Understanding Values, Combined with Real-Time Analysis of Online Behavior and the Fluid Cultural Landscape, Keys to Driving People to Take Action
NEW YORK, June 7, 2023 – BCW, the leading global communications agency, today introduced its cutting-edge approach to uncovering the key insights that drive behavior. It combines behavioral science, research, data analytics and digital trend mapping rather than relying solely on traditional demographic and psychographic targeting models. In doing so, BCW pairs a deep understanding of overarching values with real-time insights into today’s fluid and dynamic cultural landscape to pinpoint exactly how to move people to action.
BCW’s insight into how people prioritize values was gleaned from an analysis of more than 36,000 people across 30 countries which yielded more than 30 million data points and enabled the agency to identify seven archetypes that cut across geography, income and generations, shattering the commonly held perception that Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers are homogeneous groups that can be marketed to as monoliths.
The agency also developed a proprietary real-time analytics tool, BCW Values Intelligence (BCW V.I.), to combine its understanding of values with what’s changing in culture, online conversations and trends. By analyzing hundreds of thousands of data points, BCW V.I. identifies trending themes and opportunities that can align with the interests of a particular Values Archetype. It then uses advanced analytics to organize all the data points into logical clusters to uncover more granular subtopics and identify communication opportunities in a complex and ever-evolving communications environment.
“Values are formed in adolescence and stay fairly stable over time; they are what I like to call a ‘persistent truth,’ more constant than attitudes, opinion or emotion,” said Rebecca Grant, BCW’s Global Chief Brand Officer. “When business and brands root their communications in shared values that cut across generations and demographics, they can navigate complexity, uncertainty and change and sustain long-term engagement.”
Values and Archetypes
The agency’s research into values and the development of the BCW V.I. was conducted by the BCW Movatory, the agency’s business accelerator for clients that pioneers thinking and develops tools. BCW’s “Age of Values 2023” research revealed seven Values Archetypes.
The Success Seeker is drawn by a desire for power and personal achievement; The Adventurer seeks stimulation and new experiences; The Good Neighbor prizes the welfare of friends, family, and community; and The Conformist wants to fit in and avoid confrontation. The Visionary is someone who prizes personal freedom and creativity; The Protector prioritizes people and planet; and The Traditionalist focuses on safety, stability, and harmony.
Each Archetype comprises some of the 11 universal values identified in Professor Shalom H. Schwartz’s “Theory of Basic Human Values.” They include Power, Achievement, Hedonism, Stimulation, Self-Direction, Universalism – Societal, Universalism – Nature, Benevolence, Conformity, Tradition and Security.
Four Values Archetypes are heavily represented in Generation Z: The Success Seeker, The Adventurer, The Good Neighbor and The Conformist, which reveals a more nuanced approach to targeting this group would be effective.
“Generations have become the default for businesses around the world to group their audiences,” said Lisa Story, Global Chief Strategy Officer of the BCW Movatory. “The belief that people are best understood primarily by age is the foundation for many communications strategies, especially when it comes to Generation Z. Alongside this assumption is a narrative that often pits generations against each other, whether around social attitudes or economic priorities. But our findings suggest this view is myopic and fails to fully appreciate people’s true motivations and behaviors.”
Using this new approach, BCW examined climate change and the drivers of pro-environmental behaviors and found that values are more influential predictors of these behaviors than demographics. But the values driving some of that behaviors were unexpected. BCW’s research established that when it comes to buying an electric vehicle (EV), Stimulation, Power and Achievement values were stronger motivators than Universalism – Nature, clearly indicating that EV marketers need to appeal to people’s desire to showcase status, perhaps more so than their concern for the environment.
Full details of all 11 values and the seven archetypes can be found in the Age of Values 2023 report which is available at www.bcwmovatory.com.
Research was conducted by Savanta, the Intelligence Business, between December 2022 and April 2023. Savanta was our research design and operational partner.