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Symbolic Value

Symbolic value signifies the immaterial value attributed to an object or an idea and communicates its symbolic meaning. The meaning is highly dependent on how it is interpreted and appropriated in a socio-cultural context. For example, advertisements are often interpreted differently depending on the socio-cultural context. Benetton's advertisements have been perceived as controversial and received different interpretations, acceptance, or reactance in different cultures. A product's symbolic value communicates meaning beyond its material aspects, representing, for example, status, trendy design, environmentally friendly, and so on. Besides being a transportation vehicle, a car can communicate symbolic value such as status, safety, or both. The first person to recognize this in the field of marketing was Sidney J. Levy, who wrote the article “Symbols for Sale,” published in ...

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