Culture Hack

Culture Hack

The No Shame/No Filter Era

The Internet, with its trove of individual searches, comments, purchases and creative self-expression is the closest thing we have to a repository of the human experience. Understandably so, people refer to “The Internet” as a proxy for society in general, a highly distracted being of sorts, that acts mostly based on the latest social trigger. And it’s this precise ability to raise a red flag around what inspires us and what gets on our nerves that makes “The Internet’ an interesting tool for social observations.

One of the behaviors the Internet and its digital cousins, the cell phone and social media have spun is a form of collective transparency around imperfections. While social media still presents heavy pressures to keep up with celebrities, influencers and our timeless Joneses, it has also given us access to what others grapple with. This creates a powerful sense of belonging and new possibilities. This questioning is part of a broader societal rebellion against restricting systems and hierarchies.

We simply want out from the pressures to conform. Younger millennials and generation Z consumers are driving forth this conversation, giving life to new brands that embody this progressive ethos and forcing other culturally-fluid brands to recalibrate their thinking and messaging to be with the times.

And no topic is off limits.

Mental health, for instance, is an immediate wellness challenge for many youths afflicted by cyber-bullying, an uncertain job market, and a healthcare system that has failed them and society in general in terms of early detection and education about mental health. Talkspace, backed by Michael Phelps, for instance, provides a mobile-friendly means to connect with therapists. Lola in similar fashion is breaking the taboos around feminine hygiene products. Its approach is powerful, human-centered around peer guidance and sustainability, and its message is smart, real and warm. HIMS tries to do the same for guys around hair loss and other health and self-care categories.

The common theme with the examples above is an approach around the direct tackling of the issue at hand and turning that directness into a source of pride, contagious tonality and guidance for the relationship between the consumer and the brand.

Think. What your brand stands for? What societal pressures can it help alleviate it? How are you a caring brand? What are the common worries of your best consumer and what can you do about it?