• Dale

Culture Rising - 20 trends of our current times

A few weeks ago, I saw this report from Facebook Business news. It is a report they have produced on cultural trends in 2022. There have been so many huge shifts in a relatively short time. We have had Covid-19 and lockdowns, accelerated digitisation, the rise of the Zoom phenomenon, increases in technology, communications and infrastructure with 5G / AI / Metaverse. Technology has changed, user behaviour has changed, the use of technology has changed, work-from-home has changed. How we communicate and earn a living has changed. What we value has changed. There are business activities and practices that worked 5 years ago that have simply gone. The world has changed. The way we earn a living has changed. Consumer behaviour has changed. Customer and employee expectation has changed. The way people are thinking, behaving, deciding, expecting, aspiring, has changed. Our culture has changed.

Is your business keeping up with these changes? Is your marketing?

Obviously, not all trends will impact all products and services. But of these 20 trends, how many will be actively counterproductive to your business model if you ignore them? Or phrased a different way, what business opportunities will you miss by ignoring these trends?

Have a read of this, have a mull, then call me if you would like to discuss the impact of these trends on your business.

Facebook, who own Instagram as well, have a unique perspective on the changing cultural trends. Facebook have invested heavily in AI, and are able to process huge amounts of data. They are able to analyse social media conversations and behavioural signals like hashtags, mash it up with their existing demographic data to come up with a unique view of the world. This Culture Rising analysis “helps empower strategic decision makers to move more confidently into the future.”

I have summarised these trends below, you can See full article here

I think this is a pretty impressive piece of work. Threads of this will probably impact every one of us, as we look to earn a living, interact with customers and plan our business activities. As marketing is essentially a people thing, I think it is essential to take this into account in your marketing.


Theme-1 Diversifying Identities

Authenticity and self-expression change and evolve, creating new and more fluid identities. In the process, the things that divide us can also bring us together.

# 01 – Genderevolution

Rising conversation about gender roles, gender symbols and gender-neutral language reflect a gender evolution in full bloom. Traditional gender roles are increasingly less relevant – especially gen Z and millennials. In some regions rising conversations focus more on gender equality, while in other regions they tend towards gender fluidity - driven by the young. For example, in English, people are increasingly embracing (and discussing) "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun for a non-binary individual.

# 02 Historical reckoning

All around the world, people and cultures have struggled to come to terms with unfair and cruel pasts, seeking to better reconcile historical injustices in the hopes of building a more inclusive tomorrow. These conversations touch on issues ranging from rights to accountability, from colonialism and reparations. Many say their nationality, ethnicity, country of origin or race matters more to their identity now than a year ago. This rising historical identity connection is especially pronounced amongst younger generations in countries where colonialism marginalised local cultures.

# 03 Celebratory activism

People are finding joy in parts of their identity that once remained hidden, from bisexual pride to cultural heritage. Many respondents say society is more inclusive now than a year ago – especially gen Z and millennials. More than ever, people are openly talking about LGBTQ+ pride, Asian pride, Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month and other cultural celebrations. Technology is playing a key part in this rise of empowerment, through social media.

# 04 Rawthenticity

There was plenty of time for honest self-reflection when COVID-19 swept the globe. Pandemic-driven lockdowns and other safety measures unlocked new layers of realness. The quest for authenticity led to rawthenticity –an embrace of the unvarnished self. People repudiated things such as traditional beauty standards, helping lead to new forms of acceptance and more inclusive representation. Increasingly, public discourse refers to new topics such as body positivity and fat acceptance. The desire for change is also fuelled by frustration at discrimination experienced due to their gender, religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, employment or age.

# 05 Rethinking ability

There is an increasing awareness of the individual rather than a condition (e.g. "people with disabilities"), the world is increasingly working towards greater accessibility for all – through products, services and beyond. There is increased awareness and empathy are seen in rising conversations about accessibility, Braille and disabled sports.

