Interested in Cultural Forces?
Traditional rites of passage that defined ‘adult status’ no longer carry much weight. There is no defined 'age' when people are supposed to get married, have children, or simply become an 'adult'. Moving from one stage to the next is increasingly confusing and uncertain.
Uncertain of when we are supposed to do what, we look for brands to cue that we are indeed 'adults', 'parents' or sometimes, still young at heart.
Today a youthful attitude is needed, to succeed in the marketplace. Chronological age has been replaced by a need to demonstrate the flexible, open, and ‘ever young’ childlike spirit.
We seek out brand experiences that reassure us that we are able to maintain youthful value and vitality, signalling we are prepared to master the challenges in today's world.
As the world around us shrinks, the boundaries that protect and regulate interactions between the human body and threats from the outside world seem more malleable, and often inadequate.
We look for brands that demonstrate strong signals that we can control the boundaries of our bodies, monitoring what goes in and out.
There are few mysteries in today’s information saturated world. There are no surprises left. This denies us a dimension of pleasure that comes from a space that’s not completely knowable.
We seek out brand experiences that allow us to re-enchant our everyday lives and inject an element of the inexplicable. We delight in an experience with the unknown.
Expert status no longer resides with the few. ‘Expertise’ is table stakes for participation, and the proliferation of channels that contain expert information and knowledge ensure all have access.
We have gained our own expertise and are eager to demonstrate it. We need an audience to share our new knowledge. We look for brands that give us access to the expert domains to share with others.
Surrounded by airbrushed, artificial, and counterfeit products, everything is alterable, copyable, and suspect, calling the real into doubt and increasing its value.
We look for brands that tap into the truth of our 5 senses to clearly and viscerally signal realness and validate that we’ve made the right choice.
As economies are stretched to their limits, anxieties about enhancing productivity and efficiency have expanded beyond the workplace to encompass all that we do.
We are pressured to optimize performance. Even our best is not enough. We look for brands that help us optimize our talents and ensure every performance is top notch. Being good is not enough.
Earlier generations’ stories around what it meant to be a man are no longer adequate to manage contemporary social dynamics. Men are increasingly challenged to expand the definition of masculinity.
We look for brands that signal that is OK to explore new ways of being a man in the world today, that better encompass and reflect contemporary values.
Small 'R' Rebelling
Saturated and stifled by discourses around towing the line and being responsible mean small acts of subversion appeal as a way to assert individuality and thumb our nose at convention.
We look for brands that celebrate and relish small acts of rebellion in our day-to-day lives, adding an edgy and transgressive feel without crossing the line.
As global economies contract, environmental concerns gain more attention and social media keeps us ever more informed, the negative impact of over-consumption become harder to ignore.
We look for brands that demonstrate a more humane and responsible form of consumption without suggesting we have to sacrifice the products we love.
Transparency for Trust
Faith in large corporations is at an all time low. Layoffs, financial scandal, and poor government regulation send out a strong message that they are not to be trusted.
We look for brands that clearly signal that they have nothing to hide. They are willing to let us ‘open the books’ and see what’s inside for ourselves.
Contemporary society often feels fake, disingenuous and unstable. The past seems more real, more durable, and authentic than the lives we live today.
We look for brands that lean on the idea that "they don't make them like they used to". This notion draws us to products that embody the simple elegance and pure form from a better time.
Society has become increasingly risk averse. Rules in place ensure safety and predictability. Even everyday realities like hot coffee come with labels that warn user of potential danger.
We resent a life that is so safe and predictable our boundaries are never tested. We look for brands that allow us to test our limits and upset convention.
Master of Reality
The variables of the modern world and the pace of change around us are so great they seem ever-beyond our control, creating a feeling of being passengers rather than drivers in life.
We look for brands that enable us to assert a sense of control over day to day life in tangible ways, confirming that we’re successfully and confidently navigating the complexity around us.
In a world where identity is important and choices infinite, selecting the right products to define ourselves can be an unsettling choice.
We look for brands that deliver an external authority that validates and reinforces our choices.
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