Going Where the Cultural Traction Is

By now if you’ve been following this blog’s freestyle ride through culture, you’ve probably got your sea legs. This forum lets us be explorers, seduced by the freshness of what’s around the bend, whatever it is. We clearly enjoy these immersive sprees and can’t stop asking: Did you see that? What does it mean? What does it say about us?

Outside this blog, sporting our official Added Value brand development hats, we ask the same things – only more systematically, and about what brands do. What trends do brands tap or lead? We know that successful brands constantly evolve to be in step with where culture is – and where it will go. Not in some kind of flip-flopping, shape-shifting, forget-who-they-are-when-you-wake-up-in-bed-with-them-in-the-morning sort of way. They need to be authentic, passionate, and in synch with culture (and culture gets antsy sitting still too long).

Added Value measures a particular brand’s vibrancy over time – quantitatively, multi-dimensionally, and relative to a universe of other brands. What do we call the extent to which a brand gains or loses traction with culture? Cultural Traction.™ It’s an indicator of future growth.

Brands with great Cultural Traction™ have great VIBE, which means they are (cleverly)…

Visionary: leading the way and getting our attention

Inspiring: have a point of view and stand for something I want to be a part of

Bold: have swagger with substance

Exciting: are disruptive and have momentum

This is where Added Value’s curious cultural experts swoop in. We overlay our on-going monitorings of trends and brand activities with the Cultural Traction™ statistical brand rankings. All of our nosy questions of why, what it means, what it says about us – and what it says about brands – are purposeful after all. Through our wide cultural lens, we help brands mobilize to become more culturally vibrant.

Hey Facebook, Tom’s Shoes, Guinness, Apple, Hyundai, H&M, et al… we’re watching you. Take a peek at their Cultural Traction™ here.

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