Theme 2 – Relationship renegotiation

The shape of modern relationships is becoming more flexible – from how people engage with their devices to the ways they meet, love, interact and create with one another.

# 06 New techquilibrium

With daily tech immersion, people are increasingly mindful of the time they spend on devices. Across generations, incomes and family structures, people are also seeking better ways to balance and integrate screen time with the richness of everything happening. People's interest in innovations such as haptic technology (also known as kinaesthetic communication or 3D touch) and virtual assistants (via artificial intelligence) is rising. Increasingly, tech companies are also owning the issue, releasing new features that help people better manage their screen time –and some people's growing mindfulness can inspire them to relook at their digital habits or even go temporarily off the grid. It all reflects a growing and ongoing effort to attain a new equilibrium in the way we use increasingly powerful and ever-evolving technology.

# 07 Meet you in the metaverse

Building has begun on the successor to the mobile Internet, an immersive and interconnected universe of digital worlds where you feel present with other people who may be miles apart. It will take years for the metaverse to come to fruition, but people are increasingly talking about building blocks of the future, such as virtual reality, augmented reality and the virtual economy. The ongoing global pandemic has already underscored the need for more immersive technology that can help us connect more authentically from a distance. Gaming is an area where many experts say that the appeal of the metaverse is undeniable, and it's already home to avatars in social spaces with built- in virtual economies and other building blocks of our immersive future.

{This is going to be huge. It is worth keeping an eye on this one for opportunities as well as risks.}

# 08 The new look of love

#Love conquers all – is the most used hashtag on Instagram. But it also means different things to different people. Many respondents reported that the widespread shutdown due to the pandemic actually had a positive effect on their romantic relationships, with wedding vow renewal ceremony(ies) trending. At the same time, love itself continues to grow and mutate – leading to new forms of connection, for example with topics like throuple, polyamory, non-monogamy and open relationship. This evolution is linked to the millennial-driven mindset shift that has higher expectations of love and connectedness. For example, there's increased discussion of dating coaches, as people take a more deliberate approach to achieving their #RelationshipGoals.

# 09 Nanocommunity

Community is as old as humanity itself, but it's evolving and being reinvented as people seek more flexible ways to connect with like-minded people. The isolating effect of the pandemic reminds us of the deep human need for connection, and millions have turned to nanocommunities –such as the 600 million people who are members of a Facebook group they consider meaningful in their life. But these specialised online gathering places are not limited to Facebook Groups and can readily take on less formal shapes – such as Instagram hashtags, email newsletters and podcasts – welcoming people's interest in diverse topics such as #Crochet, #Baking, #NatureLovers and #CrystalHealing. In these digital nooks, conversations, often amongst strangers, can be remarkably honest and supportive. People are eagerly connecting around areas once stigmatised, such as mental health.

# 10 Collective creativity

People have always watched and imitated others. Social mimicry is how we learn to speak, grow – and even dance. But in a mobile-first world, where short-form video (e.g. Instagram Reels) serves as a universal language, our ancient impulse is gaining new creative wings. Whether you're reimagining a skateboard trick or responding to a #DanceChallenge, you're just one Remix button away from turning an act of imitation into a moment of co-creation. The online world is a vibrant environment of imagination and collective idea generation. Why draw inspiration from one person when you can learn from thousands? Why compete in a #DanceChallenge when you can start your own? Today, it's never been easier to showcase your skills and share them across the world. If you've got a smartphone, you've got a video editing studio right in the palm of your hand.

Theme 3 – Greater Expectations

While our dreams have become bigger, people are redefining what success means. We're reappraising education, while pursuing new, more entrepreneurial careers.

# 11 Alternative education

The old concept of traditional education is being rethought and rebuilt. The pandemic undoubtedly accelerated the move to virtual learning. However, this digital leap was more challenging for some schools than others, and many students experienced educational (and social) disruptions along the way. Indeed, parents, educators and students were all challenged in their own ways. Consequently, many people found themselves reappraising the value of traditional classrooms. More than ever, lifelong learning is considered essential. People place a higher value on alternative education and focused master class learning that happens outside the classroom. Stats show a direct link between university degrees and higher incomes. However, the easy availability of "learn as needed" upskilling options (e.g. nanodegrees, microcredentials, paid web-based tutors and online free education videos) contrasted with the high cost/long duration/uncertain ROI of advanced degrees makes the argument to skip university more compelling for some.

