Brand Semiotics-A Strategic Marketing Tool for Psychographic Segmentation

Ajay Sahni
Semiotic is the scientific study of production and usage of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. There are basically two analytical elements related to this, the connotative relation and the denotative relation. The connotative relation is the relation between signs and their interpreting signs. Two other components come into picture in this content viz. the signifier and the signified. There are cultural implications related to this. While in India, while holding a thumb and
more » ... ng a thumb and forefinger together with other fingers above, denotes a sign of very good. Whereas, in France, the same symbol denotes zero. Similarly, in USA, silence is interpreted as disagreement to a business proposal, whereas in Japan, it denotes under consideration. This variation in interpretations represents a difference in semiotics which is influenced by cultural connotations. The present day marketers are resorting to brand semiotics as a strategic initiative to build brand equity and make their presence felt in consumers' mind frame through psychographic segmentation. This is done by symbols, signs and various other cues that create a perceptual gateway in consumers' psyche that has a strong emotional connectivity. This is due to the premise that brands become symbolic of a product or service and are synonymous with a cultural aspect, a set norm, a pattern or a strong belief. The semiotics can be traced back to the early history in western countries back to the era of Pluto (428-348 BC), Aristotle (384-322 BC). The marketers have also started to use semiotics in branding from the perspective of not only of what it is referred to as "signs" in daily life, but also of anything which stands for something else. Ferdinand de Saussure is considered as father of Semiotics.