Semiotics is study of how signs and visuals communicate and create meaning. Depending on the landscape and culture we are familiar with, the way we understand signs and visuals differ. In semiotics, links between the deep emotional consumers’ needs and the signs used in branding and advertisements are identified, to explore the cultural context in which consumers operate. While traditional consumer research seeks to find out what is in people’s heads, semiotics seeks to understand how it got there in the first place. It is a methodology for researching and analyzing consumer behavior and brand communications.
The Key Differences between Traditional Research and Semiotics
Traditional qualitative research involves delving into the psychology of the consumers. By talking to consumers, the researcher aims to understand the consumers’ instinct and feelings. Semiotics, on the other hand does not involve interviewing consumers, but involves non- numerical data analysis such as analysing ads, packs, NPDs, to understand culture and communications. The consumer is hence viewed as a cultural decoder, who is unconsciously interpreting the signs around them. For example, when we look at a traffic light, we automatically know how to react to the different colours because we were conditioned since young to understand the meaning of the colours of the traffic light. Simply put, traditional research takes on an “inside-out” approach while semiotics takes on an “outside-in” approach.
The Research Challenge
Today, all brands wish to “own” a slice of the human experience. There are thousands of brands but limited palette of emotions to express the human experience most accurately.
There is a need to develop a framework that helps marketers identify unexplored white spaces for specific human emotions such as confidence, happiness, friendship, etc.
Semiotics is the other half of the equation; it completes the picture to help brands stand out from competition by gaining deeper understanding of the consumers’ mind. At Idstats, we offer a window into implicit decision making anchored in mobile ethnography that goes beyond the stated and rationalized to understand the “lived consumer experience” and combine that with communication semiotics to unlock “collective imagination”. Our triangulation approach to research aims to draw out inspiring insights combine analytics, implicit and explicit research techniques.
We go beyond “stories told” to identify the gaps of expressions. This allows new territories and pathways to open up within a slice of the human experience. Through our research method, we are able to reveal how the creative imagination transforms the consumer experience, to enable fresh storytelling. With that knowledge, businesses can incorporate the decoded elements into their marketing communications message to reach out to consumers more effectively.
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org