HomeGlobalNewsroomBCW’s ‘Age of Values 2023’ Report Highlights Values Void Between Governments and Citizens
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BCW’s ‘Age of Values 2023’ Report Highlights Values Void Between Governments and CitizensJune 6, 2023

Reveals most people don’t believe their governments share their values

Void largest in the UK, U.S. and Europe

Governments and business must align with their audiences values – powerful predictors of behavior – to move people

NEW YORK, June 7, 2023 -- Most people around the world say they don’t believe their governments share their values, according to a new report from BCW, the leading global communications agency.

BCW’s ‘Age of Values 2023’ report, one of the largest studies of its kind, draws on the responses of more than 36,000 people across 30 countries, different generations and income groups to identify a values void between governments and their citizens.

The research finds that more than eight out of 10 people (84 percent) say they have a clear understanding of their own values, the guiding principles which determine their behaviors.

According to the report, the top three global values are Benevolence (motivates us to promote the welfare of the people with whom we are in frequent contact); Universalism Societal (motivates us to promote understanding, appreciation, tolerance and protection of all people in society); and Security (motivates us to promote personal and societal safety and stability).

But strikingly, it reveals that only a quarter of people around the world (25 percent) say they strongly agree that their governments’ policies and programs align with their own values.

When broken down regionally, it emerges that only 14 percent of people in Southern Europe, 15 percent in Northern Europe and 17 percent in the English-speaking world (Australia, Canada, the UK and the U.S.) share this view.

The values void is markedly smaller in South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East, where a respective 39 percent and 44 percent of people say they strongly agree that their governments share their values.

“We are in an era where values are a part of the political, social and cultural conversation,” said Rebecca Grant, Global Chief Brand Officer, BCW. “Our values, which are formed in adolescence and remain fairly stable over a lifetime, become crucial in a world of change and uncertainty. They are what I call a ‘persistent truth.’ The chasm between citizens’ values and the perception that they have of their governments’ values has broad implications not just for government but for society.” 

The research shows that the disconnect between governments’ values and those of their citizens changes across generations and incomes. 

A quarter of Generation Z (25 percent) say they strongly agree that their values align with their governments’ policies and programs. This rises to 28 percent among Millennials, 23 percent for Generation X before dropping down to just 18 percent among Boomers. 

And almost a third of those on high incomes (30 percent) say that their values align with those of their governments, compared to just a fifth (20 percent) of those on low incomes. 

The report finds that values can be more powerful than conventional demographics in explaining people’s behaviour. As a result, it suggests segmenting the global population into seven key Values Archetypes which cut across geography and generations and are built around combinations of the core values most important to them. 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. 

“Clearly, there is a tremendous opportunity for businesses, brands, organizations and governments to build lasting connections and drive behavior by aligning with their audiences’ values,” Grant added.

The ’BCW Age of Values 2023’ report is launched in conjunction with the BCW Movatory, the agency’s business accelerator for clients that pioneers thinking and develops tools.  

Full details of all 11 values and the seven archetypes can be found in “BCW Age of Values 2023’ report which is available at www.bcwmovatory.com.

Further details on the Movatory are 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.