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SEMIOTICS OF BRAND BUILDING

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This slide deck introduces the audience to semiotics, a discipline of social sciences that extends to structural linguistics to the analyses of verbal, visual, and spatial sign systems. Semiotics exceeds the rhetorical or content analyses of brand meaning as it casts light on cultural codes that structure the phenomenal world into semantic categories that implicates customers in the brand world. Sudio Sudarsan demonstrates the application of semiotics to brand building using a century-old brand, the Muthoot Group.

Published in: Marketing, Business
  • Thanks for share your idea, We have also maintain a slide side of our company CPH Graphics Media - www.clippingpathhouse.com You may visit our site will be help by any way.
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  • The Author unshackles how brand is associated in the consumer ecosystem and the importance of the study. He elucidates the link between Semiotics across philosophers, traditions and period. The information provided helps brand managers and custodians to levitate their know-hows to the next level. Amazing work.
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  • very beautifull presentation !! Thank you
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  • One would not associate semiotics interwoven with culture had you not explained the intricacies, Sudio. This is a must-read for brand managers, user experience designers and anyone looking to transcend to the next level! As usual you mastery in weaving a story in your presentation is impeccable. Kudos!
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  • Yet again, amazing insights on sciences I'm sure unknown to many, presented brilliantly. No doubt this one's gonna go viral and it seems only you can beat your own standards. Congratulations Sudio. Fantastic work.
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SEMIOTICS OF BRAND BUILDING

  1. SEMIOTIC S OF BRAN D BUILDING S U D I O S U D A R S A N
  2. L E V E L T H R E E B R A N D C O N S U L T A N T S A VISUAL PRESENTATION: CASE OF THE MUTHOOT BRAND Copyright © 1988-2014, IGI Global - All Rights Reserved. No part of this presentation may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, IGI Global, 701 East Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033 USA Originally written as chapter titled Semiotics of Brand Building: Case of the Muthoot Group for Advances in Marketing, Customer Relationship Management, and e-Services (AMCRMES) book series published by IGI Global Hershey, PA. FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY
  3. THE PERENNIAL QUESTION OF PHILOSOPHY ‘WHY STUDY SIGNS?’ IS ANSWERED BY THE SCIENCE OF SEMIOTICS. FROM AN ANIMAL’S CRY TO BRAND LOGOS TO SYMBOLISM AND SYMBOLIC MEANING FALL WITHIN THE SPHERE OF SEMIOTICS.
  4. TATTOOS ARE NOT MERE ORNAMENTAL.
  5. ✦ TATTOOS OF BRAND LOGOS ARE MORE THAN JUST STAMPS OF ALLEGIANCE.
  6. ✦ THEY ARE HERALDIC EMBLEMS OF CUSTOMER NOBILITY, SIGNALING THEIR ZEALOTRY TO THE TRIBE.
  7. ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ THE CONTRIBUTION OF BRAND MEANINGS AND PERCEPTIONS TO PROFITABILITY ✦ ✦ ✦ TESTIFIES TO THE POWER OF SYMBOLIC ✦ ✦ REPRESENTATION TO ✦ CAPTURE THE HEARTS AND M E R C E D E S - B E N Z D I E S E L A P P L E ✦ L E X U S ✦ A M E R I C A N E X P G O O G L E ✦ M A R L B O R O ✦ C O C A - C O ✦ MINDS OF CONSUMERS BY SIGNS.
  8. ✦ SEMIOTICS IS THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF PRODUCTION AND USE OF SIGNS.
  9. SYMBOLIC BEHAVIOR CAN BE OBSERVED IN CULTURAL PHENOMENA WITHIN SYSTEMS OF SIGNIFICATION THE WORLD OVER.
  10. ✦ BRANDING IS ONE OF THE CRITICAL SITES ON THE BATTLEFIELD OF THE PRODUCTION OF MEANING.
  11. SINCE A BRAND IS A SYSTEM OF SENSORY SIGNS THAT INCITES CONSUMERS IN A SYMBOLIC PROCESS, WHICH THEN CONTRIBUTES TO TANGIBLE VALUE, SEMIOTICS IS THE KEYSTONE OF BRAND BUILDING.
  12. THROUGH THE ACTION OF SIGNS, BRANDS ACCOMPLISH A PERCEPTUAL PRESENCE IN CONSUMERS; ENVISAGED AS A MENTAL REPRESENTATION AND EMOTIONAL CONNECTION.
  13. BRANDS BECOME SYMBOL TRIGGER IN RECONSTRUCTIVE MEMORY IN THE CONSUMERS’ BRAIN.
  14. LET’S NOW HURL INTO THE POST-GRADUATE DEPARTMENT OF SYMBOLOGY TO UNDERSTAND HOW SEMIOTICS WORKS.
  15. This section outlines the development of sign study from its classical precursors to contemporary post-structuralism so that marketers, brand owners and brand custodians can better understand the systems of signification.
