Creating Value: The Theory and Practice of Marketing Semiotics Research

ISBN : 9780199657278

Laura R. Oswald
208 Pages
162 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jan 2015
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In global consumer culture, brands structure an economy of symbolic exchange that gives value to the meanings consumers attach to the brand name, logo, and product category. Brand meaning is not just a value added to the financial value of goods, but has material impact on financial markets themselves. Strong brands leverage consumer investments in the cultural myths, social networks, and ineffable experiences they associate with marketing signs and rituals. Creating Value: The Theory and Practice of Marketing Semiotic Research is a guide to managing these investments by managing the cultural codes that define value in a market or consumer segment. The book extends the discussion beyond the basics of semiotics to post-structural debates related to ethnographic performance, multicultural consumer identity, the digitalized consumer, and heterotopic experiences of consumer space. The book invites readers to challenge the current thinking on topics ranging from cultural branding and brand rhetoric to digital media management and service site design. It also emphasizes the role of product category codes and cultural trends in the production of perceived value. Creating Value explains theory in language that is accessible to academics and students, as well as research practitioners and marketers. By applying semiotics to the everyday world of the marketplace, the book makes sense of the semiotics discipline, which is often mystified by technical jargon and hair-splitting debate in the academic literature. The book also provides practitioners and professors with a practical guide to the methods used in semiotic research across the marketing mix.


1. Creating Value through Semiotics Research
2. Advertising Semiotics
3. Brand Metaphor
4. Servicescape Semiotics
5. Cultural Branding
6. Semiotic Ethnography

About the author: 

Laura Oswald is an academic as well as founder and director of Marketing Semiotics Inc., a brand strategy research and consulting firm serving Fortune 500 clients in North America, Europe, and Asia. Oswald is an expert in semiotics - a social science discipline that leverages consumers' investments in the cultural myths, social networks, and ineffable experiences they associate with marketing signs and rituals. Oswald has held academic positions at Northwestern University, ESSEC Business School, and the University of Illinois, Urbana. She writes and speaks on current issues in advertising, consumer research, design, and strategy at meetings of the Association for Consumer Research, the American Marketing Association, the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, and the American Sociological Association.

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