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Leapfrog Articles | Aligning Brand, Cultural Semiotics and Brand Repositioning

Catalysing culture changes: What does Semiotics have to do with it?

In last week’s piece, I had identified 7 distinct culture change processes that were activated in the cross-cultural encounter between British/Western classical and South Indian classical music. What was interesting was that these culture change processes are visible in our country even today. So these are indeed enduring patterns of change that emerge from time to time in different… more >

Culture change processes and Marketing: What’s the Connection? Part 1

Many marketers who are trying to develop and grow new or even established categories are directly or indirectly engaged in bringing about cultural change. This is particularly true in the Indian context as millions of consumers from rural and small town backgrounds enter the consumption cycle for many products and services that were never part of… more >

Your English Teacher Was Right. Everything Holds a Deeper Meaning. And Here’s Why.

Flashback time. Late 90s. A dozen employees sit scattered under ceiling fans that swivel soundlessly except for the occasional clicking noise. Atop each desk sit a number of standard items. Two large trays tasked with holding the files that come more than they and go; one labelled ‘IN’ and the other ‘OUT’. A half-used ink… more >

Breaking through into hyper-competitive markets: Is more consumer testing the answer?

At present, two facts are beyond dispute. First, the economy is slowing down; both in terms of consumer demand and private investment. This means that there currently exists no rising tide to lift all boats. Second, and simultaneously so, the number of options available to the consumer have gone up substantially. Ten years ago, there… more >

Technology Changes Everything…or Does It?

Would you say that your experience of riding cabs has improved? Forget about having to begrudgingly lower yourself onto back seats dusted with food crumbs. Think instead about the efficiency (or the lack of it) with which you reach your destination, or the accuracy (or again, lack of it) with which your driver reaches the… more >

When marketing common sense has reached its limits, call a Semiotician | Perceptual Maps tell you very little. Meaning Maps reveal far more.

Marketing 101 teaches about positioning; that the term was first coined by Al Ries and Jack Trout, and popularised by their books. And also that it is a key first step to defining brands and brand building. At its core, positioning is about framing a product or service in comparison to its alternatives or substitutes… more >

The Age of the Non-Vegetarian Who Doesn’t Eat ‘Meat’

Say what you will about the magic of ‘please’, ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’, but there’s nothing that hits people the way the words ‘butter chicken’ do. We had felt similarly, as we sat around our restaurant table, hungrily eyeing each order that seemed like ours but then rapidly zoomed past. When the steaming hot bowl… more >

When marketing common sense has reached its limits, call a Semiotician | Perception is not what you perceive it to be!

True story: A young Brazilian girl went on a cultural exchange trip to the US. The first morning of her trip, her host family gave her coffee. She took one sip of the coffee and suddenly broke into tears. Her hosts were dumbfounded and at a loss. What had happened? How did a cup of coffee get… more >

When it comes to the real world, two is too few

It feels good to be sure about things. To be sure about whether bread causes cancer. Or about how many drinks you should take in a day. Or if you should still be buying a pink frock for your niece after your daughter told you that it is an old fashioned idea. It feels uncomfortable… more >

When marketing common sense has reached its limits, call a Semiotician! | The Difference between Preference and Attachment

In marketing 101, we are taught that differentiation is crucial in building consumer preference for our brand(ed) product or service. If our product or service is similar or identical to that of the competition, why should a consumer choose us? We are then selling commodities which are bought on the basis of availability and price,… more >