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What are metonymies and connotation?

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

Metonymy is one of the basic characteristics of understanding. As humans, we are unable to comprehend the unbounded, all-encompassing image of a person, organisation or tourism destination in its entirety. It is therefore extremely common for people to take one well-understood or easy-to-perceive element of something and use it to represent that thing as a whole or another aspect of it. Simply put, metonymies work by associating one concept with another. They structure not only our language but our thoughts, attitudes and actions. One of their main characteristics is that they provide access to knowledge that was previously hidden or unattainable. 

On the other hand, connotation is born from more abstract meanings, and is generated through the interaction of messages with the feelings and emotions of the user and values of their culture. Metonymy and connotation are deemed to be the two most important mechanisms for image change. Although these two processes of communication have different effects (cognitive and affective), one cannot function without the other. Metonymy and connotation are not only very common in our everyday language and reasoning but also very present in music, cinema  and contemporary art… They are also very common in branding and advertising where it is crucial to code as much positive information into a single representation as possible. We like metonymies and their related connotations as a means of conveying an image. We believe that by carefully defining appropriate metonymies and connotations and placing them at the core of every aspect of an event (before, during and after), they will help to better manage, instigate and establish a positive image change… organically.

Visual metonymy
What do you see here? What could it be?

How do we do that?

First, we will help you to define your objectives by considering every important stakeholder – with image and reputation always at the top of the list. We then carry out a diagnostic of your identity, and a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) to establish where you are and where you want to be in terms of image and reputation. 

The next stage is to subdivide image objectives into components, separating the cognitive and affective aspects. On the cognitive side, we determine the important messages to each audience and the strategies to be implemented, so that we can create the right metonymies that will redefine you. On the affective side, we integrate the subjective associated elements to create feelings and positive shifts in emotions. We then define the adequate connotations, always keeping in mind the immense power of charm and bonding. Finally, we integrate these elements into the planning and implementation of every aspect of an event or events portfolio. We will also seek to maximise the effect of metonymies and connotations by capitalising on the power of coordinated image pairing and co-branding between matching brands and events.



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Metonymie Limited

F1 - 15 Acol Road

London NW6 3AA

United Kingdom

Tel: + 44 (0) 77882 44420

Reg. (England & Wales): 8668861


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