Welcome to Nobody Cares 

Joy Farber Kolo

Chief Brand Officer


Young man hanging out on pommel horse looking at smartphone

Sad truth: People don’t wake up thinking about your company. They don’t wonder what your brand is doing. And chances are, if they know who your CEO is – and that’s a big if – they don’t trust her. Or more typically, him.


And can you blame them? They’ve recently come out of the other end of a global pandemic, with the aftershocks still reverberating. (More on that in a minute.) They’re surrounded by polarization, political vitriol, and being bombarded by content – much of it designed to provoke or inflame.


What’s a modern marketer to do?


To earn a place in people’s lives, we believe you need to contribute value to theirs.


And to figure out how to do that you need to get close. Really close. Because, as it turns out, what we value – as consumers, as people – is very close to home.


Weber Shandwick recently completed a global study across the US, the UK, and key markets in APAC, the first installment of an initiative we’re calling “What We Value Now.” It’s important research for leaders navigating complex times. Seventy-five percent of people say what they value has changed in the last five years. What is the number one thing they attribute to driving that change? The COVID-19 pandemic.


What We Value Now: The Primacy of Personal


With those key findings as a backdrop, it makes sense that what people say they value from companies and brands is markedly less societal and social and fundamentally more personal. In fact, we believe that the Primacy of Personal has already begun to reinterpret and realign the way people look at the world and engage with companies, brands, organizations, and governments.


In our research, people say that personal emotional value is the most important value contribution a company or brand can make beyond the baseline importance of first delivering monetary and functional value. In qualitative and quantitative sessions, we asked people to rank the importance of – while forcing tradeoffs among — five different levers of value: monetary, functional, emotional, societal and social. And the bottom line – for all generations across all geographies – is that personal emotional value is twice as important as societal or social value. Dig a bit deeper into that personal emotional value, and you see that intrinsic value is the epitome of importance.




  • Makes me feel safe or secure: 23%
  • Makes me feel healthier: 22%
  • Gives me joy or happiness: 22%
  • Entertains me: 15%
  • Empowers me: 14%
  • Excites me: 14%




My safety, security, health and happiness


Global pandemic. Global conflicts. Global epidemic of loneliness. And a years-long trend of rising unhappiness. No wonder what we’re seeking is so emotional, so personal and so fundamental. Marry those shockwaves with the equally impactful shockwave of media fragmentation, with algorithms atomizing us in distinct online communities, and the personal becomes even more pervasive.


Importantly, personal isn’t meant to imply personalization. This isn’t as simple as customization. It’s about motivation. Understanding what matters, what moves people, what’s close to their hearts and what’s close to home, often literally.


Now, what?   


So if the personal is paramount, what’s a mass marketer to do?  

  1. Get close:  Truly understand your audiences – how, for example, do they define safety, security, health, and happiness?  Use AI to dig deeply.  Use an anthropological lens to try understand fully.  
  2. Listen.  People coalesce around affinities, issues, passions and problems in digital communities.  According to Amity, 77 percent of the most important communities people are part of operate online.  They’re a window into needs, wants, and what motivates.  
  3. Let niche drive mass.  Contribute value to people on a personal and passion level.  Don’t just reach them.  Activate them to drive a cultural conversation.  And then repeat. Airbnb has been getting this right for years, especially with its Only On campaign.   
  4. Make purpose personal. While secondary to personal emotional value, societal contributions, according to our “What We Value Now” research still matter — they’re just viewed through a lens of self.  The robotic lawnmower brand, Husqvarna, literally brought purpose to people’s backyards. The decline of bees and other pollinators is reaching record levels in Europe. Perfect lawns are bad news for biodiversity, pushing pollinators away. Husqvarna is creating the largest nature reserve in Europe – one lawn at a time – via Rewilding Mode, a feature on its automatic lawnmowers programmed to leave 10% of each lawn uncut, creating small reserves for pollinators. This move turned Husqvarna’s entire European fleet of robotic lawnmowers into fighters for biodiversity.  
  5. Earn your place. Breaking through apathy, overload, ad blockers, and an individualistic orientation takes making moves — and making work — worthy of earning – earning coverage, conversations, fans, followers, love and loyalty.  


To download “What We Value Now” visit here