BY LUCIA TREZOVA
InSymbolsResearch.com
2014
Mining the Brandscape
or marketing research in transition
We All Are Culture
Depending:
TO EXPRESS OUR
INNER AND UNIQUE
THOUGHTS AND
FEELINGS
WE ALL MUST USE
CULTURALLY
SHARED SYMB...
Become permeable and
interconnected
Getting data is not the problem
anymore, contrariwise, we are
data overloaded
Informat...
I
What I do?
CULTURE IS A WEB OF
MEANINGS....
...AND EACH BRAND REPRESENTS
ONE OF THESE FINE STRINGS OF
WHICH THE WEB IS K...
WHAT IS A BRANDSCAPE?
in cultures with
specific norms,
values, beliefs,
with their history,
issues, problems...
BRANDS EXI...
BRANDSCAPE IS A SYMBOLIC UNIVERSE IN WHICH
BRANDS EXIST AND FROM WHICH BRANDS DRAW UPON
Brand
Consumers’
needs,desires,
ex...
Brands do not have only functional benefits. Brands also
have another value: symbolic value.
Consumer
Brandscape
is a kind...
CULTURE
Brandscape is an open two-way permeable and
very sensitive system, prone to absorb and reflect
all changes in soci...
What does that mean?
It means that....
...BRANDSCAPES
CREATE AND INFLUENCE
SYMBOLIC SYSTEM OF MEANINGS
ASSOCIATED WITH BRAND =
BRAND MEANINGS
WHICH ENABLE SYMBOL...
BRAND MEANING...
...represents all kinds of symbolic satisfaction
brand is able to gratify: need for status, power, love,
...
Choose your favourite beer...
close your eyes...and let yourself imagine...
What did come to your mind?
....an image of a ...
Brand Meaning includes cultural and personal
associations connected to brand
Brand meaning is reflected in Brand Value
Bra...
We project our personal
meanings into goods and use
brands meanings as
tools to satisfy our personal
symbolic needs
...THU...
What does that mean?
It means that....
...IN ORDER TO MANAGE BRANDS
SUCCESSFULLY,
BRAND MEANINGS
SHOULD BE EXPLORED IN THEIR
COMPLEXITY INCLUDING
THE WHOLE BRAND...
Which DIRECT consequences
does it have for a current
marketing research?
...It means that apart from focusing
on Brands and Consumers,
Marketing Research should cover
also
nowadays often neglecte...
THE „NEW“ HOLISTIC MARKET
RESEARCH SHOULD STAND ON
ALL 4 PILLARS:
• Culture and society
• Brand and its heritage
• Competi...
Culture & Society
Culture also gives us the tool to talk about reality: by
acquiring and using language
Language does not describe and refle...
CULTURE IS LIKE LENSES THROUGH WHICH WE SEE AND
INTERPRETATE THE WORLD
Every element of our world that we can virtually is...
• We ACQUIRE and construct these concepts via social learning
• These concepts are „cultural“ because they are rooted in a...
How is this all connected to
marketing and brands...?
VERY CLOSELY ...LET’S USE BASIC LOGIC...
...AND BRANDS
ARE SYSTEMS
OF MEANINGS...
...IF SOCIAL CATEGORIES
ARE SYSTEMS OF
M...
„Advertising and brand communication mediate this transfer of meanings
between cultural categories and attach them to bran...
BRANDS ARE SUCCESSFUL OR SIMPLY RELEVANT TO THE
EXTENT TO WHICH THEY CAN CONNECT PROPERLY TO
MEANINGS OF CULTURAL/SOCIAL C...
„Brand message must reflect a deep and nuanced
understanding of the multiple cultural categories in
which the brand is emb...
What does that mean for
market research?
It means that...
...SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CATEGORIES
TO WHICH BRANDS ARE CONNECTED
SHOULD BE
TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT
AND EXPLORED THOROUGHLY ...
WHY?
Because...
It is like looking at a picture and seeing a mouth, seeing the eyes, perceiving
nose, ears, eyebrows: (facts), but without...
How can we explore social
categories and brand
meanings in cultural
context...?
CODES
SIGNS AND SYMBOLS
BY FINDING OUT HOW THEY
ARE BEING CREATED !
We comprehend social „reality“ by understanding Code System
existing in culture and by knowledge of Signs which are used
w...
SIGN IS SOMETHING THAT REPRESENTS SOMETHING
OTHER THAN ITSELF...THUS, IN COMMUNICATION
EVERYTHING IS A SIGN....
