The latest Prosumer study of 2022 is here: The New Power of Communities. Havas Group surveyed 14,594 men and women aged 18 and older in 30 markets. The goal of this study and report was to better understand consumer attitudes toward the growing power and influence of communities, as well as how brands can and should help make an impact in these spheres.
Among the Key Findings:
Communities are Transforming
Communities are shifting from simply sharing a culture, to defending diverse and rich traditions that exist at their cores. In a globalized world, communities are a defense against creating a standardized culture: 79% of Prosumers believe that communities allow traditions to remain alive rather than be absorbed into one global culture.
Communities are helping people speak out. Historically, people have found protection, help, and shelter with the people in their communities. While this remains, communities are now also turning outward and becoming advocacy groups. For 52% of Prosumers today, the strength of a community is linked to the influence it has on society.
Belonging to a community means relying on—and offering support to—all its members in order to defend their rights and overcome obstacles. 68% of Prosumers say that if faced with an obstacle, they would rely more on their community than on institutions. If the community protects, it also empowers people to become a force in the opposition of injustice: 76% of Prosumers feel more empowered to speak up for what is right thanks to the community they belong to.
With New Communities Comes New Tensions
Communities interest vs. universalism
The first tension to arise concerns the balance between the strength and power of communities vs. universal interests. For most Prosumers (85%), communities are part of a healthy democracy, but how much influence can we afford to give them? 43% of Prosumers think that minority communities are so self-centered that they forget about the universal problems we are facing today, focusing solely on issues that affect their community members. And while the debate continues over whether someone has the legitimacy—or the right—to discuss an issue that concerns a community they are not a part of, the question arises as to how different communities will evolve…65% of Prosumers fear that communities will become radicalized, and this figure even reaches 85% in France.
Preservation vs. isolation
The other hot topic concerns culture, more specifically the appreciation and borrowing of culture. 85% of Prosumers 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. Pop culture plays a key role in the knowledge and representation of communities, especially among young people: 64% of whom say they have learned about a community different from their own through pop culture. Here, Netflix is seen as the pioneer in this field.
Lessons for Brands
- Brands should be representing a diverse number of communities in their advertising.
- Actions speak louder than words: Brands that take a strong stand on an issue involving a certain community must back this stance with concrete actions.
- Being authentic is crucial: Prosumers are able to tell the difference between brands that genuinely care, and those that haven’t taken the time.
- Uplift communities you care about: Prosumers expect brands to amplify the voices of marginalized communities.