Cultural semiotics is a powerful way of understanding how your brand talks to consumers. But it provides only half the story; it only works at the level of culture. Peircean Semiotics, in contrast, offers the potential to understand how consumers build their own meanings at the individual level. Peircean semiotics combines semiotics with qualitative techniques and builds a detailed picture of how different consumer types construct and make sense of their world.
Using depths and paired depth interviews, Qualitative Semiotics helps explain why similar communication vehicles are interpreted in different ways, or what is required to transform how particular consumer types view a brand. Qualitative semiotics is a new and ground-breaking research methodology which can be used across a range of sectors.
Applying the methods of Qualitative Semiotics to Behavioural Economics, it is possible to explain how small ‘nudges’ make a difference to consumer attitudes and behaviour. This is because Peirce’s sign theory explains how consumer meanings are created. Applicable to a range of sectors, Behavioural Semiotics is a new frontier in this emerging discipline offering the possibility of combining Behavioural Economics with an understanding of individual concept formation.
Behavioural Economists argue that “small differences can make a big difference”. Peircean semiotics explains exactly why this is the case.