SIGNS CAN ...
CODE SYSTEMS ARE RULES OR CONVENTIONS WHICH
GOVERN USING SIGN SYSTEMS
...they can be written (like traffic rules or laws) ...
The key question is:
where are these codes
used and contained?
Where do they work?
CULTURE IS “MACRO-CODE„
EACH PRODUCT CA...
„They all are created by the different “texts” linked to
other texts, which altogether represent con-text.“
DISCOURSES ARE...
If you want to change consumers’ thinking, you have
to change the discourse!
TO FILL UP BRANDS WITH
DESIRED MEANINGS
USING
TANGIBLE SYMBOLS
MEANINGFUL IN EXISTING
CODE SYSTEMS
(PRODUCT CATEGORY, MARK...
What is this process like....?
1. DIAGNOSE CODE SYSTEM OF BRANDSCAPE AND IDENTIFY
EXISTING CODES AS WELL AS EMERGING ONES = NEW TRENDS
3. IDENTIFY THOSE ...
...Which codes govern market segments and product categories...
...Which signs and symbols are available, shared and under...
How is it performed in reality...?
In order to understand what consumers
really think and feel, it is necessary to
go beyond their words...
WHAT EXACTLY IS M...
When studying brands in cultural context we do not necessarily
ask directly consumers what they think about culture or
bra...
Why this way...?
To „unlock“ these key assumptions, it is vital to study not the consumer,
but culture itself. It is neces...
„Culturally-variable perceptual codes are typically
inexplicit, and we are not normally conscious of the
roles which they ...
How can we „unlock“ them
and make them explicit...?
Lets’ look at it in a summary using
„beer business“ as an example ....
Your Brand:
Pilsen
MICRO LEVEL
ANALYSIS
Product Category:
Beer Category
Market Segment:
Alcoholic Beverages
Culture: Czech...
There are 4 levels of analysis:
Lets’ make it simple:
...And several ways of analysis, depending on the
levels...for examp...
POSSIBLE SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
WRITTEN TEXT:
NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINE ARTICLES
DIGITAL MEDIA: e.g. web pages content
SOCI...
WHAT MATTERS?
„Consumers responses would be analyzed for their stories, narratives, emotions, with
the aim to uncover patt...
There are 2 ways of how to proceed:
BOTTOM UP PROCESS TOP DOWN PROCESS
STARTING WITH BRAND
IDENTITY AND BRAND
COMMUNICATIO...
Let’s focus on them step by step:
CATEGORY AND MARKET
SEGMENT ANALYSIS
BRAND IDENTITY RESEARCH
AND COMMUNICATION AUDIT
CUL...
TO STUDY MEANINGS EMBEDDED
IN WEB OF:
Brand Discourse:
Brand Rhetoric Analysis
Brand Visual Symbolism and
Imagery Analysis...
TO STUDY MEANINGS EMBEDDED
IN WEB OF:
Category and Market Segment
Discourse:
Pop Culture Analysis
Category Symbolism and
M...
TO STUDY MEANINGS EMBEDDED
IN WEB OF:
Cultural Myths
Sub-cultures Memberships
Cultural Rituals
Cultural Narratives
Dominan...
What Is Specially Favourable About This Approach?
YOU USSUALY DO NOT NEED ANY
ADDITIONAL EXPENSES TO COLLECT
DATA:
A. YOUR...
Who can benefit from this approach
most?
EVERYONE WHOSE
WORK DEPENDS ON
MANAGEMENT OF
MEANINGS
 PR Agencies
 Advertising Agencies
 Service Providers: Banks, Insurance
companies, Telco companies, etc.
 TV Stations ...
These techniques help clients:
1. To foster innovations by discovering how consumer’s culture and
the market has changed/w...
This approach helps establish effective process of meaning transfer
from culture to brands and to consumers and ideally ba...
CONTACT: PhDr. LUCIA TREZOVA
RESEARCH CONSULTANT AND CULTURE ANALYST
InSymbolsResearch.com
LUCIA.TREZOVA@GMAIL.COM
Thank y...
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Mining the Brandscape: The Future of Marketing Research

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To explain holistic market research approach and describe specific techniques how to explore Brandscape, brands identity and brand meanings in cultural context. To explore how brands meanings are created by use of signs and symbols in code systems within discourses. To explain the role of marketing communication in meaning transfer to create successful strong culturally relevant brands.

