaş Hacettepe University, Beytepe, Ankara (Turkey) Metin Tektaş Dept. of State Economic Enterprises, Ankara (Turkey) Un estudio de la influencia de la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa en la elección de la marca A study on Corporate Social Responsability (CSR) on brand selection Alazne Mujika Alberdi; Iñaki García Arrizabalaga & Juan José Gibaja Martíns Universidad de Deusto, Campus de San Sebastián (España)
6 La importancia de las relaciones personales. Experiencias de los ejecutivos suecos en las negociaciones con ejecutivos españoles The importance of personal relations. Swedish businessmen s experiences of doing business with spanish counterparts Ellinor Torsein Göteborg University, Göteborg (Sweden) Valor de marca y estrategias de precios de un producto adictivo Brand value and prices strategies for an addictive product Lourdes Rivero Gutiérrez Rafael Cejudo González Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (España) Los servicios de apoyo en el sector hotelero. Un análisis internacional Supporting services in hospitality. An international analysis Enrique Ortega Martínez Universidad Complutense de Madrid (España) Jean-Pierre Lévy-Mangin Université de Québec en Outanais, Gatineau (Canadá) Beatriz Rodríguez Herráez Universidad Complutense de Madrid (España) Marketing de la carrera de enfermería: Investigación del nivel de profesionalización como un indicador intrínseco Marketing of nursing as a career: Investigating the level of professionalization as an intrinsic cue Pelin Surucu Ertem Selin Metin Camgoz Hacettepe University, Ankara (Turkey) Bueno con el dinero: La ética en la banca cooperativa Good with money: Ethics at the co-op bank Khosro S Jahdi Bradford College, Bradford (United Kingdom) Tom Cockburn University of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia) Marketing digital en España: Buscadores y redes sociales Web Digital marketing in Spain: Search engines and social web María Luisa Medrano García Elvira San Millán Fernández Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (España)
7 EL SENTIDO CREATIVO EN LA ESTRATEGIA DE MARKETING: EL USO DE METÁFORAS COMO HERRAMIENTA ESTRATÉGICA MARKETING STRATEGY AS CREATIVE SENSE-MAKING: USING METAPHORS AS A STRATEGIC TOOL 1 Tomaž Kolar University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) Resumen: Este trabajo investiga el uso de las metáforas como una herramienta para desarrollar estrategias de marketing. La revisión de la literatura realizada señala que los enfoques tradicionales se pone poca atención en el hecho de que el desarrollo de la estrategia de marketing está basado en gran manera en el pensamiento intuitivo y simbólico. Con este fin, se explican aquellas características de las metáforas que indican como éstas pueden afectar el pensamiento creativo estratégico. Básicamente, a través de la transferencia de los significados simbólicos de las metáforas se estimula el sentido creativo y la intuición. Con este propósito se sugiere una vía constructiva y reflexiva. En la parte final del trabajo se expone un ejemplo práctico de una metáfora militar utilizada en el proceso de desarrollo de una estrategia de marketing, seguido de un debate sobre los principios de los usos de las metáforas. Palabras clave: Estrategia de marketing, pensamiento creativo, metáforas, metáfora militar. Abstract: This paper investigates the use of metaphors as a marketing strategy development tool. A review of the literature indicates how in traditional approaches insufficient attention is paid to the fact that development of the marketing strategy is largely based on intuitive and symbolical thinking. For this purpose we explicate those characteristics of metaphors which indicate how metaphors can affect creative strategic thinking. Namely, through the transfer of symbolic meanings metaphors stimulate intuitive and creative sense-making. For that purpose their systematic, constructive and reflexive use is suggested. The last part of the paper presents a practical example of a military metaphor used in the process of marketing strategy development, followed by the discussion on the principles of such use of metaphors. Key words: Marketing strategy, Creative thinking, Metaphors, Military metaphor
9 3 I. DECISION-MAKING AND SENSE-MAKING VIEW ON A MARKETING STRATEGY Many authors draw attention to the confusion and lack of consensus when it comes to the concept of marketing strategy. This relates both to the question of its domain as well as that of its content (Greenley, 2001; Robins, 1994). In addition to the domain and content aspects Varadarajan and Jayachandran (1999) delineate the content of marketing strategy from the process of its development. The latter consists of decision activities, application of analytic techniques, and the rules on which decisions are based. They further separate the process of marketing strategy development from its implementation which includes execution, coordination, and control mechanisms. In terms of this separation into the content, processual and implemental aspects of marketing strategy, in this paper we mostly focus on the processual aspect of strategy development, while at the same time we understand marketing strategy as a complex whole in which all of the above mentioned elements exist as inseparably interwoven. As it will become clear from what follows, a too narrow and overly static view on marketing strategy represents one of the main challenges of the traditional approach. 