Martha Arango – semiotician, Master of Science in Social Communication from UNAM Mexico.

Pioneer introducing semiotics in the marketing research branch in Sweden.

More than 25 years of experience as Semiotician developing brand strategies and communications platforms. Martha has worked with a wide spectrum of markets with both local and global brands with clients such as The Forest Industries, IKEA, Colgate, Nivea among others.


Hanna Holländer – Research Director, Master of Political Science at Uppsala University.

CEO and Research Director at Beyond Research.

More than 15 years of experience in qualitative research methods and insight-based brand and communication strategy.

Hanna has worked with a wide spectrum of markets, specialized in the public sector with clients such as The Swedish Public Television, Swedish Crime Victim Support Authority and The Swedish Armed Forces.


Topic: Case Study- Swedish Motormen´s National Confederation; a re-semiotization of the brand.


The Swedish motoring organization “Motormännens Riksförbund” wanted to expand the organization’s membership to younger members and women as the current members were older men. A re-profiling was required, which involved a change of name and logo.

An interdisciplinary project was carried out with focus groups combined with a semiotic analysis of the name and the logo proposed by the client.

The semiotic result showed that both logo and the proposed name “Motor” gave mostly rational signals. The name was not suitable as it reinforced the masculine signals of the logo.

The focus groups showed that the target groups found the brand old fashioned. They wanted to see modern brand values: feminine and environmental.

Semiotics contributed with the guidelines for a new name “M” that emerged from a traffic sign called “Meeting Place” with soft connotations. The combination with the hard values of the logo created the expected tension. The new name could even signal “environmental” with the M of “Miljö”.

The semiotic outcome successfully provided the codes to develop the brand and ensured the cultural relevance of the logo.