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Mining the Brandscape: The Future of Marketing Research

  1. 1. BY LUCIA TREZOVA InSymbolsResearch.com 2014 Mining the Brandscape or marketing research in transition
  2. 2. We All Are Culture Depending: TO EXPRESS OUR INNER AND UNIQUE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS WE ALL MUST USE CULTURALLY SHARED SYMBOLS. THE WHOLE COMMUNICATION IS ABOUT RECEIVING AND SENDING OVER MESSAGES EXPRESSED USING TOOLS PROVIDED BY CULTURE.
  3. 3. Become permeable and interconnected Getting data is not the problem anymore, contrariwise, we are data overloaded Information is mostly fragmented and often contradictory We miss data interconnections and data relationships The more data we have, the more we call for its genuine understanding Understanding means putting information into context WHAT IS REALLY AN ISSUE HERE IS: DATA INTERPRETATION = EXTRACTING DATA TRUE MEANINGS THEWORLDHASCHANGED: Too Much Data, Too Little Understanding
  4. 4. I What I do? CULTURE IS A WEB OF MEANINGS.... ...AND EACH BRAND REPRESENTS ONE OF THESE FINE STRINGS OF WHICH THE WEB IS KNITTED...
  5. 5. WHAT IS A BRANDSCAPE? in cultures with specific norms, values, beliefs, with their history, issues, problems... BRANDS EXIST IN THESE WIDE CONTEXTS WHICH CONSTITUTE SYMBOLIC ENVIRONMENTS = BRANDSCAPES No brand is an island... Brands exist: in markets with many competing brands... in societies consisting of people with their desires, plans, aspirations...
  6. 6. BRANDSCAPE IS A SYMBOLIC UNIVERSE IN WHICH BRANDS EXIST AND FROM WHICH BRANDS DRAW UPON Brand Consumers’ needs,desires, expectations... Social and cultural categories Cultural myths, beliefs,norms,values Competing brands Brand logo Brand packaging Brand heritage Advertising, brand comm Brand price Point of sales Brand stories
  7. 7. Brands do not have only functional benefits. Brands also have another value: symbolic value. Consumer Brandscape is a kind of language in which goods „talk“ and convey meanings SYMBOLIC CONSUMPTION TO CREATE PERSONAL IDENTITIES TO IDENTIFY WITH GROUPS OR TO DISTANCE FROM THEM TO MARK TRANSITION FROM ONE LIFE STAGE TO THE NEXT ONE Brands engage consumers in an imagery/symbolic process of need fulfillment since goods communicate also social and emotional benefits that satisfy needs, such as need for status, self-image, love, safety, etc. Consumers use brands: By symbolic consumption consumers project their personal meanings into goods and use brand meanings to satisfy their individual symbolic needs
  8. 8. CULTURE Brandscape is an open two-way permeable and very sensitive system, prone to absorb and reflect all changes in society as well as to cause social changes. Since people are symbolic beings, all these exchanges are done in symbolic ways: by transferring meanings. CONSUMERS BRANDSCAPE IS A SYSTEM consisting of 4 elements According to a system theory, every change of a system element causes the change of the whole system Just imagine how Internet or smart mobile phones affected our lives, or how our grammas’ lives changed after washing machines got to markets...
  9. 9. What does that mean? It means that....
  10. 10. ...BRANDSCAPES CREATE AND INFLUENCE SYMBOLIC SYSTEM OF MEANINGS ASSOCIATED WITH BRAND = BRAND MEANINGS WHICH ENABLE SYMBOLIC CONSUMPTION AND SYMBOLIC SATISFACTION
  11. 11. BRAND MEANING... ...represents all kinds of symbolic satisfaction brand is able to gratify: need for status, power, love, sex, control, indulgence, harmony, joy, creativity, intellectual fulfilment, etc.) ...condenses all associations which brand produces, and all connotations brand evokes ...represents all consumer’s fantasies brand triggers, and all stories surrounding brand ...is not just a consumer’s perception of quality and reliability of brand, but these are also included
  12. 12. Choose your favourite beer... close your eyes...and let yourself imagine... What did come to your mind? ....an image of a dew mug of your beer in hot summer day... .... beer as a reminder of a great party .... beer as an opportunity to meet old school mates and have fun ....a glass of beer as good ending of your family lunch ....a beer as a pleasant break during a sport ....beer as an alcoholic beverage causing a headache ....beer as a sign of national pride ....beer as a start of conversation on meaning of life with your friends ....beer as an alcohol causing family trouble.... ....shopping for your beer ....your beer great taste and color ....your beer logo and your beer bottles.... ....beer advertisement WHATISTHEMEANINGOFBEERFORYOU?...