1 Critiques of the traditional approach relate to a discussion of the content as well as to the process of marketing strategy development. Marketing mix is often considered as the as the framework or the basis of marketing strategy (see e.g. Foxall, 1981). In this sense marketing strategy is conceived as a decision-making activity, the aim of which is choosing and combining various elements of marketing mix. Critical authors, however, claim that marketing mix is a too narrow framework for understanding marketing strategy. Groenroos (1997) accordingly emphasizes that marketing mix offers an excessively simplified view of the key marketing variables and, therefore, represents an "outmoded tool box", misguiding our attention away from an actual grasp of relations between marketing processes and those who participate in them. The marketing mix syntagma deals solely with the manageable marketing tactical tools and therefore misses the side of marketing strategy which contains the uncontrollable elements the consumers and the competitors (Robins, 1994). This hinders recognition and preparation of innovative marketing initiatives which are, according to him, the key tasks of strategic marketing. Dennis and Macaulay (2003) designate this problem as a "structural rigidity" of the existing models of marketing 1 By traditional approach we mean the so called "marketing management" approach, which is mechanistic and based on the presuppositions of objectivity, rationality, balance, and harmony in the relation between market participants. It belongs to the paradigm of logical empiricism and is as such opposed to the subjective, socio-political, and "emancipatory" paradigm in marketing (Saren, 2000)
10 4 Tomaž Kolar strategy, recognizable in the lack of their dynamism, creativity, and innovation. Because of their exaggerated formalization and their emphasis on rationality, they "blind" the marketing managers and therefore limit their intuition, reflexivity, and creativity. It is, namely, only the autonomous and personal judgment which enables creative strategic decisions particularly in the conditions of increased insecurity, incomplete information, and various interests within the company (Brownlie, 1998). The process of marketing strategy development can thus also be understood as a set of disorderly and disconnected processes in which an active participation of many interest groups with different beliefs and "thought worlds" occurs (Frankwick et. al., 1994). The challenges pointed to above imply the need for approaches that would, from the beginning of the process, enable a more integral perspective and openness to different modes of thinking and as such overcome the limits of a traditional approach. One of such approaches is Fodness (2005) model of strategic thinking, which seeks to overcome the weaknesses of traditional strategic planning; it consists of the following four dimensions: 1. Thinking Strategies, which include techniques of critical and creative thinking; 2. Strategic Decision Making, which relates to the underlying presuppositions of certain decisions and to the question of why these decisions should be made; 3. Strategic Competencies, which encompass the development of the capacity to discover alternatives and identify the critical factors; 4. Strategy Visualization, which stands for the identification and visual presentation of key strategic elements. If such models of strategy development are to be transposed into practice, we need to understand the concepts and the principles that it either includes or relates to. Apart from the already mentioned improvisation (Moorman and Miner, 1998) which focuses on the behavioural component of the strategy, literature is also rich with concepts referring in a larger extent to the thinking component of the strategy. Andrews and Smith (1996), for instance, stress the important role of imagination in the development of marketing plans. According to them imagination depends on the nature of managers as well as on the characteristics of the process of planning. Brownlie (1998) also stresses the importance of creativity and maintains that a marketing manager should be understood above all as a creative artist, relying much more on managerial judgment than on analysis. This kind of judgment tries to interpret and understand the meaning of information; it is reflexive and critical in the examination of its implicit presuppositions and open to different views of a particular problem. Design of a strategy therefore demands less analysis and