# 12 Flexiwork

During the pandemic, many people experienced an epiphany of what really matters: work-life balance. When faced with this reality, it's no longer enough to work for a salary and live for the weekend. Time may be money, but many people will agree that autonomy is priceless. For white-collar workers, the workplace is no longer just a sea of grey cubicles in a corporate office. Work happens wherever people are given the space to be productive. Remote work from home? Back to the office? Hybrid? The future is distributed, and work-life integration and balance is paramount. Video meeting fatigue and (occupational) burnout grew when boundaries between work and home blurred. But commute times shrunk or disappeared too. Meaningful work is more important than ever, a feeling shared across income groups. Everyone values the freedom to choose how and where they work.

# 13 Digitally enterprising

As the pandemic flipped work and commerce upside down, small and medium businesses (SMBs), entrepreneurs and dreamers used digital tools to sustain their shops and grow their aspirations. For SMBs, e-commerce was critical in their fight for survival. They have been increasing digital tool use across a range of purposes, with the largest increases seen in advertising and in selling goods and services. Indeed, 69% of SMBs worldwide reported that digital tools positively affected their business during the pandemic. Consequently, conversation about digital marketing and social media marketing saw healthy spikes. The crisis also lit a fire under those who dream of starting their own business, whether out of opportunity or necessity. However, starting their own business remains a great aspiration for many, with global conversation around entrepreneurship rising dramatically, and 56% of global survey respondents saying that it remains a dream of theirs. But the journey to this dream may be paved with extra work, as many people hedge their bets by taking on side hustles (e.g. renting their cars or extra rooms in the house) or maintaining other full-time employment.

Conversations around entrepreneurship are in the rise up 35% in the UK.

{This remains a pet topic of mine. People starting out on their own, with all of their creativity and brilliance in what they do. Start out only to discover that though they may well have excellent skills in their niche – there is more to running a business than just their niched skills. Like marketing, HR, time management, people handling...}

# 14 Cryptoinclusion

New forms of currency and digital assets are creating more interest in how these technologies can lead to more financial inclusion for people. Cryptocurrency is digital currency powered by blockchain technology, whereby transactions are verified and records maintained by a decentralised system. Many believe cryptocurrency to be the future of money. Today, cryptocurrency is often associated with exciting opportunities – with significant interest from millennials, many of whom have been excluded from traditional paths to building their financial futures.

The true potential of cryptocurrency, however, has yet to be fully realised. Cryptocurrency may unlock financial inclusion for unbanked and underbanked people around the world – making, for example, the transfer of money as easy as sending a message. Also powered by blockchain technology are NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which have seen an explosion of interest and online conversation. Often associated with digital files such as art, photos, videos and audio, NFTs offer their owners a unique certificate of authenticity and ownership.

{Personally, I think the development of block chain technology will prove as significant as the development of the world wide web. Today, many people think crypto is too volatile, too risky, too much just the realm of geeks, just a fad. But before the world wide web had come into being, people asked, “Computers talking to each other, so what? Who cares - what use is that?” Well, look at what that technology enabled. First comes the technical ability, then follows the uses and benefits along with commercial gain. Blockchain is just beginning and its potential is huge. As an example of where this area could go, just consider the concept of Cardano teaming up with Colossal, a Texas based biosience company with a vision of bringing back the woolly mammoth. [ see more here ] Blockchain may be at the root of crypto, but the use and benefit of blockchain technology lies way beyond just crypto. }

# 15 Creator culture

Creativity has been unleashed, driven by social networks, affordable and powerful software and hardware, and the belief that everyone can be clever and inventive. Most successful creators remain millennials and gen Z, and their audience sees their social selling success as highly relatable and attainable. Now, creators can take their large follower counts, the social influence that comes with it – and their built-in authentic appeal – and become a brand ambassador or microinfluencer. It's also an attractive career choice for many.