  13. 13. Brand Meaning includes cultural and personal associations connected to brand Brand meaning is reflected in Brand Value Brand Value is measured as Brand Equity expressed in $ THUS BRAND MEANING IS NOT AN ACADEMIC ISSUE, IT IS A KEY TO BRAND SUCCESS
  14. 14. We project our personal meanings into goods and use brands meanings as tools to satisfy our personal symbolic needs ...THUS, WHAT MARKETERS SELL ARE NOT PRODUCTS OR SERVICES, BUT RATHER BRAND MEANINGS STORED IN CONSUMERS’ HEADS By choosing brands we buy all brand meanings which are encoded into brands ...all associations, connotations, fantasies, stories, images, ideas, narratives, myths, values, norms and promises...
  15. 15. What does that mean? It means that....
  16. 16. ...IN ORDER TO MANAGE BRANDS SUCCESSFULLY, BRAND MEANINGS SHOULD BE EXPLORED IN THEIR COMPLEXITY INCLUDING THE WHOLE BRANDSCAPE: CONSUMERS + BRANDS + CULTURAL CONTEXTS
  17. 17. Which DIRECT consequences does it have for a current marketing research?
  18. 18. ...It means that apart from focusing on Brands and Consumers, Marketing Research should cover also nowadays often neglected part of the Brandscape: CULTURE & SOCIETY
  19. 19. THE „NEW“ HOLISTIC MARKET RESEARCH SHOULD STAND ON ALL 4 PILLARS: • Culture and society • Brand and its heritage • Competing brands • Consumers BRANDSCAPE
  20. 20. Culture & Society
  21. 21. Culture also gives us the tool to talk about reality: by acquiring and using language Language does not describe and reflect reality, language rather creates and constructs reality CULTURE SHAPES WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE PERCEIVE, UNDERSTAND AND ACT TOWARD „REALITY“
  22. 22. CULTURE IS LIKE LENSES THROUGH WHICH WE SEE AND INTERPRETATE THE WORLD Every element of our world that we can virtually isolate, demark and give a name to represents certain culture category. Culture categories are, therefore, components, discrete parcels, units from which the world is created, built of and segmented into... They are our mental concepts = constructs, through which we grasp reality, into which we divide up reality, by which we organize social reality, thus through which we try to UNDERSTAND and HANDLE the whole world We create a category as „friendship“ , we create category as „marriage“ , or category of „fast food“ , we construct what the „beauty“ means, or „purity“, we create the category of „personal hygiene“, or what means to be a „women“ or to be a „man“ , etc. HOW DO WE ACQUIRE THEM ?
  23. 23. • We ACQUIRE and construct these concepts via social learning • These concepts are „cultural“ because they are rooted in and determined by a culture in which they exist We learn them by growing up, by living in certain culture...we put them together from many different and seemingly unconnected sources as a puzzle ... ...by watching TV, by listening to the radio, by reading books, newspapers and magazines, by interacting in social media, by talking to people, by observing people, some are learnt in schools, some are learnt in families, or in peer groups, etc. WHAT THE „THINGS“ MEAN This exposure teaches us: WHAT ATTITUDE TO ADOPT TOWARD „THINGS“ HOW TO ACT, HOW TO HANDLE THEM This all determines how we perceive the world... ...AND WE AS MEMBERS OF SOCIETY BY OUR EVERYDAY ACTING ARE CONSTANTLY ENGAGED IN A CONSTRUCTION OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
  24. 24. How is this all connected to marketing and brands...?
