What we use discourse analysis for

  • Diagnosing how your organisation communicates through language - its 'linguistic palette' and what that says about you. One organisation we worked with use combative metaphors when they talked about each other, for example.

  • Gaining deeper insight into customer journeys and service interactions by diagnosing conversational patterns so we can identify why they sometimes go wrong. 

  • Quickly defining your competitive context through analysis of the language used on competitors' websites or social media.

  • Going beyond superficial analysis of qualitative research by understanding what people really mean, by identifying the metaphors they use.

This technique is for clients who want to understand what people mean as well as what they say.  The approach suits clients who are looking for the depth of 'people' understanding that comes from qualitative research, yet who understand that the language people use reveals their perceptions and expectations.

Why use Susan Bell Research?

We are linguistics trained, so we understand how to read the words that people write or speak and understand what they mean beyond what they say. We have studied discourse analysis in depth. 

We have an ebook on discourse analysis and several blogs:



How long do syllabell projects take?

Syllabell projects take between a week and a month to complete depending on their complexity.

Case Study - discourse analysis of websites

Our client is planning to relaunch a significant part of their business. This client is a not-for-profit organisation with a small research budget. We are conducting an online survey to gauge customer motivations for them but there is insufficient budget to conduct any exploratory qualitative. Therefore, we conducted a discourse analysis of all the websites of a range of similar organisations worldwide. This analysis clearly revealed two very different ways to communicate the benefits of the new offering. We will now test these two ways to communicate in the upcoming survey.

Tags: Discourse Analysis, Language, Implicit

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