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Cracking category and cultural codes… since 1999.


In the battle for consumer mindshare, the winners will be those brands whose communications are differentiating and memorable. Unlike traditional market research, semiotic analysis can provide a set of "guardrails" indicating which cultural and category codes (norms, and the forms via which they're expressed) should and should not be activated upon by the brand — as it competes with rival brands for mindshare.

Semiotic analysis studies a brand's current communications in the context of both the market and/or cultural category's current communications — and the brand's own past communications. By identifying, classifying, and mapping cultural and category codes activated on in these comms, it becomes possible to pinpoint which codes are culturally emergent and own-able by the brand… and, also importantly, which codes are not.

Example from a sample report — available on request.

Example from a sample report — available on request.

These "guardrails" (not shown here) are a critical tool for clients and agencies under the following circumstances:

  • Planning a new advertising or social media campaign, particularly one which revolts against the expected norms and/or forms of the culture or category.
  • Fine-tuning a campaign to which consumers aren't responding as expected.
  • Creating guidelines for brand communications to be shared across various units of the business.
  • Rolling out a unified campaign across multiple national and/or global markets.

For more explanation and examples of how Semiovox can help you sharpen brand communications, contact us.