Monday, 8 June 2009

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit

Trendbüro have recently developed a "Value Index" to look at which values seem to be particularly pertinent to Germans today. Rather than the usual practice of constructing a questionnaire and interviewing, Trendbüro have analysed 150,000 German-speaking blogs, forums and communities. This method strikes me as one of the great new things you can do now with data in Web 2.0 - analyse real behaviour in terms of conversations, rather than confronting people with an artificial interview situation and words out of context.
Anyway, the results are as follows - the Top 11 German values:
1. Freedom
2. Success
3. Family
4. =Health and Safety (these two always seem to pop up together!)
6. Nature
7. Simplicity
8. Recognition
9. Justice
10. Authenticity
11. Self-realisation
Trendbüro seem to be rather surprised at the results, not because punctuality and efficiency are nowhere to be seen, but because those marketing darlings Authenticity and Self-realisation are on the lowest rungs. I'm not that surprised. Authenticity has always seemed a bit of a phoney thing to me. I know I'm authentic, if the value is being ascribed to me. And if a brand has to bang on about its authenticity, well, then I think it protests too much. Passion falls into the same camp.
In fact, it's just as well that the German National Anthem doesn't start off with "Authentizität und Selbstverwirklichung und Leidenschaft" as this would sound like a musical Mission Statement.

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