One of life’s most essential tasks is the ability to convey our needs and desires. Information exchanged between a sender and a receiver is a communication. It is a reciprocal exercise that requires a send and a recipient. Both the sender and the recipient must grasp the meaning of the communicated message. In the same vein, some communication methods are effective in enhancing communication. Symbolic communication is one of the essential methods to transmit information effectively.
Symbolic communication refers to the shared meaning of language. It means the meaning associated with particular symbols, gestures, and things. For example, the statue of liberty has a symbolic meaning for Americans in that it represents liberty. On the other hand, the same symbol has no symbolic meaning for people living in Ethiopia. Cultures across the globe attribute particular meanings to certain symbols. There is a shared consensus on the symbolic meanings. It is a necessary form of communication in business and diplomatic activities. This article by top researchers of a The Academic Papers will tell you everything you need to know about symbolic communication.
What is the role of symbols in communication?
Symbols signify particular objects, people, events, and actions. We use symbols for non-verbal communication such as road signs, danger signs, and prohibition signs. Symbols can be concrete or abstract. An example of a concrete symbol is a knife that we use in our everyday lives. On the other hand, abstract symbols are conceptual and differ across cultures. They are intangible. For example, the yin and yang symbol has deep cultural significance for the Chinese.
A symbol always resembles an object, a concept, or a thing. They are effective means of nonverbal communication. Symbols occupy a central role in communication. The history of symbols goes back to the cave dwellers who utilized symbols for communicating with each other. In the modern age, we can witness graffiti, which is a symbolic way of communication. Businesses use concrete and abstract symbols efficiently to influence purchasing behavior.
Symbols in Business Communication
Non-verbal business communication utilizes symbols for communicating. Businesses use symbols that are significant for a group of people. They use these symbols for effective marketing and to increase their reach to the people. For example, businesses use cultural and national symbols to develop ties with people and businesses across the globe.
How can businesses use symbols for communication?
Whenever we think about communication, the only thing that comes to our mind is the verbal aspect. But communication is much more than that, and symbols are integral to communication. Words abound throughout the world. The Internet and social media are flooded with words. The growth of words is increasing exponentially as businesses utilize content writing for marketing. But, symbols can be an effective way of communication compared to words. Symbols are persuasive and easily visible. Businesses can use symbols for marketing, brand building, and promotional activities. Businesses can do the following things to use symbolic communication effectively:
Comprehending the significance of symbols
First of all, it is essential to understand the importance of symbols in human communication. The effective usage of symbols in communication requires understanding the following things:
- Symbols signify the cultural and collective memories associated with certain objects and shapes
- In the pre-historic era, symbols were an effective way of communication among the human beings
- Each symbol has a cultural and historical significance
- The verbal speech also rests upon the foundation of symbols. Words are symbols denoted by letters. The collection of letters to form a word is arbitrary, and the concepts they signify have a shared historical meaning.
- Symbols increase information in such a manner as to increase the perpetuity of ideas and thoughts
- Businesses can think of symbols as representatives of the company’s brand in perpetuity
- Symbols enhance the durability of the brand as compared to words
- Choose or design those symbols for the business that is transcendental and can last for long
Pick Unique Symbols
Symbols should be unique if a business wants to stand out from its competitors. A symbol should communicate the values, vision, and philosophy of the organization. For marketing purposes that people can relate with. Global corporations go for indigenous symbolic communication while expanding in a new market. They use culturally specific and historically appropriate symbols to which customers from a particular market can relate. For example, Harley Davidson’s symbols represent the spirit of freedom and rebellion. On the other hand, Toyota’s symbols represent the philosophy of its organization which is “continuous improvement”.
Symbols are becoming modern cultural identities. People who align themselves with certain brand identities seek inspiration from those symbols. For example, many people align themselves with the symbols used by Apple. For them, it represents uniqueness and good aesthetics. So, it is essential to understand consumer psychology to use symbols for communicating effectively. Businesses must engage with the emotional core of customers by using symbols that are relevant to them.
Promote Your Vision through symbols
Businesses can use symbols to promote their overall philosophy and vision. Visual symbols that are representative of the company’s ethos are an effective way to communicate those values with customers.
What are some examples of symbolic communication?
Following are the examples of symbolic communication:
- Sign language
- Visual communication
- Icons and emblems
- National flags
When it comes to defining an organization’s values or philosophy, it’s common for businesses to start with words. On the other hand, symbols are a more effective way of non-verbal communication. Businesses can use symbols to effectively communicate with consumers by understanding the psychology behind symbols. They can connect with customers effectively by tapping into the psychological and emotional significance of symbols. Symbolic communication has a massive impact on shaping our thoughts. Every day in our lives, we become across symbols, and those visuals cast an impact on our subconscious minds. Businesses can influence consumer decisions if they effectively use symbols for communicating with the customers. Businesses can choose such symbols that are unique and convey the company’s vision and mission.
Robert Fawl is a professional Content writer & Content Marketer. Based in London, Robert is an author and blogger with experience in encounter composing on various topics including but not limited to Essay Writing, Dissertation Writing, Assignment Writing etc.