The Natural History of the Sign: Peirce, Vygotsky and the Hegelian Model of Concept Formation
(Vol. 29: Semiotics, Communication and Cognition (eds. Paul Cobley and Kalevi Kull)
De Gruyter Mouton: 2022)
This book evaluates the work of C.S. Peirce and shows how semiotics can form a coherent theory of human cognition – not just cultural meaning-making. This has significant implications for consumer research and qualitative research practice. Consumers construct their world semiotically, and this process can be understood semiotically.
The work of Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, is also evaluated and it is shown how Peircean semiotics can also enhance educational learning theory.
Instantiation: Reframing brand communication
International Journal of Market Research: Vol 50: 2008
This paper sets out a new model of brand communication that rejects the messaging model of conventional advertising theory.
Essence: The structure and dynamics of the brand
International Journal of Market Research: Vol 51: 2009
The received interpretation of brand essence is simplistic and does not recognise the full complexity of the brand. This paper puts forward a relational account of brand essence that reflects how brand essence really works.
This paper won the 2010 MRS Award for best paper in the IJMR
Qualis? The qualitative understanding of essence
International Journal of Market Research: Vol 52: 2010
If brands are essences, then the power of qualitative research stems from its ability to understand such essences. This paper outlines the case for this view and traces qualitative research to the idea of ‘qualis’ – understanding ‘what sort of thing’ a particular brand is.
Consumer reality: how brands are constructed
International Journal of Market Research: Vol 54: 2012
Brands are constructed by consumers – not by brands. Brands simply supply the ingredients which consumers use to establish their meanings – using propositional hierarchies.
This paper was a finalist for the 2013 MRS Award for best paper in the IJMR.
Quantitative and qualitative research: perceptual foundations
International Journal of Market Research: Vol 57: 2015
This paper challenges the way that quantitative and qualitative research are traditionally distinguished and argues they adopt different approaches to perception. It is argued that by adopting a Peircean perceptual template we can establish a new platform for qualitative methodologies.
This paper was a finalist for the 2016 MRS Award for best paper in the IJMR.
Qualitative Semiotics: can we research consumer meaning making?
International Journal of Market Research: Vol 61: 2019
This paper develops the case for bringing Peircean semiotics and qualitative research methodologies together – enabling researchers to establish how individual consumers, and groups, form their meanings.
This paper won the 2020 MRS Award for Best Paper in the IJMR.