  25. 25. VERY CLOSELY ...LET’S USE BASIC LOGIC... ...AND BRANDS ARE SYSTEMS OF MEANINGS... ...IF SOCIAL CATEGORIES ARE SYSTEMS OF MEANINGS… ...AND PEOPLE/CONSUMERS SEEK IN BRANDS SYMBOLIC SATISFACTION… there is a tight connection between brands and social/cultural categories: THEN... Cultural meanings are transferred from the culture to the products and to the consumers CULTURAL CATEGORY PRODUCTS CONSUMERS marketing comm marketing comm MARKETING COMMUNICATION IS AN AGENT TRANSFERRING MEANINGS FROM CULTURE TO GOODS AND TO CONSUMERS
  26. 26. „Advertising and brand communication mediate this transfer of meanings between cultural categories and attach them to brands. …Over time such meaning transfer become embedded in popular culture, so that icons as Marlboro Man transcend the brand per se and become symbols for cultural ideals and myths. (Grant McCracken, 1986) „Consumer Brandscape forms a network of meanings derived from multiple cultural contexts. For consumers to integrate these cultural contexts at all, they merge meanings from one context to another by means of symbols“ (Laura Oswald, 2012) SO, MARKETING COMMUNICATION IS THE MEDIATOR ENABLING DIALOGUE BETWEEN: CONSUMERS, THEIR CULTURE AND BRANDS 3. CULTURE 4. CONSUMERS ...inside Brandscape CONSUMERS ...and its 4 elements Perpetuating and never ending dialogue
  27. 27. BRANDS ARE SUCCESSFUL OR SIMPLY RELEVANT TO THE EXTENT TO WHICH THEY CAN CONNECT PROPERLY TO MEANINGS OF CULTURAL/SOCIAL CATEGORIES IF THEY CANNOT, THEY BECOME SIMPLY IRRELEVANT AND ARE GOING TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE MARKET What are consequences of this...? ADS OR MARKETING COMMUNICATION GENERALLY ARE SUCCESSFUL ONLY TO THE EXTENT TO WHICH THEY CAN MANAGE THIS MEANING TRANSFER 1. 2. IF THEY CANNOT, THEY WILL NOT WORK FOR THE BRAND
  28. 28. „Brand message must reflect a deep and nuanced understanding of the multiple cultural categories in which the brand is embedded – from the brand legacy, to consumer culture, to the popular culture“ (Laura Oswald, 2012)
  29. 29. What does that mean for market research? It means that...
  30. 30. ...SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CATEGORIES TO WHICH BRANDS ARE CONNECTED SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT AND EXPLORED THOROUGHLY ...
  31. 31. WHY? Because...
  32. 32. It is like looking at a picture and seeing a mouth, seeing the eyes, perceiving nose, ears, eyebrows: (facts), but without any ability to recognize that what we are looking at is actually a face (understanding) ...neglecting cultural and social context might cause that a lot of research findings might end up as just facts – as unconnected dots: numbers (in case of quanti) or claims (in case of quali), unable to explain what these facts mean for consumers-brand relationships and what business decisions should be made based on research findings... ...BECAUSE, THEY MIGHT PROVIDE INFORMATION, BUT NOT UNDERSTANDING...
  33. 33. How can we explore social categories and brand meanings in cultural context...?
  34. 34. CODES SIGNS AND SYMBOLS BY FINDING OUT HOW THEY ARE BEING CREATED !
  35. 35. We comprehend social „reality“ by understanding Code System existing in culture and by knowledge of Signs which are used within the given code system. Code system of colors says in Western culture that white means „innocence“ and „purity“ and „ youth“ and also „piece“ and „spirit“ and „hope“ and „soul“ and „holy“ and generally „good“; while black means „ sadness“ or „grief“ and also „obscure“ and „deep“ and „unknown“ and „unconscious“ and also „dangerous“ and generally „evil“. It says that red represents „dynamism“, and „activity“ and „sex“ and „fight“ and „aggressiveness “, etc. CODES FUNCTION AS „DICTIONARIES“, AS RULES HOW TO TRANSLATE AND ORGANIZE SIGNS COLOR CODE SYSTEM SIGNS FUNCTION AS „BRICKS“ WHICH WE COMBINE TOGETHER TO CREATE MEANINGS Codes are systems of conventions how to „read“ (decode) signs and how to „create“ (encode) social categories using signs
  36. 36. SIGN IS SOMETHING THAT REPRESENTS SOMETHING OTHER THAN ITSELF...THUS, IN COMMUNICATION EVERYTHING IS A SIGN.... SIGNS CAN BE INTERPRETED....SIGNS CONVEY MEANINGS.... this is the sign of danger... this is the sign of a high status for men this is the sign of wealth for women this is the sign of nature Or more academically....sign comprises of: Signifier Signified Mental concept – social category to which it refers... SIGN Material vehicle of a sign which can be image, text, sound, tone or gesture...
