Commentary

Havas Study Tracks Changing Nature Of 'Communities'

Havas Group is out with a new report on the evolution of societal communities that reveals, among other things, that people now tend to identify more closely with their online groups than any other communal ties.

“Whether centered around gaming, politics, pop culture, environmentalism, fashion, sports, or another interest, these virtual forums offer instant access to likeminded others,” the report concludes. “Nearly as many [respondents] identify most strongly with people who share their hobbies, suggesting that online gaming communities are an even stronger draw. As the metaverse develops, further blurring the lines between real and virtual, we can expect these digital communities to grow in number, size, and influence.”

The report is based on one of what the company calls its “Prosumer” surveys of 14,600 women and men in 30 markets to explore the value and impact of communities and how they are changing in the digital era.

Andre Gray, Chief Creative Officer of annex88, that Havas unit that developed the report says that it references “communities as Cultures, with a capital ‘C’– they are the collective traditions, behaviors, and artifacts that tie people together in groups. This is in contrast with ‘cultures’ – with a lowercase ‘c’, often used in marketing to refer to design targets and audiences.”

The survey found that 85% of those polled find learning about other cultures, communities, and their habits is essential in better understanding them on a deeper level. And 87% think it is good to appreciate and borrow from the cultures of communities that aren’t their own.

Also, 64% say they have learned about a community different from their own through pop culture.

The report surmises that the lesson for brands is in order to be relevant, they must represent diverse communities, support communities with concrete actions, be authentic, and amplify marginalized voices.

“If brands want to be a part of the conversation, they need to realize they are walking up to a potluck uninvited, so they better bring something that that community wants – aka be helpful to communities,” says Gray.

More on the report can be found here.

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