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Cultural Branding for the 21st Century Sizing Up Today’s Retail Consumer A Semiotic Speculation for November 2009
Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Late 19 th  & Early 20 th  Century – Growth of urban society – loss of individualism & the self in mass culture Consumption as expression of Industrial Modernity
Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Consumption as expression of Industrial Modernity - Fordism Mass Production Homogeneity – society of consumers & producers
Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Arcades To Malls Consumption as Mass Cultural Expression – The Rise of the Flaneur – Disengaged Spectator
Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Consumerism as a Sign of Economic Progress, Domestic Emancipation & Easy Living… … or Social Order & Bourgeois Conformity?
Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  The Night of the Living Sleepshopper Retail Consumer as ‘Zombie’ endlessly repeating a predictable disengaged experience ad nauseam
Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogenous Traditional Codes of Retail Consumer Engagement
Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Zavvi Not Savvy  - Failure to Engage?
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  So what are the emergent codes of retail consumer engagement? Post–recessionary Change… … or Pre-recessionary acceleration & extension?
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Ludic/Cryptic Rise of Playful, Mysterious (Mystical) Experiences -  Online & Offline Retail Integrated?
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Fusion of Child & Adult Spaces signalling childish play as release from adult post- recessionary anxiety – e.g. ‘hide & seek store’  hard message in a soft medium
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Surprising Unexpected Experiences in Expected ‘Retail’ Places Unexpected Consequences of Entire Retail Experience
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Sharing/Community Shared moments among strangers – Real as Well as Virtual Progressive Self-Development not just Purchasing
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Active Physical Involvement From the individual passivity of the i to the active involvement of the Wii Retail space as catalyst for physical health & consumer excitement
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Ethical Indulgence Rise of Retail Internships & Volunteerism – consumption through a  cause  Substantive Retail Not Ephemeral Consumption
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Generosity, Trust & the Rise of Free Gifting/Recycling of Products in Retail Space -  (Alongside New Products) Rise of ‘Honour Systems’
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Rise of the Heterogeneous High Street Break Down of Chain-Owned High Streets – Rise of Local Street for Diversity As Contrast With Mall Genericism
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Speed Easy consumerism signified by speed of process – reduced queuing…online & offline
Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement  Curated Retail Museum in the multiple ‘exhibits’ are hand chosen by an individual & are for Sale - Consumerism Fused with Art Exhibition
FROM TO Emergent Retail Consumer Engagement Signifies the shift from mass cultural predictability to mass individualist diversity Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogeneous
FROM TO Emergent Retail Consumer Engagement Signifies the shift from mass cultural predictability to mass individualist diversity Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogeneous Utility & Excess Essential & Fun Ethically Indulgent Ludic Mass Individualism Socially Progressive Shared Diversity International Social & Individual Liberation Surprising & Unpredictable Heterogeneous – Real & Virtual
Mikhael Bakhtin 1895-1975 ‘ CARNIVALESQUE’ Artifice Role-Playing Illusion Fun Performative Socio-Culture
EMERGENT ENGAGEMENT Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement
Cultural Branding for the 21st Century Unit 5, 160 Barlby Road London W10 6BS +44 (0)20 7100 1817 www.signsalad.com

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Alex Gordon presents The future of retail engagement @ Canvas8

  • 1. Cultural Branding for the 21st Century Sizing Up Today’s Retail Consumer A Semiotic Speculation for November 2009
  • 2. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Late 19 th & Early 20 th Century – Growth of urban society – loss of individualism & the self in mass culture Consumption as expression of Industrial Modernity
  • 3. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Consumption as expression of Industrial Modernity - Fordism Mass Production Homogeneity – society of consumers & producers
  • 4. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Arcades To Malls Consumption as Mass Cultural Expression – The Rise of the Flaneur – Disengaged Spectator
  • 5. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Consumerism as a Sign of Economic Progress, Domestic Emancipation & Easy Living… … or Social Order & Bourgeois Conformity?
  • 6. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement The Night of the Living Sleepshopper Retail Consumer as ‘Zombie’ endlessly repeating a predictable disengaged experience ad nauseam
  • 7. Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogenous Traditional Codes of Retail Consumer Engagement
  • 8. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Zavvi Not Savvy - Failure to Engage?
  • 9. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement So what are the emergent codes of retail consumer engagement? Post–recessionary Change… … or Pre-recessionary acceleration & extension?
  • 10. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Ludic/Cryptic Rise of Playful, Mysterious (Mystical) Experiences - Online & Offline Retail Integrated?
  • 11. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Fusion of Child & Adult Spaces signalling childish play as release from adult post- recessionary anxiety – e.g. ‘hide & seek store’ hard message in a soft medium
  • 12. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Surprising Unexpected Experiences in Expected ‘Retail’ Places Unexpected Consequences of Entire Retail Experience
  • 13. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Sharing/Community Shared moments among strangers – Real as Well as Virtual Progressive Self-Development not just Purchasing
  • 14. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Active Physical Involvement From the individual passivity of the i to the active involvement of the Wii Retail space as catalyst for physical health & consumer excitement
  • 15. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Ethical Indulgence Rise of Retail Internships & Volunteerism – consumption through a cause Substantive Retail Not Ephemeral Consumption
  • 16. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Generosity, Trust & the Rise of Free Gifting/Recycling of Products in Retail Space - (Alongside New Products) Rise of ‘Honour Systems’
  • 17. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Rise of the Heterogeneous High Street Break Down of Chain-Owned High Streets – Rise of Local Street for Diversity As Contrast With Mall Genericism
  • 18. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Speed Easy consumerism signified by speed of process – reduced queuing…online & offline
  • 19. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Curated Retail Museum in the multiple ‘exhibits’ are hand chosen by an individual & are for Sale - Consumerism Fused with Art Exhibition
  • 20. FROM TO Emergent Retail Consumer Engagement Signifies the shift from mass cultural predictability to mass individualist diversity Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogeneous
  • 21. FROM TO Emergent Retail Consumer Engagement Signifies the shift from mass cultural predictability to mass individualist diversity Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogeneous Utility & Excess Essential & Fun Ethically Indulgent Ludic Mass Individualism Socially Progressive Shared Diversity International Social & Individual Liberation Surprising & Unpredictable Heterogeneous – Real & Virtual
  • 22. Mikhael Bakhtin 1895-1975 ‘ CARNIVALESQUE’ Artifice Role-Playing Illusion Fun Performative Socio-Culture
  • 23. EMERGENT ENGAGEMENT Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement
  • 24. Cultural Branding for the 21st Century Unit 5, 160 Barlby Road London W10 6BS +44 (0)20 7100 1817 www.signsalad.com