  37. 37. CODE SYSTEMS ARE RULES OR CONVENTIONS WHICH GOVERN USING SIGN SYSTEMS ...they can be written (like traffic rules or laws) or implicit (as good manners or fashion) To understand equations, the math code must be learnt, to program applications e.g. C++ code must be learnt, etc. Codes provide us with clues, instructions, they guide us how signs should be „read“ and „used“ in communication CODES AFFECT HOW WE: 1. Decode - extract and understand meanings of bunch of signs (textual or visual or numerical or musical ones, etc...) 2. Encode - how we materialize, express via signs (text or pictures or music or movement or gesture) information we want to communicate... A corporate “newspeak” containing expressions like: “lets’ brainstorm, write me minutes, what about outsource it” also requires knowledge of the special code to understand what is meant; SMS communication has its own code full of abbreviations; to read a non-verbal behaviour requires skills to read „body language” code, etc. There are many special codes which must be learnt in order to understand: The most prevalent and obvious code is every language
  38. 38. The key question is: where are these codes used and contained? Where do they work? CULTURE IS “MACRO-CODE„ EACH PRODUCT CATEGORY OR MARKET SEGMENT USE THEIR OWN CODES CODES ARE FRAMEWORKS WHICH ARE USED BY BOTH: PRODUCERS AND INTERPRETERS OF COMMUNICATION THEY WORK WITHIN AND INSIDE OF DISCOURSES
  39. 39. „They all are created by the different “texts” linked to other texts, which altogether represent con-text.“ DISCOURSES ARE WAYS HOW WE „TALK” ABOUT THE „THINGS“ – NOT ONLY BY WORDS, BUT ALSO BY IMAGES... They structure the way we talk and thus think about the world. They induce our worldview: what we think about ourselves and other people - they determine identities, they affect how we structure social categories, they influence our beliefs, values, norms... AND OTHER MEANS TOO
  40. 40. If you want to change consumers’ thinking, you have to change the discourse!
  41. 41. TO FILL UP BRANDS WITH DESIRED MEANINGS USING TANGIBLE SYMBOLS MEANINGFUL IN EXISTING CODE SYSTEMS (PRODUCT CATEGORY, MARKET SEGMENT AND CULTURE) IN ORDER TO CONNECT BRANDS TO SOCIAL CATEGORIES IN DISCOURSE
  42. 42. What is this process like....?
  43. 43. 1. DIAGNOSE CODE SYSTEM OF BRANDSCAPE AND IDENTIFY EXISTING CODES AS WELL AS EMERGING ONES = NEW TRENDS 3. IDENTIFY THOSE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS WHICH WILL EXPRESS INTENDED MEANINGS BEST, AND THEN Steps: 1 – 2 – 3 and 4 or 5 4. SUGGEST NEW SIGNS AND SYMBOLS CONVEYING CURRENT BRAND MEANINGS 5. SUGGEST NEW BRAND MEANINGS USING NEW SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OR OR MANAGE DISCOURSE 2. DETERMINE MEANINGS DESIRABLE TO COMMUNICATE
  44. 44. ...Which codes govern market segments and product categories... ...Which signs and symbols are available, shared and understood by the target group... ...How brand meanings are embedded in the broad culture: in cultural categories, in myths, in social organization and beliefs and values of the target market... Because marketing signs are context-sensitive, they are perceived through a filter of the social and cultural codes While in western country McDonald means cheap and unhealthy food, in developing countries it can mean indulgence and luxury food BY THIS PROCEDURE YOU WILL DISCOVER: While for mothers some piece of clothes means an old, unfashionable garment worn in her twenties, for her daughter it can mean a cool retro thing While smoking was some time ago considered widely cool and in, now in many cultures smoking is a sign of the low social class
  45. 45. How is it performed in reality...?
  46. 46. In order to understand what consumers really think and feel, it is necessary to go beyond their words... WHAT EXACTLY IS MEANT BY THIS...?
  47. 47. When studying brands in cultural context we do not necessarily ask directly consumers what they think about culture or brands, it is simply impossible... We rather explore manifestation of their beliefs, norms, values, attitudes in culture itself - we focus on evidence We study systems of sign organization - we study codes directly in culture products which includes also studying brands and marketing comm We study how the meanings are derived and materialized via signs and symbols - how they are encoded into culture products which includes also studying brands and brand comm
  48. 48. Why this way...? To „unlock“ these key assumptions, it is vital to study not the consumer, but culture itself. It is necessary to study culturally framed meanings of brands. ...BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ABLE TO COMMUNICATE IT DIRECTLY... 1. We are so deeply immersed in our own culture that most our key assumptions about culture are taken for granted: we perceive them as „natural“ and „normal“ 2. We are so absorbed by them that they became implicit for us, we simply „live“ them without registering them 3. These cultural patterns, norms, beliefs are, therefore, mostly unconscious and therefore not accessible to our rational minds and to our individual awareness 4. We are controlled by them without being explicitly aware of them 5. Our needs, our attitudes, expectations and beliefs are locked in a cultural web
  49. 49. „Culturally-variable perceptual codes are typically inexplicit, and we are not normally conscious of the roles which they play. To users of the dominant, most widespread codes, meanings generated within such codes tend to appear 'obvious' and 'natural’.“ (Laura Oswald, 2012)
  50. 50. How can we „unlock“ them and make them explicit...? Lets’ look at it in a summary using „beer business“ as an example ....