11 Marketing strategy as creative sense-making: using metaphors 5 planning and more thinking which dictates also the use of intuition (Mintzberg, 1994; Kilroy and McKinley, 1997; Enright, 2001). Fodness (2005) model and the concepts it deals with point to some important implications for a more thoughtful and creative approach to marketing strategy development. First implication relates to the understanding of the process of strategy development. The process cannot be understood exclusively as a rational, linear, formalized, and scientific, leading to the "only correct" of the given alternatives. Following Green (1998) we thus understand strategy development as a process of generation of important insights about the relations between marketing stakeholders and about the meaning of these relations. Such a process allows marketing managers to make these relations intelligible and explain their strategic significance to others in the company. Only in this way will the marketing strategy realize the two key functions of a business strategy namely, to direct (show the way) and at the same time animate (motivate, make meaningful) (Cummings, 2002). Such understanding of strategy supports the notion that it relies to a large extent on an intuitive (pre-rational) and symbolic, and not merely a conscious and rational, process. Such a view suggests that marketing strategy can be conceived as a cluster of sense-making activities, where some of them precede and some complement formal (decision-making) process of marketing strategy development (Figure 1). Given that proposed notion of marketing strategy attributes such an important role to abstract concepts, such as for example meaning and sense, it becomes imperative for marketing strategy development to insist on the use of proper techniques and tools that help these strategies in the process of their concretization and evolution. Metaphors represent one such tool. Their potential in marketing strategy development, however, seems to be poorly utilized in spite of their common use. It is necessary to stress that managers very often use metaphors in their everyday communication (Foster-Pedley et. al., 2005; Doyle and Simms, 2002). Their use, however, is mostly unconscious, "expressive", and directed generally towards the goal of persuasive communication, while a systematic, planned use of metaphors as incentives for creative thinking rarely exists. The main purpose of this paper is therefore to show the usefulness of metaphors as a tool capable of inciting and directing creative thinking during the process of marketing strategy development. Consequently, in what follows we present the characteristics and the principles of metaphor use.
12 6 Tomaž Kolar Figure 1: Marketing strategy as a decision-making and as a sense-making act Organizational context Strategy as sense-making Creativity Reflexivity Judgement Insight Imagination Assumptions Thought worlds Intuition Pre-rational Symbolic Mission Corporate objectives Analysis: markets SWOT Strategy/plan: markets products tools (4P) Strategy as decision-making II. METAPHORS AS A TOOL FOR CREATIVE THINKING Metaphor is a figure of speech which connects two concepts or domains (e.g. "time is money"). Various authors stress different aspects of this connection. Tsoukas (1991) defines the metaphor as a transfer of information between a known and a lesser known domain; Hatch (1997) defines it as an understanding of a certain experience in terms of another experience; and Tynan (1999) defines it as a transfer of a name, of a descriptive expression, or a phrase, onto an object or an act. A transfer of meaning from one domain (e.g. time) onto another domain (money) is therefore an essential characteristic of metaphors. That they suggest a figurative (connotative, symbolic) meaning and not a literal (denotative) one, is another of their essential characteristics. Because of this, metaphors are "partial and incomplete models" (Arndt, 1985) and cannot be true in a scientific sense. They can, however, be "connotatively true" (Hunt and Menon, 1995). The ground of their usefulness lies precisely in the nature of metaphors as imaginatively suggestive forms of a constructive lie (Tynan, 1999). Metaphors can be understood as lenses through which certain phenomena, experiences, and concepts are seen in a new and different way. That is why they are potentially useful as a tool for critical thinking, persuasive communication, and also in attempts to influence behaviour. Rindfleisch (1996) lists metaphors fundamental character, their instrumentality, systematicity, selective character, their experiential basis, and capacity to shape thought and action, as their key characteristics. Since these characteristics bear important implications for how metaphors are used, we
13 Marketing strategy as creative sense-making: using metaphors 7 examine them more closely in what follows. Metaphors are fundamental because they represent the basis for thought and the conceptual system. They structure our thoughts, our world-view, and consequently also our reality (Tynan, 1999). They are a fundamental cognitive tool, with which we form the meaning of concepts and phenomena knowable only through language and mediated experience. The concept of time can be explained to a three-yearold, for example, only by way of metaphors (e.g. one hour is like a cartoon). But it is also scientists and managers who use metaphors in order to concretize and make coherent the abstract world, while developing their conceptualizations of it. Production and mediation of meaning is especially important in strategy development that takes place in uncertain business environments (Hill and Levenhagen, 