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(617) 327-3969

Cracking category and cultural codes… since 1999.


In the 15+ years that we've been doing semiotic brand analysis — that is, since shortly after the discipline of commercial semiotics was first invented — we've worked with 100+ brands, analyzing the codes of the following market and cultural categories, among others.


  • automotive (e.g., car brands, gasoline, tires)
  • banking (e.g., banks, credit cards, financial planning)
  • beverage alcohol (e.g., beer, spirits, mixed drinks)
  • clothing and footwear (e.g., jeans, sneakers)
  • confectionery and snacks (e.g., candy bars, ice cream, chips)
  • breakfast food (e.g., cereal, sausages)
  • corporate image and industry (e.g., casinos, soft drink companies, energy companies)
  • cosmetics and beauty products (e.g., skin care, shampoo and hair color, bodywash and soap, scent, anti-aging products, sunblock)
  • health and pharma (e.g., OTC and prescription meds for everything from ED to HIV to COPD, to diabetes, indigestion. allergies, and epilepsy)
  • home electronics (e.g., personal computers, TVs)
  • household maintenance (e.g., dish soap, detergent, fabric softener and scent, surface care, bleach)
  • internet and cable
  • mobile telephones
  • non-alcohol drinks (e.g., tea, juice, coffee, soda, iced tea)
  • nutritional supplements (e.g., vitamins, minerals, fish oil, probiotics)
  • personal effects and toiletries (e.g., deodorant, A/P, diapers, razors, toothpaste)
  • retail stores and fliers
  • savoury foods
  • transport, travel, and tourism
  • & more


  • "British-ness," "Italian-ness," "Chinese-ness," "Russian-ness," "Australian-ness," etc.
  • "positive aging," "retirement," "middle-aged beauty," "middle-aged fun and romance"
  • "premium-ness," "luxury," "sensuality," "high living," "gourmand vs. gourmet"
  • "soothing," "relief," "comfort," "reassuring," "easy"
  • "everyday health," "wholesome," "good for you"
  • "confidence," "poise," "fortitude," "grit," "uninhibited living"
  • "happiness," "bliss," "delight," "wellbeing," "fun"
  • "beauty," "elegance," "glamor," "charm"
  • "masculinity," "femininity," "virility," "male self-esteem"
  • "tough mom," "role models," "family," "in-laws," "siblings"
  • "newness," "freshness," "pristine," "clean," "modern," "cutting edge"
  • "less is more," "simple," "de-clutter"
  • "illumination," "clarity," "precision," "openness"," "discovery"
  • "invigoration," "inspiration," "optimism," "energy," "achievement"
  • "special ingredient," "molecule," "part of a complex whole"
  • "decision making," "discernment," "overchoice," "value"
  •  "sustainability," "going green"
  • "unlimited," "unleashed," "personalized"
  • & more