The value index shows the current top 10 in changing values in our society. Editor Peter Wippermann explains the background to the shift in values in the crisis
Author: House of Eden
The German index of values is published every two years by Professor Peter Wippermann and Jens Krüger and collected together with the research team from Kantar and the trend office. The value index shows the current top 10 in changing values in our society. The basis for this is the investigation of around 3,3 million postings in German Social media channels. In the course of the corona crisis, a corona update was published for the 2020 index of values.
In an interview with Haus von Eden, Prof. Wippermann explains the background to the shift in values in the crisis.
The exceptional global situation surrounding COVID-19 has brought radical changes to our everyday lives. This is not just about the longing to return to a “normal”, limitless free world, but also about a more self-determined and, above all, reorganized (co) life work.
The result: a shift in values. That means less lifestyle, more politics - and that mainly because of a higher level of critical and reflective expressions of opinion. The values of health, family, freedom, success, security, Nature as well as community one.
Corona Update Values Index - Top 10 Values
Source and copyright by Trendbüro
Health, family, freedom and success are the top values
Health has always been one of the most important values for Germans, according to Prof. Wippermann, founder of the trend office and editor of the study. In the course of the Corona crisis, this value has gained in importance, as have discussions about freedom and transparency.
Prof. Wippermann explains: “The pandemic made it clear that people, society and companies cannot do anything without health. The previously meaningful self-optimization is now moving towards self-care. That means dealing authentically with the body and creating a balance between physical and mental health. So stay intact in a situation where it is socially difficult to maintain social closeness. "
The aspects of family and freedom are just as important. The value of success is in fourth place and is now read differently than classic professional success. “It's about being self-effective these days. In a situation where they cannot leave the house, people can still do a lot for themselves and their families. This is particularly evident from the flooding of hardware stores. Where you can design yourself, you have found success. So in the small world and not in the big world. "
The values of nature and sustainability fell in the index
The values of nature and sustainability are losing relevance in personal communication. After nature reached the top of the ranking in a continuous rise in 2018, the value has now fallen to 6. Sustainability is even pushed out of the top 10 in the Corona update.
“Nature experienced a boom in the sense of purity and relaxation through nature. In view of the increasing natural disasters and, ultimately, the corona pandemic, nature is now causing fear. Nature has thus developed from romanticism towards worry. Sustainability, on the other hand, is related to one's own life and rather something that one expects from companies and their products, ”says Peter Wippermann.
The Corona update of the index of values identified 5 company implications
- Digitization & Automation - Online? Anything goes
- Hyper-individualization - Me, myself and us?
- Self Empowerment - What To Do With All The Lemons?
- Purpose - what is socially relevant?
- System reflection - do we have to?
1. Digitization & Automation - Online? Anything goes
The lockdown has accelerated digitization and automation processes. Digital products and services create added value when they are convenient. In addition, they should increasingly ensure safety in everyday life. They are accepted if they focus on the interests of the user.
This is a rapid digital change, says the trend researcher. It is assumed that digital activity would have accelerated to a degree that we would only have expected in a period of 5 years. Without digitization, our society would have suffered more in the crisis.
More than ever, consumers want to delegate tasks and decisions to technologies, while their actual consumer benefits are increasingly being scrutinized. It is important for organizations to invite users to participate in the design process - while safeguarding the interests of the users.
2. Hyper-individualization - Me, myself and us?
The meeting of social distance and accelerated digitization has also given individualization a considerable dynamic. More data enables ever more precise personalization.
“Those who grow up with interactive media are above all those who want to design themselves. These will influence their brands in the consumer world and help shape their products, ”says Peter Wippermann, looking to the future. In the lockdown, individual needs have differentiated themselves in relation to the community: Consumers want to be more independent from others in many things (from home offices to online yoga classes).
3. Self-empowerment - What to do with all those lemons?
In order to remain able to act in a complex, uncertain world, consumers try to empower themselves. The growing DIY, right-to-repair and hacking movement shows that the desire for products and services that make consumers more independent is growing. For example, through durable and (self) repairable products with timeless design and offers that are simple and smooth.
In the opinion of Peter Wippermann, former editor of the future magazine Übermorgen, consumer behavior will be shaped by three aspects in the future:
- Don't buy more than you really use
- Passing on things that you no longer need
- Be curious about what's new
4. Purpose - What is socially relevant?
The COVID-19 pandemic shows how important it is to question the meaning of one's own actions and the purpose of a company. All the more reason for companies and brands to know, implement and communicate their own contribution. The trend is moving away from shareholder value towards creating common values.
“For many years it has been thought that companies are primarily responsible for achieving economic success. Then there was the opposing position that companies should also take on social and ecological responsibility. The classic shareholder value idea has meanwhile come to an end because it has not shown any long-term positive success, ”said Prof. Wippermann
Companies are increasingly attributed the ability to find solutions to social policy issues and they are also asked to ask themselves the question of meaning: What is the company for? What is this company doing?
5. System reflection - do we have to?
Crisis management is now about questioning how we want to live and work together sustainably and how we talk about things, about the usefulness of certain routines. “The look behind the packaging, behind the production and in the entire value chain will be much more precise in the future,” explains Wippermann.
Consumers do not want flowery promises, but rather objective, authentic communication at eye level. At the same time, the questions of how we want to live and work together leave only a few indifferent. With increased social awareness, the big questions are asked, and companies are also seen as formative actors.
You can download the whitepaper for the Corona-Update value index here download
The German Value Index has been published every two years since 2009 by the editors Peter Wippermann and Jens Krüger and together with the research team from Bonsai, Trend office and Kantar raised. The basis of the publication is the recording of 15 basic values in the German-speaking social media. The value index serves as a compass for the meaning and relevance of values for consumers.