The semiology of changing brand image

Ian Combe, David Crowther, Steven Greenland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers the attempted change to the image of an established brand by studying the semiotics within the brand’s historical advertising campaigns. The use of semiotics to study the interpretation of messages is discussed, and the link between interpretation of messages and advertising effectiveness in changing brand image is explored. The authors deconstruct advertisements of a brand to provide a model containing opposing dialectics that may aid managers by highlighting alternative symbolic messages contained in advertisements. Oncwe identified, these alternative symbolic messages may be used to help change brand image and influence advertising effectiveness. Although the study focuses upon a major brand of beer, this is an industry in which there are numerous small firms, and many of those have constrained marketing budgets, and thus need to make sure that their advertising is effective. Equally, entrepreneurial marketing is not to found only in the small firm, and the case study discusses a radical and imaginative brand repositioning of a well established product.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • advertising
  • brand image
  • semiotics
  • symbolic management


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