D.I. Alvarez Tamayo

Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (MEXICO)
Universities are institutions that participate in social dynamics of a community, then they cannot being relieved from the task of understanding the contextual and situational decisions that give meaning to their existence.
This research project presents an exploratory study related to the semantic system that the organizations' audiences have in their minds as a base of graphic design strategies. Particularly in the educative branding field, the objective of communication is to design an Integrated Graphic Communication System that promotes the positioning of the characteristics of a major academic program to be presented as a competitive vocational option. In this sense, marketing semiotics offers a framework for integrating resources and techniques that allow the strategist to understand consumers' minds. The recognition of the ways that signs are linked with meanings for an audience is a necessary condition to design integrated discursive lines able to speak with one voice. The methodology implies the design of projective techniques to collect and to analyze qualitative data: a photoset that functions by association, a narrative writing exercise using a text for discourse analysis and a graphic projective exercise for semantic analysis. The instruments are designed and analyzed from a semiotic perspective based on Eco's theory of codes. In the higher education context, it is presented a case of an academic program of a private university in Puebla city. The treatment of a case allows introducing a change of perspective in the way of creating marketing strategies. A major academic program has to be positioned as a particular unit, but, its condition of a sub-product contributes positively to institutional reputation. Such academic major program gets it own semantic space, but it has to be consistent with institutional features. The study reveals that the formation of a solid branding concept from an academic major program will also help audiences to establish a favorable relationship with the university brand and produce a deeper compromise with the institution, over and above its social and economic significance.