  16. Human beings are peculiar species; they are driven by a keen desire to make meanings throughout their life on earth. As homo significans, meaning-makers, a human is a creature who gives sense to things.
  17. The most distinctive trait of humans is that only they, throughout terrestrial life, have two separate although, of course, throughly commingled, repertoires of signs at their disposal: the non-verbal— demonstrably derived from their primate ancestry—and a uniquely human verbal overlay. The definition advanced here presupposes a message producer (source), and a message recover (destination). I see a silhouette on the chest X-ray of patient. Cancer?
  18. How important are sign systems?
  19. On the continuum from cave paintings to social media updates, the need to communicate has created an infinite sensory palette of visual and verbal expression, unfolding the mysterious and elusive power of symbols.
  20. Ancient Vedic traditions used visual tools to serve as centering devices and/or as symbolic compositions of energy patterns, which were then adopted for worship or meditation.
  21. Early precursors of semioticians in the Western World include Plato (428-348 BCE) whose ‘Cratylus’ ponders the origin of language; Aristotle (384-322 BCE) considers nouns in ‘Poetics and On Interpretation’. The word ‘semiotics’ comes from a Greek root, seme, as in semeiotikos, an interpreter of signs. Semiotics is the analyses of signs or the study of functioning sign systems.
  22. The quintessential sign was the medical symptom for the Stoics. It’s a sign! Fever! Medical symptom!
  23. Leading European proto-semiotician, John Locke (1632-1704) examined the signifying process as a basis for logic in his seminal essay ‘Concerning Human Understanding’ (1690).
  24. Ʃƞμιωτικῄ And, perhaps, if they were distinctly weighed, and duly considered, they would afford us another sort of Logick and Critick, than what we have been hitherto acquainted with. The Third Branch may be called Ʃƞμιωτικῄ. or the Doctrine of Signs; the most usual whereof being Words, it is aptly enough termed also Logick; the business whereof, is to consider the Nature of Signs, the Mind makes use of for the understanding of Things, or conveying its Knowledge to others. John Locke, “Of the Division of the Sciences {beyond the Speculative and the Practical},” 1690
  25. Ludwig von Bertalanffy draws a thin line between realistic conceptualization (symbol making) and utter derangement (schizophrenia at worst) to state that both depend upon the fragile boundary of an adequately true cultural framework or what consensus accepts as the truth of that framework at a certain moment in history.
  26. The two primary traditions in contemporary semiotics in the 20th century stem from the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) and the American philosopher Charles Sanders Pierce (1839-1914). Semiotics involves the study not only of what we refer to as ‘signs’ in everyday speech, but of anything which ‘stands for’ something else.
  27. Often hailed as the founder of semiotics, Ferdinand de Saussure was born into an academic family in1857 in Geneva, Switzerland. At age 19, he went to the University of Leipzig to study languages; later he published ‘Primitive System of Vowels in Indo-European Languages’.
  28. Following completion of his research thesis, Saussure left for the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, France where he taught Sanskrit and became more interested in languages of history than general linguistics.
  29. Saussure defined linguistic sign as a two- sided entity, a dyad, consisting of signifier and signified. The signifier was the material marker and the signified was the mental concept the signifier enkindled.
  30. Carrot SignifierSignified According to Saussure, linguistic sign was not a link between thing and name, but a psychological recognition between sound pattern (signifier) and a concept (signified). Phono centricity was the hearer’s psychological impression of a sound, as given by the evidence of senses. This sound pattern or the material element was a representation of sensory impressions, and thus be distinguished from the other element, a more abstract concept, associated with it in a linguistic sign. Bait
  31. F TIG The signifiers /G/I/F/T/ engenders is a mental concept of a present; a thing given willingly without payment.
  32. But, for Germans ‘gift’ means ‘poison.’
  33. So agreed rules govern the conventional relationship of the signifier and the signified. Language is not complete in any speaker; it exists only within a collectivity.
  34. The fact that language is a system (langue), it can be thought of a communal cupboard, housing all the possible different signs which might be pulled out and utilized in the construction of an instance of parole, individuals acts of speech. Consequently, language is entirely a socio-cultural phenomenon.
  35. Like language, symbols also connote disparate set of meanings in different cultural groups. Americans who live in the New England area give pine as response when asked for an example of a tree; those in Florida mention palm trees.
