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Cracking category and cultural codes… since 1999.

Brand Identity & Design

A brand's identity consists of its norms (emotional and rational propositions and claims); these norms are communicated via differentiating visual and verbal forms. A brand whose forms become clichéd, or a brand that inadvertently sends mixed messages concerning its norms, becomes less and less meaningful to consumers. Unlike traditional market research, semiotics offers an outside-in analysis of brand meaning.

Semiotic analysis interrogates a brand's communications — from advertising to pack design to social media — in order to identify and classify the codes (combinations of forms and norms) that give a brand its unique and engaging meaning for consumers.

Example from a sample report — available on request.

Example from a sample report — available on request.


A brand identity key (not shown here) is a critical tool for clients and agencies under the following circumstances:

  • Seeking a clear picture of a brand's identity, in order to deeply and tightly integrate key assets.
  • Looking to give a brand a packaging refresh (e.g., new graphics, new pack type).
  • Evolving a brand's logo, typography, iconography, and visual communication.
  • Counteracting the natural depletion of brand meaning among consumers; making a brand's communications credible, relevant, and fresh to the target audience.
  • Strategically aligning a brand with its heritage; identifying powerful and differentiating aspects of a brand's identity that have been repressed or forgotten.
  • Jettisoning aspects of a brand's identity that have become clichéd or irrelevant.
  • Clarifying competitive distinctions between a brand and its rivals.
  • Ensuring a brand's consistent meaning across multiple national and/or global markets.

For more explanation and examples of how Semiovox can help you with brand identity and design, contact us.