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Semiotics in Market Research

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Semiotics in Market Research

Semiotics is used in market research to help the researcher understand how and why individuals use their current environment to make decisions. Semiotics is the study of sign-using behaviour, meaning how people decide they will perform an action based on the signals they are given from the situation they’re in. People use semiotics every day, for example, deciding what to wear based on how warm it is, or choosing to eat a lollipop because you fancy something sweet.
 
In market research, semiotics is most useful when trying to understand the reasonings behind certain actions and decisions. Using semiotics, brands can tailor their products better to what the consumer is looking for, both consciously and unconsciously. 
 
Performing many semiotic tests would be necessary, however, because what one person might view as a positive sign, another might view as negative. Understanding differences culturally and generationally can help researchers understand the differing opinions on the same signals. Often, posts on social media are open to much interpretation because, in text form, the message cannot be viewed with a tone of voice assigned to it, a sign that many people use when identifying sarcasm or when someone is serious.
 
Other instances, such as slogans or logos, influence people’s unconscious decisions differently because of their colour or design. The first reaction a customer has to a company is the most important one, so the brand must ensure a good message is portrayed through the slogan and logo.

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