culture & trends

Our team of culture and trend experts work closely with our primary researchers. It can involve adding context to findings, spotting trends, proposing new research opportunities for our long-term communities, or acting as specialist consultants on ad hoc projects. The team bring into focus the wider influences on consumer decisions and help to design research that is future facing. This ensures that all of the research conducted at Join the Dots goes beyond asking the obvious, to delivering genuinely fresh insights and identifying powerful commercial opportunities for our clients.

By curating market intelligence, consulting with our network of experts, and carrying out our own research projects, our Culture & Trends team ensure that we are always on top of the trends that really matter to our clients and their business.

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happiness & trends

Working across sectors with a vast array of primary and secondary research, our Culture & Trends team have developed a unique model for understanding emerging consumer needs. Our Happiness Trends model is grounded in the psychology of happiness and supported by primary research with The University of Manchester Business School. The model provides us with a unique insight into the consumer mind set and allows our Culture & Trends team to keep researchers and clients on top of changing consumer needs, so that brands are able to spot opportunities to make consumers happy. Find why happiness matters here.

cultural happiness

Although certain human needs are almost universal, the ways in which we express, attain and fulfil those needs is culturally specific. Understanding culture is a key aspect of understanding a person’s route to happiness. As such, we use a network of guides across the world to provide a cultural lens to examine consumers – a lens which highlights the subtle differences in the way people around the world have come to interpret drivers, flourish and achieve enhanced wellbeing. This lens has been essential in allowing us to derive genuine insights for our clients. Find out more about cultural happiness here.

By observing over 40,000 consumers and exploring our happiness trends across 30 online research communities, we have seen that not all trends are equal. Some are ‘bigger’, that is, the need is felt by more consumers, whilst others are smaller and more emerging.

Each trend has a unique demographic and sector profile, depending on the consumer groups who most align themselves to that trend and the market sectors in which the trend is most prevalent. In recognition of this, we have recently quantified and profiled our happiness trends for the first time. In doing so we identified ‘Let’s Play’ – the desire to realise our inner child – as a growing consumer trend.

‘Let’s Play’ is linked to the Engagement driver, a key aspect of which is being deeply connected to an activity, organisation or cause. For many of us, the distinction between working day and leisure time continues to blur and whilst we’re getting lots done, research suggests we should be spending less time working and more time playing. Play de-stresses us, it refreshes us and it restores our optimism.

‘Play’ is seen as the antithesis of what it means to be ‘grown up’. However, our research found 9 out of 10 UK consumers agree that “it’s important to have fun” and “play time isn’t just for kids”. As we navigate an increasingly volatile world, we’re seeing a rise in adult play from consumers not just in the UK but across the globe, using it as a way to relieve anxiety and stress. To explore this idea further, we asked our Illume Network of leading edge consumers how this trend is playing out across the globe. Find out what they said at Illume Stories.

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Want to find out more about culture & trends?

Find out about recent work with TSB.

To get in touch with the team email: 

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