1995). Foster-Pedley et al. (2005) therefore stress the central role played by metaphors in the articulation of business strategies, while also concluding how managers mostly are not aware of their everyday use. Metaphors are at the same time instrumental, since their characteristics and functions make them useful for many different purposes. For the purposes of this paper it is their function in the process of creative thinking that is the most important. As they move concepts out of their usual contexts into new, unusual, and surprising contexts, the metaphors liberate us from our existing beliefs, incite imagination, and, therefore, stimulate creative thinking (Weick, 2003; Tynan, 1999; Rindfleisch, 1996). It is important to stress here that it is not just in the resemblances between the two concepts but mostly in the differences that stretch "beyond the known resemblances" that the creative potential of metaphors originates (Cornelissen, 2005). Metaphors improve the creative process in an organization particularly in those situations in which there is an overabundance of information in the environment, in the early stages of thinking (at the level of basic ideas and outlines), and when the existing knowledge turns out to be equivocal and the problems badly structured (Hill and Levenhagen, 1995). They can also be used in research and production of knowledge, since they enable articulation of intuitive cognitions. Metaphors, namely, suggest and direct approaches in research (Arndt, 1985), while at the same time enabling the articulation of an implicit into explicit knowledge (Nonaka, 1991). By relying on imagination and symbols, metaphors enable intuitive understanding, which does not demand further analysis, examination, and generalization. That is why they serve as a kind of "trigger" in the process of new knowledge production. The discussed characteristics, however, do not provide a precise answer to the question How to chose the appropriate metaphor and use it as a tool for creative strategic thinking? Unfortunately, literature dealing with this question mostly offers answers to the question What metaphors and what kind of use is not appropriate?, while offering very few concrete instructions for their
14 8 Tomaž Kolar appropriate use. One could, of course, hardly expect the assurance of some formalized and structured algorithm when speaking of creativity. Nevertheless, the use of metaphors can be deliberate and systematic. Tynan (1999) stresses that a carefully deliberated choice of an appropriate metaphor constitutes the first and very important step. In choosing the metaphor one must, above all, avoid two threats. First, the use of literary and dead metaphors, since these, used in a literal sense, no longer provoke thought. Second, a resemblance between the two domains connected by the metaphor that is either too strong or too weak. Many authors, namely, find the difference between two domains to be the precondition for the metaphor s capacity to provoke (Cronelissen, 2005; Rindflesich, 1996; Ghychy, 2003; Nonaka, 1991; Dahl and Moreau, 2002). Metaphors therefore have to connect two domains with enough in common to ensure interesting resemblances, while at the same time not making these resemblances too obvious and literal. Hunt and Menon (1995) add the so-called conceptual richness as one of the key criteria for selection of appropriate metaphors. Conceptual richness is reflected in the number of concepts which can be compared between the two domains and also with respect to how well these concepts are developed in their original domain. The concept of strategy is, for example, very well developed in the military domain, which makes it conceptually rich and interesting in comparison with marketing strategies. However, the choice of an appropriate metaphor is not enough. It is only the metaphoric transfer between the two domains that ensures the realization of its potential. Metaphoric transfer is a result of cognitive and emotional associations and the resemblances and differences between the two domains (Hunt and Menon, 1995). It has to be actively directed, which, according to Hunt and Menon (1995), involves three principles. First, a good understanding of the research problem. Second, a choice of appropriate dimensions of the transfer. They list four key dimensions, based on which a transfer between two domains is possible: ontological (key concepts), conceptual (key ideas and concepts), theoretical (rules and models that connect the concepts), and value dimension (values and norms). As a third principle Hunt and Menon (1995) cite an explicit and systematic comparison of the selected dimensions of the transfer. The choice of a metaphor is only a trigger of the creative, or thought, process, while the further course of this process has to be more structured, able to foreground differences, and harmonize oppositions. This demands a systematic comparison of resemblances and differences between the domains. A discussion of differences, ambiguities, and paradoxes is especially important in this process, since it is only through such a discussion that a production of new cognitions and meanings becomes possible (Cornelissen, 2005; Rindfleisch, 1996).
