Individual Togetherness

Trends / Realness
Willie B. Thomas
Maxine Ihezie
Oct 24, 2019
Striking the right balance between the representation of consumers both as individuals and as part of a collective is a key challenge for brands looking to engage customers. Perhaps one of the most prominent indicators of today's brand's desire to create this through its visual communications is the emergence of the search term ‘belonging’. In 2018, our customer searches for this keyword skyrocketed, with a 3400% year‑on‑year increase. Associated search terms suggest this sense of belonging is anchored in feeling part of something bigger. Searches for ‘community’ (+130%), ‘connection’ (+165%) and ‘inclusion’ (+175%) have all increased year‑on‑year.
Trends around individual representation have changed too. Our top‑selling content, for example,  by the financial services sector in 2018 shows a movement towards displaying individual contentment, optimism and confidence. This is a trend replicated across most verticals. Research undergone by Cortex, an AI platform which looks across social media channels at creative tropes in industries, supports this.

Cortex compares the effectiveness of social media images against that industries’ average engagement – this is achieved objectively since it uses unsupervised machine learning. For example, Cortex found that there was a 22% drop in the effectiveness of individuals public speaking on social media in 2018. The values financial institutions want to communicate are no longer represented by images or video of powerful business executives. People are simply not engaging with or relating to such imagery today. Drawing more emphasis on the fact that, whilst people still view themselves as individuals and want to be seen, they want to be part of something bigger. This is what we call individual togetherness.
Realness and Warm Tones Used for Human Connection