University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

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Signage as Marketing Communication: A Conceptual Model and Research Propositions

Author(s): James Kellaris, Karen Machleit

Status: Published
Year: 2016
Publication Name: Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding
Volume: 1, Issue: 1, Page Number(s): 1-17


Further advancement of the growing knowledge base in the emerging, cross-disciplinary field of signage should benefit from investigation into how and why communication effects of signs occur, as such insights could potentially inform evidence-based decision-making. To facilitate such research, the authors propose a conceptual model of signage as a marketing communication tool. Model components include objective and subjective traits of signs, characteristics and states of viewers, contextual variables, conscious and intuitive process mechanisms, and communication outcomes, including affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses to signs. In addition to providing directions for further research, the model provides a framework for mapping published findings onto a “big picture,” and for identifying missing pieces of the puzzle.


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