15 Marketing strategy as creative sense-making: using metaphors 9 The proposed principles of metaphor use have to be placed into the process of creative thinking, which unfolds in three steps. In the first step, one focuses on the problem and creates a relaxed environment. In the second, central step, one sets the problem aside, which means that one consciously directs the focus away form the initial problem. This is achieved precisely with the use of metaphors, which lead the participants away from a rationally set up problem with the help of an "imaginary scenario" (Maddox et. al., 1987). In this way "what is known is made unfamiliar"; and this enables a new view of what is familiar (Pečjak, 1989). As we take the familiar concepts out of their usual, everyday context, we are able to recognize in them a new meaning (Weick, 2003). This is followed by the third step in which one again focuses on the problem, including a systematic and explicit comparison, an interpretation of new meanings, and their association into a "summary picture" (Coulter and Zaltman, 2000). III. AN EXAMPLE: MILITARY METAPHOR AND STRATEGIC THINKING In this part, using the example of military metaphor, we show the practical applicability of metaphors in the development of marketing strategy. According to the above mentioned principles of metaphor use, we first determine the problem we will try to "solve" and creatively think about. This problem is stated in the form of the challenges of marketing strategy development that we discussed in the first part of this paper. Accordingly, we define the problem in terms of a consideration of the relations between the active marketing participants, including the basic presuppositions, critical factors, and alternative directions of the marketing strategy. A definition of the problem is followed by a selection of the appropriate metaphor. In our case we have chosen the military metaphor. The latter is, in spite of its common use (Kotler and Singh 1981; Ries and Trout, 1986) and criticism leveled against it (Tynan, 1999; Wyshsall, 2001), very appropriate for the selected problem. Why? Because the domains of business (marketing) and military strategies share many common features (see Rindfleisch, 1996), while being at the same time sufficiently unlike in their comparison to be able to provoke thought (this is confirmed by the split opinion of the defenders and the critics of this metaphor s use). In selecting this metaphor we have paid special attention to the fact that one should not chose a metaphor based on its truthfulness, but on the basis of its creative potential, i.e. its conceptual richness which is powerfully expressed in the military metaphor (Hunt and Menon, 1995). Finally, the strength of a metaphor stems mostly from the meaning infused into it by the recipient and we shall try to show how strong the military metaphor can be if we resuscitate and use it in a constructive way.
16 10 Tomaž Kolar In the second step, systematic use of the chosen metaphor demands that one consciously sets the problem aside, or looks at this problem through a "different lens". In our case we present a short outline of the historical development of military strategy (in Appendix) as an imaginative scenario which temporarily leads us away from the problem and offers a view of it in the military perspective. Using this outline we want to avoid the problem of an outdated, stereotypical understanding of military strategy. According to Whysall (2001), the supposed ineffectiveness of the military metaphor is related to a failure to consider it in its contemporary context. Even in the most in-depth contributions the authors mostly refer to von Clausewitz s classical theory of war from two centuries ago (see for example Kotler and Singh, 1981; Ries and Trout, 1986) and to the wisdom of the two thousand year-old texts by authors such as Sun Tzu (e.g. Ho and Choi, 1997). Pech and Durden (2003), on the contrary, confirm the significance and usefulness of contemporary military approaches such as, for example, maneuver warfare. This brief excursus through the short history of military strategy offers us a different optic for thinking about marketing strategy from the one existing in traditional marketing doctrine. For this purpose we have taken the ontological and the conceptual dimension of metaphors, as they are also suggested by Hunt and Menon (1995), to serve as a starting point for a systematic comparison of resemblances and differences between both domains. Participants in a war, its organizational structure, resources and means for fighting, and, most of all, the military doctrine that reflects the fundamental presuppositions and principles of warfare represent the key ontological entities of the military metaphor. As it is clear from the historical overview, the idea of avoiding immediate conflict and of the importance of logistic activity eventually superseded von Clausewitz's idea of total destruction. Taking this into account we can recognize a certain resemblance with the successful marketing strategies of companies such as IKEA and ZARA who compete against their rivals not by engaging in price wars, but by focusing on a radically different production system in which logistics plays the primary role of ensuring competitive advantages (Kumar et. al., 2000; Mazaira et. al., 2003). We can spot some other resemblances between warfare and marketing with respect to the current trends in the development of their respective doctrines. The military doctrine of information superiority shares many traits with the so called "CRM" (Customer Relationship Marketing) approach in marketing. The latter is to a large extent based on the use of information about customers and their behaviour (Berson and Smith, 2000; Chorafas, 2001). Analysis of the military metaphor is also interesting with respect to the relationship towards consumers. Along these lines, Talbot (2003) claims that this is the point at which the military metaphor "breaks", since it is not entirely clear who would be the consumer in the context of warfare. The basic