  51. 51. Your Brand: Pilsen MICRO LEVEL ANALYSIS Product Category: Beer Category Market Segment: Alcoholic Beverages Culture: Czech Culture MACRO LEVEL ANALYSIS Cultural Myths Cultural Narratives Dominant Ideology Cultural Shifts Norms, Values, Standards Lifestyle Trends Demographical Change Economy, History Pop-culture and Media narratives Rituals of Consumptions Norms, Beliefs, Attitudes Consumption Myths Archetypes Stories Imagery Brand Discourse Brand Rhetoric Brand Symbolism Brand Stories Brand Metaphors and Associations Communication Audit Visual Codes in Category Language Codes in Category Use of Signs and Symbols Competitors’ Brand Discourse Competitors’ Brand Rhetoric
  52. 52. There are 4 levels of analysis: Lets’ make it simple: ...And several ways of analysis, depending on the levels...for example: 1. BRAND 2. PRODUCT CATEGORY 3. MARKET SEGMENT 4. CULTURE 1. CULTURAL MYTHS ANALYSIS 4. RITUALS OF CONSUMPTION ANALYSIS 7. BRAND RHETORIC ANALYSIS, ETC. 6. BRAND METAPHOR ANALYSIS The aim is to find „disconnections“ = „gaps“ between BRAND vs. PRODUCT vs. CATEGORY/MARKET SEGMENT vs. CONSUMERS vs. CULTURE or to discover new „connections“ - opportunity for brands 2. VISUAL IMAGERY CATEGORY ANALYSIS 5. STORY-TELLING ANALYSIS 3. ANALYSIS OF CATEGORY RHETORIC It is not an imperative to cover all of them!
  53. 53. POSSIBLE SOURCES OF INFORMATION: WRITTEN TEXT: NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINE ARTICLES DIGITAL MEDIA: e.g. web pages content SOCIAL MEDIA: e.g. FB, Google+, blogs, Twitter... VISUAL MATERIAL: AUDIO MATERIAL : BEHAVIOR: WHAT WHERE TV ADVERTISING AND PRINT ADS POINT OF SALES, VENUES AND STORE INTERIORS BILLBOARDS and LEAFLETS BRAND PACKAGING BRAND LOGO ILLUSTRATIONS IN MAGAZINES FILMS, MOVIES, TV SHOWS WALL PAINTINGS, FASHION, SOCIAL AND DIGITAL MEDIA visual content AD SPOTS, JINGLES RADIO content POPULAR MUSIC POP CULTURE POP CULTURE CONSUMERS’ NARRATIVES, STORIES CONSUMPTION RITUALS and SHOPPING HABITS, etc.
  54. 54. WHAT MATTERS? „Consumers responses would be analyzed for their stories, narratives, emotions, with the aim to uncover patterns, symbolic associations, how consumers use existing cultural artifacts to express their identities.“ „We will search for general patterns of meanings that prevail from one text to another and therefore reflect the collective myths, values, beliefs consumers associate with the brand or product category.“ „We will uncover deep collective values and consumers’ placement of goods and implications for social interactions.“ „We concentrate on how consumers select and how they combine different elements – units of meaning in order to create indented meaning or interpret meanings (signs and symbols) to produce meaning, which is dictated by the culture or subculture of which the consumer is a member .“ Based on the book of Laura Oswald, 2012
  55. 55. There are 2 ways of how to proceed: BOTTOM UP PROCESS TOP DOWN PROCESS STARTING WITH BRAND IDENTITY AND BRAND COMMUNICATION INCLUDING COMPETITORS’ COMMUNICATION THEN CONTINUE WITH BRAND CATEGORY THEN CONTINUE WITH MARKET SEGMENT TO CULTURE AND CULTURAL CATEGORIES FINISHING WITH BRAND IDENTITY AND BRAND COMMUNICATION INCLUDING COMPETITORS’ COMMUNICATION STARTING WITH CULTURE AND CULTURAL CATEGORIES THEN CONTINUE WITH MARKET SEGMENT THEN CONTINUE WITH BRAND CATEGORY OR CONSUMER
  56. 56. Let’s focus on them step by step: CATEGORY AND MARKET SEGMENT ANALYSIS BRAND IDENTITY RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATION AUDIT CULTURE MAPPING CONSUMERS UNDERSTANDING
