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Beyond Brands, Forms of Life. At the Heart of Marketing, the Experience.

Project description

How do brands make sense?

Semiotics studies how we produce meaning in our daily interactions with people, objects, media and places. The EU-funded BEYONDBRANDS project aims to demonstrate the significance of semiotics for social sciences and management by developing a definition and conceptualisation of one of the most emblematic phenomena of (post-)modernity: the brand. This involves determining how brands physically come into existence and what they bring, in turn, to the experience of the individuals who contribute to their rise. To illustrate this research, a case study based on the Peruvian nation brand Marca Perú will be carried out. This project will contribute to the development of European semiotics in other continents and non-academic sectors.

Objective

This project will demonstrate the significance of semiotics (the study of meaning-making) for science and society by developing a definition and conceptualisation of one of the most emblematic phenomena of Modernity: the brand. Indeed, although brands are of interest to us all, they remain multifaceted phenomena and defining them proves to be quite a difficult task: they are associated with entities that are not only very different to each other (e.g. an organisation, a product, a logo), but also hazy (e.g. a service, values). Whether one comes from marketing or social sciences, the quasi-ontological question of “what a brand is?” turns out to be a real intellectual challenge. Thus, drawing on and developing the theoretical and methodological apparatus of semiotics, the objective of this fellowship will be (O1) to define what a brand is semio-ontologically and what it produces semio-functionally. This involves determining how brands physically come into existence, and what they bring, in turn, to the social experience of the individuals who use them. The conclusions of my PhD thesis on the concept of “forms of life” will bring innovative hypotheses that will also enable me (O2) to create an alternative model for brand identity to those developed over the last 20 years in marketing, notably because it will place experience at the heart of all the issues. Finally, to refine the model and reveal its advantages, I will conduct a case study aimed at (O3) modelling the identity of Marca Perú, the Peruvian nation brand. By (O4) investigating the meaningful gap, that brands always raise, between promised experiences (in communication) and real-life experiences (in consumption), this case study will complete and conclude my principal objectives (O1-O2), as well as the global aim of this fellowship: to contribute to the development of the European semiotics in non-academic sectors (specifically the business one) and in other continents (mainly the American one).

Fields of science

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
Net EU contribution
€ 249 597,12
Address
KIRBY CORNER ROAD UNIVERSITY HOUSE
CV4 8UW COVENTRY
United Kingdom

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Region
West Midlands (England) West Midlands Coventry
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 249 597,12

Partners (1)