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The Relationships Between Quaker, The Company, And Semiotics Essay, Research Paper

The Relationships Between Quaker, The Company, and Semiotics




For my presentation I have looked at one of Peterborough’s oldest and biggest

manufacturer, The Quaker company. More specifically the outside and inside of

the building. As I was driving towards the building I thought, what was so

significant about the Quaker building and how could a picture of a Quaker be so

significant in today’s culture. I also thought that this whole image of Quaker

could not be that overwhelming, however, with great embarrassment I was

completely mistaken. This one business and more specifically building has so

many signified meanings and linguistic meanings that I did not no where to start


When I stood at the foot of the hill of the Quaker building I was overwhelmed by

the enormous size of it and how it sits on a hill overlooking the north end of

downtown Peterborough. I started to think that this is the signifier, it’s big

and it’s on a hill. Now if you think about this for a minute you begin to

realize that simply the size and position of this building has many meanings,

which are of course subconsciously.

The Quaker building has many meanings and therefore the signified list is very

long, but first we will look at the signifier. The sign is the word Quaker,

plain and simple, and the signifier is Q-u-a-k-e-r. However the word Quaker is

not just a word, it means many, many things, which is where the signified comes

in. The actual building is huge, which gave me the feeling that they are a

successful company and that their product must be all over the world. The

building is also white brick. This, without even knowing it gives you a feeling

of safety and purity(just as their products should be). Then there is the fact

that it is situated on the top of a hill, when you put meaning to this, there is

the feeling of greatness and domination. In my opinion these meanings or

signified’s work like a funnel, they all at first have nothing to do with each

other, but when you put them together they all funnel into one thing, a

marketing ploy to buy their product. My point is, that they new exactly where to

place theirbuilding and what colour to paint it for the sole purpose of selling

their products. They new what meanings people would pull from these signs and


When looking at the word Quaker you get a feeling of comfort. It gives an

impression of going back to past times where morals and family values were at

the forefront of Quaker society. This feeling is supported with the literal

meaning of Quaker, which of course was a people of purity and religion. This

sits very well with people, especially parents, who are the main market of their

products. All parents would like to think of their kids as pure and innocent.

These are signified meanings associated with the word Quaker.

Quakers major marketing technique is their image. They express their image

through a sign system of pictures, which have a lot of signified meanings. In

Peterborough the Quaker building is on top of a hill towering over part of

downtown . When looking up you see that very wise, happy Quaker face. Even

though this is only their building they can still market there product. The sign

system of a picture of a Quaker is a way of saying were a good, wholesome

product like this man who is a Quaker, who you can trust and who is pure and

simple like our product. A person sees this and says (not literally), well if

its made by Quakers who are good pure people then I guess its good enough for my

children who are good and pure. The person doesn’t actually say this, however,

it is a sign system working subconsciously for the sole purpose of marketing. My

point is, that the picture of the Quaker is not there by accident. The colours

of the Quaker are green and white. To me these colours represent purity, and are

an excellent way of saying our products are pure. When analyzing this company

more, it becomes clear that they are working very hard to get the point across

that their product is pure and wholesome. They attack you from every angle, such

as pictures, words, colours and even their building.

Quakers linguistic sign system is not a simple letter like “M” is for McDonalds,

or a word such as “great” for frosted flakes. Its a slogan, “You prepare them

for life, we prepare them for the day”. If you compare them to these other

linguistic sign systems I have listed you notice that reading an “M” works like

an image in your mind, however the slogan “You prepare them for life, we prepare

them for the day” works on emotions. Both are very effective techniques, however

the latter makes you feel a certain way, it makes you feel comfortable, which

has a direct affect on whether you purchase their products or not. This is

unlike McDonalds who uses the “M” as a way of being familiar with their products,

so you can say, “ah there’s the “M” it must be McDonalds.”

This linguistic slogan has alot more meanings. Firstly, when giving it meaning

you find it is meant for parents, because the biggest consumer of their

products is children. Its main meaning however is that if you eat their products

you will be prepared for the day, healthy and happy. This linguistic system

works very well for selling their products, because parents and grandparents

alike can relate to this slogan. It is very familiar to them, because maybe they

ate this product when they were kids or something familiar to it. Quaker in its

marketing strategy is betting that this slogan will be familiar and hoping the

emotions that are being felt will ride parents in to the grocery store to buy

their products.

Quaker using semiotics in everything it does. It is very effective in

taking a word or a picture or slogan and transforming it into emotions and

meanings. This is how it bases its marketing tecniques, on semiotics. Quaker the

word means so many things as it has been around for so many years, I think the

company Quaker has used it very responsibly and effectively in using Quaker the

name and Quaker the picture.

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