Marketing Code-X

Crucial Catalyst

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The CODE-X series catalogs a vast codex of source codes (aka “signs”) extracted from past audits.

The object of study in semiotics is not the signs but rather a general theory of signification; the goal of each “audit” is to build a model demonstrating how meaning is produced and received within a category or cultural territory. Signs on their own, therefore, only become truly revelatory and useful once we’ve sorted them into thematic complexes, and the complexes into codes, and the codes into a meaning map. We call this process “thick description”; the Code-X series is thin description.

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CRUCIAL CATALYST” NORM: The product is what makes the adventure possible. It allows you to push past your usual limits.

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CRUCIAL CATALYST” FORMS: Adventurers using the product; the product juxtaposed with an adventure it makes possible. Exhortations to adventure: “Explore beyond the familiar,” “Choose your own adventure.”

From a 2017 study of the Adventure space in US brand communications. This particular code is an example of “table stakes” for any brand playing in this space; that is to say, it’s a code that can support any positioning.

Tags: Adventure, CODE-X