Semiotics

We offer our clients two types of semiotic projects

  1. Stand alone, desk-based analysis, focusing on packaging and branding

  2. A unique qualitative research / semiotic hybrid that we call en-symbol, focusing especially on how rituals bring meaning to brands

Our history and knowledge

We have worked with semiotics for several decades and were the first to use it and promote it in Australia.  We innovate and use semiotics in contemporary ways, so while we can help you understand a market's residual, dominant and emergent codes - and there are new ways of thinking about this -  we can also go much further by drawing on a range of social semiotic theories and models such as narratives, myths and rituals. We first started working with sensory semiotics 10 years ago and have since refined and updated our approach.

Susan Bell has spoken at conferences and webinars on semiotics and published papers on semiotics in peer-reviewed academic journals.  We offer insight backed by rigorous analysis and knowledge.

As a stand-alone technique

We have conducted desk-based semiotic analysis for local and global agencies for several food and drink categories. We are across all the major theories and know how to apply them to commercial marketing issues in ways that are easy to understand.

As part of a qualitative research project

Semiotic analysis tells us about the cultural concepts and codes that influence how people experience products and services  while qualitative research tell us about the meaning of that experience.  Our approach suits clients who are looking for the depth of 'people' understanding that comes from qualitative research, yet who understand that people's perceptions and expectations have been shaped by their culture in ways that are outside their awareness.

Case Study - semiotic analysis of a new category

A multinational wanted to enter a new category in Australia. They wanted to know what the category 'meant' to Australians. Their U&A had told them about usage patterns and brand image but it had not shown them what cultural and emotional role the category played and where the opportunities and barriers to entry were. We conducted a semiotic audit of the category to reveal that tradition was a key cultural lodestone for the category. This client described this analysis as "really really insightful". We expect to see a launch soon.

Tags: Semiotics, Rituals, Cultural insight, Narratives, Myths, Implicit

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