  57. 57. TO STUDY MEANINGS EMBEDDED IN WEB OF: Brand Discourse: Brand Rhetoric Analysis Brand Visual Symbolism and Imagery Analysis Brand Metaphors and Connotation Analysis Brand Narratives and Stories Research Brand Experience Research BRAND IDENTITY RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATION AUDIT Commercial Semiotics Narrative Techniques Content Analysis Critical Discourse Analysis ...We use: Binary distinctions, opposition used Pragmatics of communication message Denotation and connotation of meanings Genre and way of addressee Rhetorical tropes and types of arguments used Mythological and Ideological level Residual vs dominant vs emergent codes Syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations Maxims of communication (quantity, clarity, relevance, true) Ad communication audit: DIACHRONICORSYNCHRONICANALYSIS
  58. 58. TO STUDY MEANINGS EMBEDDED IN WEB OF: Category and Market Segment Discourse: Pop Culture Analysis Category Symbolism and Metaphors Description Story-telling Analysis Rituals of Consumption Analysis Norms, Beliefs, Attitudes Archetypes in Use Imagery and Narratives Exploration CATEGORY AND MARKET SEGMENT ANALYSIS ...We use: Commercial Semiotics Narrative Techniques Content Analysis Critical Discourse Analysis DIACHRONICORSYNCHRONICANALYSIS IN COMBINATION WITH ALL QUANTI AND QUALI DATA ALREADY AVAILABLE
  59. 59. TO STUDY MEANINGS EMBEDDED IN WEB OF: Cultural Myths Sub-cultures Memberships Cultural Rituals Cultural Narratives Dominant Ideology Cultural Norms, Values, Standards Lifestyle Transformation CULTURE MAPPING Commercial Semiotics Narrative Techniques Trends Analysis Critical Discourse Analysis... WE USE: CONSUMER UNDERSTANDING Story-telling Techniques Focus Group Discussions In depth Interviews Observation In-home Visits Projective Techniques... Individual Memories Desires and Aspirations Daily Patterns Shopping Habits Personal Rituals and Habits Group and Individual Values and Norms, etc. AND BACK TO CONSUMERS AGAIN DIACHRONICORSYNCHRONICANALYSIS
  60. 60. What Is Specially Favourable About This Approach? YOU USSUALY DO NOT NEED ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSES TO COLLECT DATA: A. YOUR EXISTING DATA IS USED or B. FREELY AVAILABLE DATA IS USED YOU CAN EASILY COMBINE IT AND ENRICH IT WITH: A. STANDARD QUALI METHODS (FGDs, IDIs, ethnography) B. QUANTI METHODS 2 things:
  61. 61. Who can benefit from this approach most? EVERYONE WHOSE WORK DEPENDS ON MANAGEMENT OF MEANINGS
  62. 62.  PR Agencies  Advertising Agencies  Service Providers: Banks, Insurance companies, Telco companies, etc.  TV Stations and other Content providers  Clients from retail: FMCG, pharmaceutical companies, etc.  Interior and Product Designers  Market Research Agencies  Web Designers  Politicians
  63. 63. These techniques help clients: 1. To foster innovations by discovering how consumer’s culture and the market has changed/will change 2. To create a coherent brand experience in different touch-points 3. To create desirable content 4. To build or improve a corporate identity 5. To improve marketing communication for a specific target in given cultural environment 6. To launch a new brand or brand extension by discovering hidden opportunities latent in the category or in the society 7. To reposition brand by addressing right values and meanings via desirable signs and symbols 8. To create attractive packaging and product design
  64. 64. This approach helps establish effective process of meaning transfer from culture to brands and to consumers and ideally back again: letting brands influence culture „Successful brands not only mirror culture; they create culture, in the form of trends, icons, and meanings that produce culture.“ (Laura Oswald, 2012) This approach helps build strong and culturally rooted brands with coherent meanings and ability to communicate consistently with its target audience CULTURAL CATEGORY PRODUCTS CONSUMERS marketing comm marketing comm
  65. 65. CONTACT: PhDr. LUCIA TREZOVA RESEARCH CONSULTANT AND CULTURE ANALYST InSymbolsResearch.com LUCIA.TREZOVA@GMAIL.COM Thank you!
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