“Inspired us to use the new resources and cultural insights presented to us.”
Identify Emerging Cultural Trends
to drive brand relevance and engagement.
The New Heartland is interpreting style through core values such as faith (not religion), community, and family, building on its rich heritage and culture to influence trends the rest of the country is adopting. This influence is seen in all key New Heartland touchpoints – Music, Outdoors/Sports, Food, Fashion and Technology.
The New Heartland Immersion experiences are custom designed to identify emerging cultural trends that could be harnessed to drive brand relevance and engagement. Held in Nashville, Tennessee, the Immersion includes activities such as a customer panel, in-depth retailer visits, presentations from tech start-ups, a private songwriting session, as well as meetings with owners of the area’s hottest restaurants, designers and brands. Findings are captured in a post-Immersion report that also provides initial thought-starters on activations for your brand.
Participants include groups from global brands and agencies such as Pepsi, Lipton, Arby’s, Mountain Dew, Fallon and DDB. Here’s what they say about the experience:
Key Focus Areas:
- TECHNOLOGY ADVANCING OUTDOOR SPORTS
Outdoor sports enthusiasts are embracing sports technology as part of a never-ending quest for edge. Technology lets them take their game to the next level – whether it is assistive fishing drones, wireless fish finders, or electronic turkey decoys. Brands can innovate by embracing outdoor technology, not relying on traditional tools of these sports.
- HERITAGE IS A CORE INFLUENCE
Stereotypes are evolving. ‘Hot’ chicken is a modern twist on Southern comfort food, faith-based clothing retailers are trendy, and songwriters are the ultimate storytellers. Brands need to expand their reach and no longer focus on the coasts for trendsetting.
- COMMUNAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THRIVING
Community is an elevated cultural driver for the New Heartland stemming from the area’s agrarian heritage of community reliance. Entrepreneurs collaborate on anything from restaurants to start-ups. The community is highly inclusive, which should be emulated by brands activating in this region.
- OUTDOOR SPORTS ARE ALWAYS-ON
The outdoor lifestyle is season-less and social. If participants aren’t directly engaging in a sport, they’re watching, preparing, talking or posting about it. There are a multitude of social media sites dedicated to letting enthusiasts share captured content. Online contests are supplementing traditional tournaments. Brands that remove barriers to outdoors engagement will be championed.
- CAMO IS CHIC
Customers express the outdoor lifestyle by wearing camo, which has been embraced by fashion and blended into mainstream culture. Camo is influenced by science and these patterns have adapted into 500+ styles. Enthusiasts will choose brands based on camo that reflects their passion, so it’s important to have the right look for your audience. (Women wear camo too and that doesn’t mean pink!)