17 Marketing strategy as creative sense-making: using metaphors 11 military presupposition that of conflict of interests is especially questionable in this view. This, however, makes the military element provocative and stimulates us to reflect on some fundamental presuppositions of marketing strategy. It is a fact that consumers are often disloyal (Reicheld, 1996; Knox, 1996) and increasingly distrustful, cynical, and combative, which is all reflected in the growth of consumer activism and in the increasing number of consumer boycotts (Brabbs, 2000; Micheletti et. al. 2004). We are unable to explain these trends by presuming the existence of a "harmonious marriage" with consumers. The latter is thus a questionable starting point for an effective response to these trends. If a conflict with consumers is an actual reality, then it is necessary to admit its existence, find a better explanation, and a proper response. This then dictates that the existing doctrine of consumer satisfaction be complemented by an insight into the conflictual aspects of relations as well as by a development of strategies for the resolution of the conflicts with consumers. At the conceptual level some of the aspects of guerrilla warfare also serve as an interesting comparison since marketing also involves the important question of what constitutes effective strategies for the struggle against dominating rivals. As we said above, the strength of guerrilla warfare is most of all in its ideological basis and in its flexible organization. An ideological background and the fact of "merging" with the civil sphere seem to be the points in which military struggle and marketing have nothing in common. Such an impression is, however, deceptive, which is why the comparison between the two offers a lot of inspiration. Such a comparison, namely, opens up an (overlooked) question about how the marketing strategy takes into account and uses the actual social context and the disappearance of a strict limitation between particular spheres in a (post)modern society. It is a fact that consumption itself often has an ideological, cultural, and even political background (see for example Crockett and Wallendorf, 2004), which is very rarely taken into account during the process of marketing strategy development. This is where a large potential lays hidden for the contemporary unconventional challengers of global corporations as it is attested by the success of Mecca Cola, a product whose competitive strategy was built on an anti-american iconography (Johansson, 2004). Invisibility of operation is another of key concepts in guerrilla activity that can be interestingly compared with the domain of marketing, and that simultaneously bears for it a contradictory and a far-reaching significance. Given that attracting attention, notice, recognition, and awareness constitute their main objective, marketing strategies as a rule tend towards maximum visibility (Kotler, 2003). The idea of "invisible" marketing therefore seems paradoxical. However, as a result of being constantly "bombarded" with an abundance of information, the consumers have started to create a kind of
18 12 Tomaž Kolar perceptual defence to protect themselves from the aggressive mass advertising. A question of how to pierce or avoid their radars with "invisible advertising" is therefore quite appropriate. It seems that in this domain the marketing practice is considerably ahead of the theory. The so-called Stealth (or Undercover) marketing and Tribal marketing are, namely, already frequently used in marketing practice (Kaikati and Kaikati, 2004; Cova and Cova, 2002). Both approaches share the characteristics of operating locally from nearby, the use of unconventional communicational tools (interpersonal communication, opinion leaders, product placement in everyday entertainment and cultural context), and the use of consumers social relations. A systematic comparison of the military and marketing domains therefore confirms the existence of a large creative potential hidden in the former. And we are far from having exhausted its dimensions and elements in their entirety. A further comparison of various dimensions and concepts would go beyond the purpose and the limits of this paper, which, however, does not mean that these further elements cannot be relevantly compared. The last phase of metaphor use demands that we unite all the important insights into a unified picture and develop an integral solution for the selected problem. In accordance with our own problem, the solution can neither lie in some conclusive set, or matrix, of "strategic alternatives", nor in some linear and strictly formalized algorithm of the phases of marketing strategy implementation. Rather, it is important to stress the always divergent nature of the outcome of creative thinking. That is why our main goal with the presented vision of marketing strategy is most of all to further a discussion of its elements rather than to suggest a precise and "the only correct" approach to it. It is, namely, easier, says Mintzberg (1994), to adapt the strategy to a variable environment if it is developed as a broad vision. We therefore suggest a further consideration of the marketing strategy through the prism of the military metaphor and do not offer an operationalization of the presented vision in the sense of a conceptual model. Further considerations are especially significant with respect to: Further debates on the fundamental presuppositions of the marketing "doctrine" as well as on the meaning of relations between marketing participants, A discussion of some additional key concepts which connect both domains, open up marketing paradoxes, and point to the unexploited potentials of marketing strategy development, A dialectical consideration of the dominant (technologicalinformational) and the inferior (guerrilla) marketing position, and A concretization of strategic implications with the use of current trends and successful marketing strategies as practical examples.
