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Palgrave Macmillan

Semiotics, Marketing and Communication

Beneath the Signs, the Strategies

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  • © 2001


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  • Advertising
  • communication
  • Design
  • language
  • marketing
  • Motive
  • Nation
  • semiotics

About this book

Semiotics is concerned with the signs and meanings that are attached to linguistic and non-linguistic things and events. As such it plays an increasingly important role within marketing as marketing is seen in terms of exchange relationships that entail psychological and social, as well as physical and financial meanings. Products therefore become 'symbols for sale'. In studying semiotics, marketers can better understand consumer behaviour and how to be effective in their marketing communications. Jean-Marie Floch provides an excellent introduction to the potential offered by a semiotic approach to a variety of marketing and communication problems or situations. This book will be of great value to anyone interested in knowing how to build meaning for a target audience. Key semiotic concepts and principles are gradually introduced using real life studies to ease the presentation of the terminology and to show the managerial relevance of each research step.


'Floch is one of those rare individuals who can successfully link semiotic frameworks with day-to-day marketing practice. This book is a rich and personal account of how Floch's unusual blend of theoretical intricacy and pragmatic insights helped real companies face real challenges.' - Kent Grayson, Associate Professor, London Business School

'The writings of Jean-Marie Floch consistently reveal profound and glistening insights on meaning in the marketplace, at both theoretical and practical levels. This timely volume of English translations - on the sad eve of his death - will prove to a wider global audience that Floch's research is, and will remain, among the finest ever conducted at the complex intersection of marketing and semiotics.' - David Glen Mick, Ph.D., Robert Hill Carter Professor of Commerce, McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia, USA

'From ethnography to qualitative-and quantitative-research; from the analysis of a huge corpus of advertising to the finest close reading of a logo, Floch demonstrates how semiotics can be applied to all creative, brand and design problems.' - Virginia Valentine, Partner, Semiotic Solutions

'Few people have captured the depth of the semiotic nature of human life and communication and its contribution to understanding the practices and consequences of marketing as well as Jean-Marie Floch. This is a worthy collection of his contribution to marketing and semiotics and it will stand as a marking of his legacy in the field.' - Søren Askegaard, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Southern Denmark

'Principles and practice in perfect harmony. Floch flits from topic to topic, in keeping with Montaigne's injunction to leap and bound. The outcome is a spellbinding story about storytelling. This is seven league boots scholarship. You may not live happily ever after, but you'll be chilled and thrilled along the way. The final chapter on the IBM-Apple face-off is a masterpiece. Semiosis in excelsis.' - Stephen Brown, Department of Marketing, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University

'It is a really useful and inspiring guide for academic and professional marketers, interested in linking goods with meanings.' - René Algesheimer & Marcus Dimpfel, The International Journal on Media Management

About the author

JEAN-MARIE FLOCH is acknowledged as one of the world's foremost authorities on the application of semiotics to marketing and communication. He obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of A.J. Greimas, the founder of the Paris School of Semiotics and taught at the University of Louvain, ESSEC, ESCP, EM Lyon, IAE Aix-en-Provence, the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and the Ecole d'Architecture of Versailles.

He worked as a consultant applying semiotics to marketing and communication issues in a wide variety of industries including pharmaceuticals and health care, banks, luxury goods, cosmetics, food, transportation, media, catering, retailing, clothing and textiles, and office furniture. While at Ipsos he created the consulting firm's influential applied semiotic research unit. He later worked for the Design Strategy Minale Tatersfield Group and Creative Business International.

In addition to these activities, Jean-Marie Floch continued to develop his first passionfor visual semiotics. Today he is generally recognised as one of the most influential scholars in the field of the semiotics of photography and plastic arts.

Jean-Marie Floch died in Paris on April 10, 2001 at the age of 53.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Semiotics, Marketing and Communication

  • Book Subtitle: Beneath the Signs, the Strategies

  • Authors: J. Floch

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan London

  • eBook Packages: Business and Management (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-333-76014-7Published: 16 October 2001

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIII, 225

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