Havas Releases Latest Meaningful Brands Report on the ‘Me-conomy’

By Kyle O'Brien 

Havas has released the latest edition of its annual global Meaningful Brands report, and this year’s effort looks at how rising cynicism among consumers has been shifting to an expanded idea of purpose that is more inward-looking and personal.

The findings in “The Me-conomy—How Purpose Got Personal,” sees a shift from brand social responsibility to consumers examining everything through their own personal lenses in the face of more challenging and uncertain times.

In the “Me-conomy,” brands need to act decisively to drive social change and progress, but they’re also expected to provide everyday joy, support mental well-being, make life easier, offer affordable indulgences and more. Consumers now want brands to help them lead as participants and activists in driving social change, according to the study.


Key findings from the report that surveyed 91,000 people across 10 global markets, along with 1,300 brands across 42 categories include:

  • 72% are tired of brands pretending they want to help society when they just want to make money.
  • 68% think that the world is going in the wrong direction, at a global level.
  • 1 in 3 people report being personally affected by at least one crisis on an everyday level.
  • 1 in 3 agree that companies/brands should satisfy their individual needs first before taking a wider role in society.
  • 71% of people believe that companies and brands should be doing more to improve and support their health and well-being.

“The role of Meaningful Brands is to explore shifts in people’s lives, attitudes and behaviors, and unpack what that means for brands—but more importantly, how they can be more meaningful in people’s lives,” said Mark Sinnock, global chief strategy, data and innovation officer, Havas Creative.

Sinnock went on to say that Meaningful Brands win people’s loyalty, occupy a bigger space in culture and set themselves up for long-term growth. They combine purpose with a focus on the customer to grow well and give back to the people and the planet.

“In many ways the expectations of brands have never been higher. This is what we’ve seen in the rise of the ‘Me-conomy.’ While doing good for people and planet is important, in this challenging time with more people hyper aware of global crises and uncertainty, increasingly a purpose of its own is providing joy, great service, hyper-functionality and elevating day-to-day lives,” Sinnock stated.

This year’s report offers a playbook for brand marketers to succeed and grow in the “Me-conomy.” That playbook states that mental and physical wellness should be made universal; brands must enable people to do more and inspire them with new ideas; brands must respect and celebrate differences and celebrate expressions of individual identities; brands must help bring and promote joy and optimism; removing barriers and making people’s lives more simple is key; and affordability is now the new inclusion, meaning products and services must be of good value and affordable.

For the last 15 years, Havas’ annual Meaningful Brands report has studied brand value, new behaviors, shifting cultural dynamics and priorities for businesses and brands. More details can be found at the Meaningful Brands website.