Cultureplay is a specialist research consultancy focused on connecting brands with culture.
We go beyond what consumers can tell us to build brand strategies that start with the bigger picture. We focus on understanding the larger socio-cultural forces that shape our thinking, our behaviours and our ways of seeing.
We work with clients to energise brand identity, explore new cultural spaces for innovation, bring market segments to life, and create brand engagement.
We use research to inspire culturally responsive corporations. We focus on building engagement through strategies based not just on consumer and stakeholder needs, but on broader cultural and sector drivers that are harder to pin down.
We do this through a unique approach that links consumer research with new thinking in cultural analysis, anthropology and semiotics.
Cultureplay believes that all brands derive value through their interplay with contemporary culture. Consumers buy brands for their cultural and symbolic meanings. Likewise stakeholders and employees engage with corporations because they resonate with contemporary needs and perspectives.
The evolution of many enduring brands over the last two decades (think Apple, Macdonalds) is testament to the real power of culture to shape brands and corporations.
But this crucial need for ‘cultural sync’ can be overlooked. The cultural drivers of our consumer behaviours and beliefs are easily missed. This is because they are deeply embedded, hard wired and encoded in shared systems of meaning that shortcut the need for conscious expression, or analysis.
We think it is important to recalibrate research to focus more on these cultural and symbolic dimensions of our thoughts and actions as consumers.
The questions we ask of brands, consumers and corporations are different from other brand or research agencies. We ask – how can we make better use of contemporary culture to create inspiring connections between brands and people?
Cultureplay harnesses energy for brands by joining the dots in a different way.
We recognise that consumers or stakeholders do not simply receive brand meanings - they actively create their own meanings based on the contemporary culture they inhabit. Cultureplay assesses consumer-derived insights against the dynamic backdrop of contemporary culture. This kinetic thinking creates Culture IQ© for a more sustainable and relevant consumer, corporate or social brand.
Cultureplay uses research and analysis to connect brands with culture. We:
Cultureplay provides the following services:
Cultureplay uses a combination of approaches including:
This incorporates a systematic analysis of contemporary culture including traditional media, social media, image, film, literature, music, design and advertising to reveal the broader symbolic and cultural narratives which provide the bigger stories for brands. We also speak to experts and mavens about current and emergent culture.
We are experts in semiotic and discourse analysis of ‘texts’ - anything from social media to conversations, focus groups, in-depth interviews, employee communications, brand symbols, advertising imagery and packaging - to understand the cultural context of brands and in turn how brands can better utilise these symbolic meanings. We reveal how individuals interpret brands at the critical level of symbols, words, and images.
Training: We provide training and development to drive contemporary culture into the brand and corporation. We work with Brand, Marketing, HR and Executive teams to develop the right cultural strategy for their needs.
Facilitation: We provide specialist support to extract cultural intelligence from existing market research data to build a cultural frame of reference and direction for brands and corporations.
Cultureplay has been built on our many years of consumer research experience. We like to work collaboratively on client projects with a range of specialists including graphic designers, artists and photographers, semioticians, advertising and research agencies, and industry experts. We are experienced in many industry sectors, and have worked with Boards and Executive teams on brand strategy. Our clients have included CHOICE, The University Of Western Australia, Landcorp, Job Futures Ltd, Reckitt Benckiser, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Bankwest, Masterfoods and Toyota.
Cultureplay’s principal consultants are:
(MA, M.Phil Cantab)
Julie’s recognition of the commercial power of culture has been building though a lifetime of professional experience as a qualitative researcher.
Julie was formerly a Director of Synovate Australia (previously Market Equity) for 12 years and the National Director of Synovate’s qualitative research division. In her most recent role she was responsible for establishing Synovate’s global semiotic capability. While at Synovate Julie undertook cultural analysis projects for Reckitt Benckiser (UK), Unilever, Bristol Myers Squibb (US), Bankwest, Masterfood, Study in Australia and the British Council (UK).
Julie studied Anthropology at King’s College, Cambridge (1986 and 1992) and is a Member of the UK Market Research Society.
(BA, PG Dip App Ling, Master Marketing)
Erin has worked as a strategist and researcher for over 20 years. She is a keen semiotician and cultural analyst, with a strong background in global market research.
Erin was a Senior Account Director working alongside Julie Cole at Market Equity and then Synovate where they pioneered the use of new methodologies for global clients.
Erin is experienced in the cultural analysis methods now offered by Cultureplay and has worked on many projects for FMCG, Government, Pharmaceuticals, Industrials, NFP, Resources, and Financial Services clients.
Cultureplay brings to life Erin’s passion for building cultural brand strategies based on bigger ideas and beliefs.
Erin is a Member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society.
PO Box 6214
Western Australia 6010
t (+61) 0417 318 361 (+61) 0433 887 357