Cultures and subcultures deciphered by Initiative

Initiative (Mediabrands) presented Friday the 2nd edition of its study started in 2019 "The State of Cultures in France". A true inventory of the different cultures and subcultures that have emerged over the past 12 months, the survey attempts to understand them in order to “strengthen the relevance of brands”, emphasizes Bertrand Beaudichon, CEO of Initiative. Because "we now have to address the tribes, it's the end of the socio-demo era", he asserts. Present everywhere, in all sectors (food, beauty, fashion, politics, world of work, etc.), these cultures/subcultures are established over time, sometimes exacerbated by the global health crisis. The latter has also led to and accompanied the strengthening of the consideration of the social, societal and environmental impact in consumer choices. Enough to bring to light 4 major cultural currents:

- "In my bubble, a world of filters": in the face of an increasingly pronounced ghettoization of people and ideas, in the face of the radicalization of discourse where the "center is no longer really the norm", underlines Françoise Fassin, COO of Initiative, how to invent the democratic model of tomorrow?

- “The era of neostalgia” where it is necessary to restore more meaning in this world in crisis, combined with this need for comfort, refuge and cocooning with the “slow” in quasi-standard.

- "Escape Game, a eulogy to escape" with this desire to "subtract from reality" in order to flee "a world whose promises are not very encouraging, where there would be a form of heroism in being oneself", points out Miss Fassin.

- "The new cults", or how online communities or fandoms are the new opium of the people, made up of a "supernatural order" where "Rules of life and rituals" are affirmed and "new idols" are embodied ".

In this context, points out the study, these currents could not be expressed if the digital "had not penetrated all areas of life, to the point of erasing the border between real life and digital life". She thus notes that "digital no longer appears at the heart of the Cultures navigation map as in 2019. Having become essential in times of health crisis, it has also become the first place to share a sustainable vision of society" . Therefore, 13 general cultures could be identified in the study within the 4 major currents:

"The New Justices": Faced with behavior deemed unacceptable, they call for the cancel culture, the disappearance of a person, a show, a writing, in order to make people forget it. To achieve this, they will mobilize their network and move heaven and earth to create news that will be taken up in the media.

"The Woke Generations": Distrustful of institutions and their representatives, the Woke generations are neither voters nor activists, but they act personally because they are convinced that it is by setting an example on a daily basis that we can contribute to change.

“The New Nomads”: By detaching employees from their offices, the Covid-19 pandemic has drawn their attention to this way of life, long reserved for the self-employed. If previously the practice was hedonistic, today it is much more associated with a quest for meaning that allows daily life to reconcile work and passion.

"Les Nouvelles Chineuses": For a long time reduced to garage sales and specialized networks, the second-hand market is today the spearhead of a new mode of consumption which is based on ecological and civic motivations, in particular in the fashion industry.

“The Skinfluencers”: Specialized in skincare, the Skinfluencers and their communities share their beauty routine on a daily basis, by making products that are difficult to grasp, even intimidating, accessible, while not hesitating to challenge brands.

“Free Wheels”: While public transport systems experienced a sharp drop in ridership in 2020, with city dwellers seeking to minimize the risk of infection, so-called soft mobility means of travel experienced a real boom.

“The Neo-Gardeners “Allowing nature to rebuild itself, such is the credo of these convinced ecologists who advocate a return to nature. Rewilding or even permaculture, practices are developing to recreate prosperous and responsible ecosystems.

“The Home Revampers”: Much more than a simple roof, housing becomes a real Swiss army knife, more flexible, more versatile and more pleasant. The Home Revampers took advantage of the pandemic to rethink the layout and equipment of their interiors.

“Les Beautés Nature”: The health crisis has accelerated a profound movement, aimed at challenging the standards of beauty. Very informed, even militant, Nature Beauty expect brands to show a strong commitment to more natural, cleaner, less transformed, more diverse and more inclusive beauty.

"The Home Sweet Home": Already well before the pandemic, we spent 90% of our time locked up: a tendency to withdraw into oneself, refusing any confrontation with the outside world or opposing ideas. Goodbye FOMO – Fear of missing out –, hello FOGO – Fear of going out.

"Quiet Vacationers": A growing trend already identified in the State of Cultures in France in 2019, slow travel has exploded between confinements and travel constraints. Rejecting mass tourism, Quiet Vacationers favor longer, slower and more authentic stays, far from Instagram clichés.

“Les Climactivistes”: A fundamental trend in French society, responsible consumption is embodied even in the content of our plates. New diets are gaining ground and are shaking up our culinary culture. Much more than a fashion, food has become the cornerstone of many life changes that are more respectful of the planet and its inhabitants.

“The Handymen of life”: Between real pleasure, financial necessity and ecological commitment, the Handymen of life have become more and more numerous to repair, do it yourself, express their creativity. Empowerment predominates over consumption.