Our en-symbol technique is for clients who want to gain semiotic insight within a qualitative research project to gain a complete picture of the potential their product, service or brand. The 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 conscious awareness. Semiotics lets us see what those perceptions and expectations are. Our semiotic work is much much more than a researcher simply spotting packaging cues in a group discussion. We offer insight backed by rigorous analysis and knowledge.

Why use Susan Bell Research for semiotics?

We have worked with semiotics for several decades and were the first to use it and promote it in Australia. We are across all the major theories and know how to apply them to commercial marketing issues in ways that are easy to understand. 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.

With en_symbol, we can help you to

  • Position or re-position your brand so it communicates in a contemporary way, through understanding how people use your brand symbolically, or by delving deeply into cultural themes such as 'wellness' and freshness.
  • Enter a new category by mapping brand image against category trends
  • Develop products and services by understanding how sensory elements create the experience
  • Create packaging for your product which conveys your intended meaning clearly and powerfully

How long do en_symbol projects take?

En_symbol projects take between a week and a month to complete depending on their complexity.

In summary...

Cultural concepts and codes influence how people experience products and services in a significant way but only people can tell us about the reality of that experience.  

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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