Speaker : Dr. Laura Oswald
Assisted by : Dr. Piyul Mukherjee
Organized by : CMEE (Center for marketing in Emerging Economies) in association with MRSI ( marketing
research society of India )
The day long workshop was hosted by the IIML Noida campus on
25th May ‘15 and was attended by senior marketing professionals
from the NCR region.
The workshop was initiated by welcoming the esteemed speakers
by the organizing committee members. The audience were
consequently addressed by Prof Satyabhushan Dash, Chairperson,
CMEE and Ms. Sharmila Das, Vice chairperson MRSI in accordance
of knowledge building endeavors undertaken by the CMEE and
MRSI council in the field of marketing and market
This was followed with offering tributes to Maa
Saraswati the goddess of learning and knowledge
by the organizing committee and speakers.
The day long workshop was carefully segregated
into four session with each session catering to a
distinct area of semiotic marketing applications.
Session 1 :
Marketing semiotics - A new research
The session started off with a brief introduction to Semiotic processes,
terminologies and techniques. The audience were introduced to
theoretical foundations with respect to Saussure and Levi strauss’
concepts on Semiotic thinking.
The audience were further introduced to the concept of binary analysis
and the role of binary attributes in semiotic analysis. Real time case
studies and example of veg/ non veg symbolism were used to further augment understanding into the
binary element of symbolism
Semiotic brand audit and brand strategy applications
were introduced through a hands on team exercise using
brand collages. Each team worked out the brand collages
for their specific category and brand through use of key
brand associations. The collages were decoded therein to
define the brand essence through non-verbal / symbolic
Session 2: The Semiotic Brandscape
The second session provided an overview to the semiotic
square and a deeper understanding of the binary
coordinates. The session also dealt with identifying and
studying of cultural and ethnicity codes through a
culture sweep analysis.
Due emphasis was laid on paying attention to the
context of the discourse as it was deemed crucial to
decode symbols against the cultural backdrops of
society, popular culture, beliefs and myths.
The session was made enriching with case studies and
semiotic understanding of real time advertising
campaigns for codes, cultural context, binaries and
semiotic square placements.
The session members undertook a semiotic analysis of
advertising / communication for key European fashion
brands using qualitative techniques like metaphor
analysis and brand personification.
Session 3: Strategic Semiotic Ethnography
The third session introduced participants to semiotic
ethnography and its importance in conducting cross
cultural consumer research. The session also dwelt
into code switching amongst consumers to deal with
social or personal goals therefore the role of
ethnographic sessions at the informants’ lived in
space embarking a newer symbolism perspective.
The session was followed closely by the participants and resulted
in an intense session of interactive shared learnings. The
participants engaged in a nation branding exercise using social
media ethnographic understanding for the country by following
up posts, blogs and media reports
Session 4 : Design Semiotics
The last session for the day dwelt into semiotic
analysis and
implementation of semiotic
learnings into retail spaces. The session
highlighted different codes for various retail
segment categories, store type and size outlets
i.e. pick up vs boutique vs superstore layouts.
The session outlined processes on mapping
consumer footprints and optimizing the retail
layout for an enriching consumer experience.
The pizza delivery and pick up counter case study extended the participants’ understanding on how
semiotics can facilitate layout and retail consumer experience for brands and marketeers.