We make brands better by decoding culture


About Rachel

If you go to market research conferences, we’ve probably met. I’m one of the earliest providers of British commercial semiotics and was privileged to collaborate on projects with the late Virginia Valentine of Semiotic Solutions, who is acknowledged as the progenitor of semiotics in the UK. My PhD is in social psychology, so I bring a unique perspective to semiotics, placing me at the exact intersection of psychology, linguistics and cultural studies.

Even though I’ve been supplying semiotics for nearly 20 years, I never stop being excited about what it can do. I use it to rejuvenate brands, innovate products and services and steer comms. I deliver research, insights and strategic guidance to brand owners. I deliver training in advanced research methods for both client side and agency side users. I also supply consultancy services to ad agencies, design agencies and large branding agencies.

I have an extensive history of publishing and conference speaking. From time to time I work with universities because I love to teach.

I was awarded her certification of Fellowship kindly awarded by the Market Research Society at the Excellence Awards Lunch at The Langham London in September 2021.

The award was given for exceptional and long-term contributions to the industry, which in my case revolves around research methods, especially Semiotics. 

“I am very thankful and would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Market Research Society for the recognition.

If you don’t know me already, I live and breathe semiotics and I am here for YOU if you work in marketing, advertising, design or consumer research.

The main driver of my career has been sharing skills with others, because the whole industry benefits when we expand each other’s skill set.”

About Lawes Consulting

Lawes Consulting was established at the turn of the century, a time when very little was in print about semiotics in English-language market research literature and industry conferences barely recognised its existence. The company came to national attention in 2002, with the publication of “Demystifying Semiotics”, (International Journal of Market Research), which won a specially-created award from the Market Research Society, helped put commercial semiotics on the map and is regarded as foundational reading for students of semiotics around the world.

Although Lawes is best known for semiotics, that method does not operate in isolation. It is part of a whole family of research methods which have in common an outside-in focus on culture and how large cultural and ideological movements influence consumer thoughts and behaviour. Because of this, I often supplement semiotics with ethnography and discourse analysis, two closely-related methods which help clients to understand the big cultural and psychological issues that affect their customers.

During its many years of experience, Lawes has served brands and brand owners in nearly every consumer-facing category in more than 20 countries.

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