  36. Because culture is built on natural language, culture may be classified in its conceptualization of the sign.
  37. Across the Atlantic, around the same time as Saussure, pragmatist philosopher and logician Charles Sanders Pierce (1839-1914) formulated his triadic model of the sign, drawing upon the cognitive- philosophical approach. Pierce’s semiotic framework focuses on the analyses of meaning interpretation.
  38. ✦ Sign/Representamen Interpretant Object The form which the sign takes (Sign Vehicle) The sense aspect of the sign (Referent) Beyond the sign to which it refers (Referent)
  39. Sign/Representamen Interpretant Object The realm of firstness is understood by feeling. Eg. Feeling evoked by music. The realm of secondness is brute facts which arise to form linkages. Eg. Strumming of guitar The realm of thirdness is the mental element. Eg. Music triggered thoughts of boyfriend before his death. ✦ ✦ ✦
  40. At the level of sign/representmen (firstness) 1. Qualisign 2. Sinsign 3. Legisign SIGN
  41. Qualisign Representamen made up of a quality (for e.g. color red)
  42. Sinsign Representamen made up of a existing physical reality (for e.g. road sign)
  43. Legisign Representamen made up of a law (for e.g. referee sign)
  44. At the level of object (secondness) 1. Icon 2. Symbol 3. Index Object
  45. Icon Sign relates to its object in some resemblance with it (for e.g. photograph)
  46. Symbol Sign relates to its object by means of convention (for e.g. flag)
  47. Index Sign relates to its object in terms of causation (for e.g. Statue of Liberty for freedom)
  48. At the level of interpretant (thirdness) 1. Rheme 2. Dicent 3. Argument Interpretant
  49. Rheme Sign is represented for the Interpretant as a possibility (for e.g. mental concept)
  50. Dicent The sign is represented for the Interpretant as a fact (for e.g. descriptive statement)
  51. Argument Sign is represented for the Interpretant as a reason (for e.g. proposition)
  52. Icon The number two Index Symbol Longhorn cattle Heavy rock music Astronaut Moon Science & Technology
  53. In any given transaction, a source is necessarily coupled by means of a channel to a destination; the variety of such passageways is constrained by the specific sensorium of each.
  54. CODED ICONIC MESSAGE NON-CODED LINGUISTIC MESSAGE
  55. The myths which suffuse humans’ lives are insidious because, they seem natural. They call out for detailed analyses which semiosis can deliver. Conversely, they can abundantly assist brand owners and custodians to create myth surrounding the brands in the minds of their consumers.
  56. It’s a great logo The lion signifies the power of Hollywood
  57. For Claude Levi-Strauss, an anthropological phenomena such as kinship systems can be studied as meaningful in their structural relations. The prohibitions on marriage which exist - the most obvious taboo on incest - are not the result of simple biological predeterminations. They represent a signifying cultural system.
  58. Claude Levi-Strauss argues who married whom is bound by meaningful system of exchange, possibility and difference which is not dissimilar to the rules enshrined in language. How aboutyour cousin? Don’t marry your sister!
  59. Semiotic square is the elementary structure of signification, marking off the oppositional logic that is at the heart of both narrative progression and semantic, thematic, or symbolic content. It can prove to be an influential tool not only in narrative theory but also in the ideological positioning of brands. Contrary Corollary Contradictory
  60. I abandon traditional anthropology and traditional linguistics that consider merely terms. I apply Straussian semiological notion of structuralism so that brand owners and custodians can begin to think of brands as frames of references, relations between the terms in the reference points.
  61. I amalgamate Saussurean linguistics, Peircean semiotic triad, Freudian unconscious, and Straussian structuralism to advance semiotics in the context of brand building. I present the application using the Muthoot Group in the third section of this slide deck presentation.
  62. ✦ How can semiotics help in brand building?
  63. The final section historically plots the brand-building voyage of the Muthoot Group, applying semiotic concepts and methods to establish a model of brand to extend the scientific understanding of brand differentiation and consumer perceptions.
  64. A CASE IN SEMIOSIS OF BRAND BUILDING
  65. ✦ In 1887 during the days of British-colonized India, Muthoot established a business supplying rations to large British-run plantations. Trained elephants hauled logs.
  66. Though Muthoot’s line of business evolved in the 128 years, the brand possessed supreme integrity that corroborated its fidelity in advancing values espoused by sociocultural, symbolic, and ideological aspects. 1887 1934 1971 2000s
  67. The Muthoot leadership champions the core values of trust through four generations.
  68. Carved out of the semiosic ubiquity, semiotics explicates how Muthoot’s twin-elephant logo stands as a visual shortcut for a specific referent (financial product or service) that culminates as cardinal instruments of interpersonal and/or group persuasion (trust, security).