19 Marketing strategy as creative sense-making: using metaphors 13 IV. CONCLUSION A conceptual and practical discussion of metaphors in this paper confirms their broad applicability as a tool for creative strategic thinking. For this reason, metaphors can serve as an effective instrument in marketing strategy development. This, however, demands their thoughtful and systematic use. It is impossible to expect a realization of their creative potential, if metaphors are not used in an appropriate way. In the case of the military metaphor, the metaphor use turned out to be quite a demanding task; nevertheless, it corroborated the meaningfulness of the presented principles. Based on the experience and insights gained through the examination of a given example, we some other principles could also have been added. One of them would have been, for example, that knowledge of the relevant context and content of a particular (e.g. a military) domain represents a necessary prerequisite for a rich and productive metaphoric transfer. Contrary to some doubts about usefulness of a military metaphor, our experience also shows that it is very much alive and relevant; if only we manage to direct its transfer in an appropriate way. Doubt in the basic presuppositions and concepts of the classic military strategy turned out to be especially productive, since it also enabled a different view of strategy in the domain of marketing. It is important to assume an interpretive epistemological perspective when it comes to the question of "recognizing new meanings", since in the objectivistpositivist perspective concepts such as meaning, subjective interpretation, and sense, simply "do not exist" (Hatch, 1997). An interpretive stance is especially important if one defines the production of new knowledge about relations and meanings of marketing participants as the essence of a marketing strategy. Finally, some limits of metaphor use should also be noted. Given that their use introduces subjective meaning, there is always a danger of seeing "what we want to see" with the help of metaphor use, or the danger of mere confirming of our a priori presuppositions. This is why metaphors gain their true validity only through inter-subjective communication (Rindfleisch, 1996). Moreover, metaphors are appropriate particularly as a trigger of the process of creative thinking and in the articulation of intuitive cognitions (Nonaka, 1991; Hill and Levenhagen, 1995), which is why they do not suffice for a development of integral conceptual models. In order to do that, the cognitions and meanings revealed by metaphors have to be systematically interpreted. Since a metaphor always presents a partial truth, many authors advise a simultaneous use of several metaphors (Hunt and Menon, 1995; Rindfleisch, 1996). Following this strategy, we also avoid the greatest danger of metaphor use: its literal understanding, which is nonsensical and potentially misleading. Marketing, of course, is not war, which is why it is unproductive
20 14 Tomaž Kolar to try to establish the truthfulness of this metaphor. It is precisely the "false", the symbolic, aspect of the military APPENDIX: A SHORT OUTLINE OF THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF MILITARY STRATEGY Although the term strategy itself stems from Ancient Greece, military strategy represents a relatively new concept. The first to write about military strategy in a modern sense was von Buelow in He understood strategy as the art of leading military operations from the command room with the aid of plans and calculations (not directly from the field as it was the case in military practice up to that time). For him and his contemporaries, the skill of warfare was reduced to geometry (Van Creveld, 2000). War, however, with the central idea of destruction and killing, in its essence denies rationality. That is why a German military theorist of that time, Georg von Berenhorst, defended a completely opposite thesis: namely, that what counts in practice of war is will power, or the moral of the army. These opposing views were overcome by von Clausewitz (1989) who formulated a modern concept of military strategy. For him war was primarily an act of violence, in which raw force is the main factor of victory. The basic goal of military strategy is, according to his conception, a total (material and moral) destruction of enemy forces and the occupation of the capital of the enemy state. Following his conception, war is a continuation of politics by other means which in turn determines its goals and places it exclusively in the domain of the state. Further development of contemporary military strategy at the end of the 19th century is linked by some authors to the American naval theoretician Alfred Thayer Mahan (Talbot, 2003). In his texts Mahan stressed the importance of logistics, preventive strikes, and detention of enemy activity, which had longterm consequences for the concept of military strategy and reflected itself in the World War II. This doctrine relied on the presupposition that it is possible to achieve victory without complete destruction or frontal conflict, in which case the flexible manoeuvring with resources is as important as fire power itself. As a consequence of this doctrine, the states have become an irrelevant factor, the war was globalized, and economic and productive elements have become central to military strategy. As emphasized by the contemporary military analyst Van Creveld (2000), today there are two predominant views on the future development of armed conflicts. The first is represented by the military doctrine of the USA, the so called Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) which stresses the importance of