TBWA is out with a new report examining cultural shifts that could impact brands and potential growth.
It's an annual report called "Edges" from the agency's cultural intelligence unit Backslash. This year's edition identifies 40 global shifts that are examined in six chapters: Chaos, Preservation, Advancement, Identity, Liberation, and Rebirth.
The Chaos chapter looks at culture and information wars and other conflict and urges brands to provide a release from the pressure.
One chapter explores how, in the face of disarray, preservation of our mental energy and physical resources will become a priority. Consumers, the report surmises, will look to businesses "to help us shelter, build resilience, and secure the essentials."
The chapter on advancement calls out technology posing this question: "Are we really ready to sacrifice privacy for convenience, worth for automation, or humanity for optimization?"
The big tech Platforms, a battleground for misinformation (political and otherwise) are "under crackdown," per the report, which notes platforms claim to be "adapting their products to help us identify fake news, break free of echo chambers, and fight tech addiction." Whether they're actually doing it? You decide. "The war between good tech versus bad tech is on, and every business will need to choose its side carefully."
The chapter exploring identity examines how jobs, relationship status and gender no longer define us. As outdated societal constructs are replaced with a more fluid and forgiving approach, the report concludes "brands that empower us evolve will secure their place in the future."
Of course, the report has some thoughts about the pandemic’s impact, noting it opened the door for "localism and nationalism to make a modern comeback." Consumer preferences are shifting, "and the push to 'buy local' is just the beginning."
There's a lot more food for thought in this in-depth report, which can be downloaded here.