  69. CONNOTATION DENOTATION Connotation is what is implied; connotative meaning is more variable, figurative, and subjective. Denotation is a definitional, literal meaning (objective). PRODUCT EXPERIENCE
  70. DENOTATION Loan/repayment Operationalizing gold Perception of ubiquity Consistent service PRODUCT
  71. Muthoot rapidly evolved from a mere adjunct to monetary and credit policies to an active participant in the mainstream financial sector in the new millennium. Launching from the gold lending platform, Muthoot expanded into other financial segments ranging from money and foreign exchange to shares and commodity trading.
  72. Recognizing that consumers prefer a brick-and-mortar institution with a wide national presence, Muthoot rapidly increased its locations in the length and breadth of India, thereby successfully reaching rural populations that do not have banks to serve their financial needs. TOTAL NUMBER OF MUTHOOT BRANCHES IN INDIA ANNUAL INCREASE OF BRANCHES
  73. DENOTATION EXPERIENCE Technology (mobile app, ATM) Simplicity (speed of transaction) Security (strong room)
  74. Considering the immense potential of the gold loan business and its ability to serve the unbanked population of the country, Muthoot has transformed the perception of gold loan from a distressed product to a lifestyle product.
  75. Muthoot’s IT governance mechanism encourages a set of behavior that goes with its vision, mission, and values. It has stayed ahead of the curve in terms of automation and digital enablement. Customers with Demat account are offered online trading in equity shares and derivatives with leading brokerage firms.
  76. Muthoot fashioned itself as a bank. The integrity of a bank is its safety. Muthoot provided a secure environment to safeguard the gold deposited by building armored vaults and strong rooms in every location it served to claim protection from thefts, fire, natural disasters, unauthorized use, and other threats. Every branch is installed with CCTV and a surveillance system.
  77. CONNOTATION EXPERIENCE Generations of trust Entrepreneurial growth Sponsoring IPL/ISL CSR activities
  78. Today, Muthoot for societal good addresses financial inclusion, medical assistance to the lesser privileged, education for poor, and marriage assistance among others to transform rural and semi-urban communities of India in its triumphant march of the CSR movement.
  79. Muthoot and Delhi Daredevils joined hands together to bat for the cause of education of the lesser privileged children in India.
  80. Today, Muthoot for societal good addresses financial inclusion, medical assistance to the lesser privileged, education for poor, and marriage assistance among others to transform rural and semi-urban communities of India in its triumphant march of the CSR movement.
  81. For Muthoot’s efforts to integrate India’s marginalized into the mainstream and pro bono activities aimed at causes of benefitting the rural poor, women, and children, Muthoot was presented with the Golden Peacock award, regarded as a benchmark for corporate excellence.
  82. PRODUCT CONNOTATION Realization of personal goals Customer stories
  83. Jaya Gajawat ran a small boutique in Jaipur, RJ for many years. Her fashion and design sense was well appreciated by her clientele; with her own customers’ encouragement, Jaya dreamed of turning her shop into a big store. She applied for a loan with Muthoot to fund her expansion plans. In five minutes she got the loan she need and today she’s the owner of a large boutique.
  84. In 2015 Muthoot published “One Hundred Tales of Hope,” entrepreneurial stories of men and women who realized their long-standing dreams. 100 stories. 100 hopes. All fulfilled.
  85. SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH OCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SK KOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH SKOCH Muthoot was conferred the Skoch Financial Inclusion Award 2013 in resignation of the major initiatives in the area of ‘access to banking and financial services’ to the masses who has been excluded from the country’s banking network for decades.
  86. CONNOTATION DENOTATION PRODUCT EXPERIENCE Realization of personal goals Customer stories Generations of trust Entrepreneurial growth Sponsoring IPL/ISL CSR activities Technology (mobile app, ATM) Simplicity Friendly and consistent service Security Loan/repayment Operationalizing gold Perception of ubiquity Speed of transaction
  87. Though both denotation and connotation can both be used to describe imagery of form or function of a brand, they have different contexts and orders of signification represented in a semiotic 2x2 framework.
  88. EMOTIONAL SOCIAL CULTURAL FUCTIONAL To create memorable stories in the collective nation’s culture, the augmented definition of brand embeds the the extremely successful microanalysis of individual consumption of brand into a new analysis of cultural interaction.
  89. IS THIS THE WAY CONSUMERS SEE YOUR BRAND?
  90. ✦ ✦✦✦ ✦ ✦✦✦ ✦ ✦✦✦ SEMIOTICS CAN AMPLY HELP.
  91. Sudio David Pearl Illustrations: Pearl Salhotra Proofreader: David Upright Production: Dharmesh Samraj
  92. ss@iSudio.com http://www.iSudio.com @iSudio iSudio.tumblr.com 1 (917) 463-3555

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