Work Cultural Analysis and Semiotics
A will, skillset, and art to speak the unspoken.
Thanks to Keely /Galgano/ Adler (Twitter @keels223) I came upon The Radical Potential of Semiotics & Cultural Strategy by Matt Klein and colleagues. In that post, they make a case for the use of semiotics-driven cultural analysis as a powerful tool for business strategy, and they position it as a means to deal with an increasingly jaded and triggered world of consumers:
There is no doubt that we’re living in an era of intense, complex cultural dynamics.
Not only does culture seem to be accelerating faster and faster, but so much of it is now spawned and remixed in online spaces, convoluting dynamics further. Additionally, with heated socio-political issues ranging from mental health and DEI to the climate crisis and war, wading into these territories requires sensitivity, which many would rather overlook entirely. However, as we know, companies do not operate in vacuums. They read, and write, culture. And there’s now harsh pressure, if not a responsibility, to actively participate in and help build shared preferable futures.
The offering to decode culture and derive strategies for clients is increasing in need as well as value. But it’s not just about providing a mere map of culture – it’s collaborating on guardrails, a compass and climate report to navigate culture intelligently.
All these offerings can be seen as tools to maneuver cultural risk, like retroactive reputational or crisis management, but also tools to activate upon opportunities proactively: how can you react to emerging shifts, or even manifest your own?
Organizations often don’t have the time nor resources dedicated to these types of analyses and forecasts, or don't have their antennae tuned precisely to separate signal from noise. Clients are also biased. They work with their own truths. Cultural strategists and semioticians provide both external insight and foresight. While there are no such things as purely objective observations, with fresh eyes and no vested interest in any particular finding, they provide a will, skillset, and art to speak the unspoken.