Research Outline

Semiotics in Brand Positioning


To provide information that will prove Semiotics's effectiveness in building brand positioning and equity. This will specifically:
  • Provide information about the return on investment on using Semiotics as a research method
  • Provide examples of Semiotics that feed into successful brand campaigns
  • Provide a list of companies that have formal Semiotics practices

Early Findings

Data Availability

  • The initial hour of research indicates that data availability is adequate on this topic.

Semiotics and Successful Brand Campaign

  • An example of a successful brand campaign that made use of Semiotics is T-Mobile's "Life's for Sharing" campaign in the UK. The campaign involved a "very successful Liverpool Street Station Dance execution."
  • The inclusion of Liverpool Street Station Dance execution in the campaign was the result of semiotic marketing research and analysis conducted by Sign Salad, a semiotic marketing firm. Sign Salad's "insight into the cultural context of sharing and how it could be communicated differently in the future gave T-Mobile a way to stand out from other network providers."
  • The semiotic marketing firm's analysis of the "changing meaning of 'sharing' for the 18 - 30 demographic in the UK" revealed that "sharing was expressed as a narrative of 'inclusivity'; highly spontaneous, short-lived, emotionally-charged exchanges between large groups of strangers." The unexpected interaction of people in the campaign's street station dance execution was a visualization of that inclusivity.

Return on Investment on Using Semiotics as a Research Method

Companies with Formal Semiotic Practices

  • Some companies with formal Semiotic practices include T-Mobile, Apple, and Lipton.
  • Lipton makes use of a semiotic marketing firm to improve its packaging. Upon the recommendation of the semiotic marketing firm, Lipton released two packaging visuals (one has an image of "a steamy hot teacup," while the other has an image of an iced-tea pitcher with ice cubes and lemon slice) that removed the contradictory elements which were present in its previous packaging. These two packaging visuals brought clarity and differentiated Lipton from its competitors.


  • We have provided examples of companies and brand campaign that makes use of Semiotics. We did not have enough time to provide more examples of brand campaigns, but we can do so with further hours of research.
  • The initial hour of research indicates that information on companies with formal semiotic practices appears limited. We have considered the company's use of a semiotic marketing firm as a formal semiotic practice.
  • We assumed a global geographic focus. The initial hour of research revealed that there are more examples of semiotics in brand campaigns outside the US.