Brand meaning: Decoding the signs

Alex Gordon
Sign Salad

Semiotics helps to ensure intended brand meaning is achieved. Brands can gain cultural capital when they test for contradictions in the imagery and analyse whether the intended message is aligned in the cultural.

Semiotics is an investigation into how meaning is created and how meaning is communicated. It is a fundamental strategic and creative tool because it ensures your brand values and the intended meaning of your message are received and understood by consumers.

Semiotics is a key tool to ensure that intended meanings (of, for instance, a logo), are unambiguously understood. It becomes complicated when we think about the values that many global brands want to stand for and communicate to consumers. What is the definition of premium-ness, healthiness, naturalness, joyfulness, masculinity, femininity, or beauty? What imagery and language should be chosen to represent those values, not just in a single market, but in 30 or more across the world? You could ask a very large number of people those questions and not get any agreement about what the signifieds / meanings of the signifier 'beauty' are.