Archive for the 'semiotics' Category

On Creating Value with Semiotics

Feb 12 2016 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Creating Value is Laura Oswald’s follow up to Marketing Semiotics with much more emphasis on the different applications of semiotics in marketing and market research, as well as an attempt to rethink some aspects of semiotic theory and how they relate to brands in the modern world.

In terms of theory, Laura Oswald argues that we need to shift perspective away from traditional cultural analysis and its emphasis on a (semi) permanent structure of cultural values, towards something more dynamic and more focused on how brands create meaning (and value) at the intersection of category codes, cultural trends and the real-life practice and behaviours of brand users. Read more »

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The Spectre of Blending Signs

Nov 09 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

I really enjoyed Spectre, the latest Bond outing. In particular, the film is full of references to other (Bond) movies. Apart from the fact that Spectre weaves together strands from all three of Daniel Craig’s previous outings, I noticed quiet specific references to several earlier Bond films, including From Russia With Love, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (via Inception) and The Spy Who Loved Me. And those are only the ones that I remember (I wasn’t taking notes in the cinema).

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What’s in a Metaphor? Using images to decode culture

Jul 21 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

TapestryWorks recently conducted some fascinating research into the meaning of beauty for Muslim women in Indonesia and Malaysia.  The self-funded project looked at the key emotional goals relating to beauty, using our StoryWorks framework and Visual Think Cards, perceptions of local female celebrities in relation to beauty, and an emotional and cultural analysis of how brands are talking about beauty in both markets.

We will be sharing the results with clients and publishing some of the key highlights soon, but one of the major findings is that many local brands are far ahead of global brands in catching the local zeitgeist and communicating messages that resonate with local cultural norms.

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Human Decision-Making and the Semiotics of Sensory Signals

Apr 24 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Successful brands understand both the universal qualities of human behavior and the cultural context of the local markets in which they operate. Thus, good brand management integrates universals of human nature with locally relevant nurturing through the prism of culture.

So do semiotics and neuromarketing have much in common? Although there has been little interaction between behavioral scientists and semioticians, they share more than is commonly acknowledged and are often solving the same problem from different perspectives. Read more »

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The Semiotics of Office Design

Jun 29 2014 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Many companies are waking up to the importance of office design in communicating and supporting their company culture. Most famously, Pixar’s offices were designed by Steve Jobs to maximize the number of random interactions between employees across all company departments.

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Is your Brand using the right Symbols?

Feb 25 2014 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Our world is full of symbols, and we are all surrounded by symbols and signs every hour of every day. Our brains constantly use signs and symbols to access mental shortcuts. These shortcuts allow us to simplify and manage the world in all its complexity. For brands, these shortcuts are important to how customers perceive category and brand identities. Once established, such identities are hard to disrupt. Read more »

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11 Brand Colours and their Meanings

Nov 02 2013 Published by neilgains under semiotics

“There is no model; there is only colour”  - Paul Cezanne

Earlier this month, Cadbury lost the fight to fully trademark their distinctive purple colour (although it is uniquely theirs for chocolate). Why do they care so much about their purple and does it have a meaning beyond its specific association with Cadbury?

Colours are powerful weapons in any branding toolkit and rich with meanings. As a starting point, here is a quick tour of the eleven most frequently used colour names. Read more »

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The Semiotics of Market Research Agencies (Part 2)

Apr 11 2013 Published by neilgains under semiotics

We know what the big global agencies think about themselves (read here), but what about the smaller global and regional agencies in Asia? Do they have a different perspective on what they can do for their customers? In the previous article I took a look at the websites of the big four market research agencies, and now it’s the turn of the next tier of players (strictly in alphabetical order). Read more »

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The Meaning of Grey – the Colour of Age and Wisdom

Jan 21 2013 Published by neilgains under semiotics

“Regrets are the natural property of grey hairs.”  - Charles Dickens

“People think that everyone wears black in France; in fact they all wear grey.” – Jean Paul Gaultier

“I am black or white, I’ll never be grey in my life.”  - Diego Maradona

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The Meaning of Pink – the Colour of Seduction

Jan 21 2013 Published by neilgains under semiotics

“And she was fair as is the rose in May.”  - Geoffrey Chaucer

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”  - Audrey Hepburn

“Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense.”  - Mark Overby Read more »

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