Culture is crucial in determining which messages and images resonate with customers. By understanding how cultures give meaning to signs, symbols and visual cues, you can decode how people will interpret your package design and encode into it the values your brand wants to communicate—in a way that will speak to consumers’ view of the world.
As branding and marketing specialists, we are always seeking better ways to engage the minds of increasingly distracted, savvier and marketing-literate consumers. Neuromarketing can offer help on “what” particular messages engage the brain, but it’s less helpful on the “why.” Neuromarketing might be a useful part of pre-testing to ensure a message is likely to be recalled, but it does not guide companies to determine the right brand message or image in the first place. To give us real insight and understanding into what will resonate with customers, rather than rely on the industry’s all-too-common gut feel or instinct, we can use semiotics: the study of signs and symbols.