Theme 4 – Expanding Values

Changing values shape who we are, how we behave and what we consume. Our shopping habits are no longer just self-expression – for many, shopping sustainably is an act of self-preservation.

# 16 Global passion, local purchase

Shoppers support businesses close to home – even as they see the whole world as their cultural and culinary marketplace. Many make an effort to shop local even when it's more expensive. At the same time, many consider themselves a global citizen, a broad term that refers to awareness, affinity and/or engagement of worldwide events, products and culture. Social media certainly helps create borderless cultures. Most users follow accounts by topic, without regard to country borders. On a good day, the increasingly global village that we inhabit fuels cultural exchange, understanding and engagement.

People are embracing the duality of being global citizens and local champions

# 17 Sonic boom

The human voice, the oldest form of storytelling, touches us in new ways, helping with everything from convenience (smart speakers) to calmness (music therapy) while it allows us to multitask (drive/bike/work). Podcasting is growing rapidly and has achieved a wider audience during the pandemic; news, comedy and true crime are top draws. The power of sound is being explored through ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), which focuses on audio importance and sensory impacts, especially in noise-polluted areas such as cities and offices. Video and screen immersion led to a renewed emphasis on high-quality audio.

# 18 Instant shopification

Once upon a time, 2-day delivery was considered fast. But with more and more people shopping at the speed of life, is 2-hour delivery becoming the new standard? Shoppers' shifting expectations are even more fundamental though: With online and offline boundaries blurring, many shoppers expect that if they can see it, they should be able to buy it – whether that's shopping via website, mobile app, messaging app, photo with a product tag or live shopping broadcast. Pair this with the rise of shoppable surfaces, an increase of in-store live shopping, one-click mobile payments, layaway plans, flexible financing (e.g. #BuyNowPayLater options), free delivery and same-day delivery. Increasingly, shopping is effortless and for those considering an impulse purchase, resistance is futile.

# 19 Ultimate wellness

People are increasingly striving to nurture their whole selves. Remarkably, many now report that mental health has surpassed physical health in its importance to total wellness and general attitude. Much of that change came from the extreme stresses brought on by the pandemic. The World Health Organization now recognises mental health as a major global health concern. Still, many in low- and middle-income countries receive no treatment for mental health issues. As mental health is more openly discussed, conversations about self-reflection, self-love and mindfulness increase. This desire for ultimate wellness has led to people embracing new omnidirectional fitness motivation strategies (e.g. working out in VR), non-traditional healthcare, an embrace of natural ingredients (and nature itself) – as well as the desire to give back through fundraising or being a volunteer for a cause that you care about.

# 20 Planet positive

Growing concerns about climate change have spurred more people to believe that reducing our carbon emissions to net zero is paramount. Many respondents believe that brands should care about the environment and provide sustainable living products for consumers and sustainable tourism options for leisure activities. That's a big change from just a few years ago and has to do with an increasing visceral awareness of climate change; the steady drumbeat of news about increasing droughts, floods, heat, wildfires and melting glacial ice can change minds. One big sign of that awareness: Electric vehicle sales have grown. Meanwhile, consumer electronics companies extend smartphone lifecycles, support trade-ins and recycling, and focus on yearly service updates instead of new products. Upcycling, in which unwanted or waste materials are transformed into new goods, is also on the rise. More consumers view second-hand clothing as desirable, a trend aligned with the rise of the circular economy. Businesses are moving away from the "take, make and waste" model. Our future demands it.

See full article here


I'm always struck by how wide a field marketing is, and how significantly it is its own skill-set.

And for me it starts with Marketing Strategy.

If you would like to discuss how these trends

could impact your Marketing Strategy,

call me.

0777 560 4378

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