Our Team

Laura Oswald, Ph.D.


Laura Oswald is founder and director of Marketing Semiotics, Inc. She developed her semiotic perspective and training in the course of graduate work in structural semiotics and poetics at  New York University and the Grande Ecole in social science research in Paris. Read more.


Jan Lohs


Jan Lohs has built a respected reputation in marketing and marketing research for over twenty-five years. She achieves depth of insights in various formats, including focus groups, individual depth interviews, immersion, and ethnography. Jan is an expert in standardizing a research protocols across multiple markets using multiple moderators.

Grant Kien, Ph.D.


Grant is a digitally focused ethnographer who studies the impact of new digital media on consumer behavior, social identity, and relationships. His approach makes connections between consumer knowledge and branding, media strategy, and creative development.  Grant also teaches a range of topics on networked digital media at California State University in San Francisco.

Lisa Gains McDonald, M.B.A.


Lisa has worked with Marketing Semiotics over many years as a researcher and cultural expert. Lisa also spent fifteen years on the marketing side of General Mills, Inc., the University of Minnesota Hospital, Avery Label, and Eli Lilly.

Mary Ruth Clarke


Mary Ruth has worn many hats at Marketing Semiotics over the years, including writing, ideation, and transcribing related to ethnographic research Mary Ruth is a published playwright and screenwriter and brings depth and inspiration to our cultural insights approach.

Andrew J. Morgan


Andrew Andrew is a Chicago based videographer and director of photography. He is experienced in many forms of filmmaking, including narrative, documentary, corporate, event, and industrial formats. Andrew is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where he earned his BA in film and video with a specific concentration in cinematography and camera work. He is well versed in a range of audio-visual technologies. In his spare time, Morgan works on his own video documentaries.

The Semiotic Network.

Pyush Sharma, Ph.D. [Asia]. Piyush conducts research in India and Hong Kong, drawing upon his wide network of resources in Southeast Asia. Piyush combines the academic’s depth of insight with twenty years’ professional experience in marketing. He publishes in international marketing journals and speaks at conferences on a range of topics, including cross-cultural consumer behavior and services marketing.

Gabriela Pedranti and Ximena Tobi [Spain, Brazil] specialize in media semiotics, and have expertise in consumer culture and popular media. They have worked on multi-national brands for over ten years.

Gurminder Vinod [India] is a prominent qualitative researcher based in Mumbai. He has worked with multi-national brands for fifteen years.

Ellen Feiss (UK) is an expert in cultural semiotics based in London. She is an expert in teasing out cultural tensions in popular culture.

Nicolas Jung [Europe] is a Paris-based semiotician who specializes in media analysis, cultural insights, and strategic thinking for major brands in Europe.

Alessia Falugi [Europe] is a Milan-based marketing semiotician with a strong background in strategic consulting, media planning and semiotics-driven consumer and cultural research. She has worked for advertising agencies, brand managers, and research institutes in order to identify and develop new opportunities and clear direction for brands.