by Vickie Abrahamson
“Some call it optimism, others (principally psychologists) call it denial … but one way or another, while we’ve still got the sun, good food, cheap wine and each other, there is still hope!”
—Sairica Rose, Iconoculture Cultural Fluent, Spain
Whether you dub it optimism or couldn’t-be-me denial, consumers around the globe are in the midst of a values shift. Over the last half of 2008 and first quarter of ’09, uncertainty has reigned, and the beat drums on. External economic forces — bringing daily bad news — combined with personal doubts and fears have caused a reprioritizing of values, moving reality, security and thrift to top spots in the consumer mindset while demoting aspiration, luxury and convenience. And of course with a shift in values comes increased momentum for certain Iconoculture macrotrends.
Although our macrotrends were originally defined by major cultural shifts in the U.S., the Global View team has assessed their worldwide applicability and found that nine are particularly relevant right now, presenting the most opportunity for marketers of products and services in all countries. Numero uno on the list might come as no surprise: The macrotrend with the most momentum in the global village is the safe haven of Friends and Family; a shift to “we” over “me, me, me.”