Cultural insight

Semiotics and discourse analysis reveal the implicit meanings in products, brands and culture.

Semiotics and discourse analysis are cultural insight techniques.

They are also both 'implicit' research techniques. We use them to reveal the things that people think and feel but do not know how to say explicitly. 

  • We use semiotics for sensory meaning, ie meaning created through visual images and through sound, touch, taste, aroma, and texture. The culture people live in and the context in which the experience occurs influence how people perceive and categorise their sensory experiences. To use semiotics in research requires specialised training - as we have - in signs, codes and symbolism as well as in the analytic techniques used to reveal them. Read here about the different ways to use our En_symbol semiotic technique. 
  • Discourse Analysis is another insightful implicit method, though this time the focus is on words. Using our Syllabell discourse analysis technique, we observe and analyse the words that people - and organisations - use and how they use them. Discourse analysis also helps us see both sides of service and retail interactions going beyond the 'he said, she said' typical of most research into services, for example.  
  • You can commission either of these as stand-alone or part of a qualitative research project. As we are highly experienced marketing researchers, we bring great strategic thinking to our semiotic and DA work.

Sue Bell is the only QPR researcher to offer semiotics and discourse analysis.

QPR is an accreditation from the Research Society for market and social researchers who possess broad knowledge, experience and skills in both qualitative and quantitative research. That means that you can be confident that we understand the role that these techniques play within the broader research context, and that we conduct our semiotics and discourse analysis projects according to the high standards expected of researchers at this level.


For a quote or a confidential discussion about your research needs