What's Next for Western Europe

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Havas PR CEO, Marian Salzman, spots six key trends for 2013 in Western Europe

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What's Next for Western Europe

  1. 1. What’s Next for Western Europe SIx Key Trends Marian Salzman Havas PR North America
  2. 2. What happened last year? 2012 was a year of extremes for the EU 2
  3. 3. On one hand … Continuing economic crises 3
  4. 4. On the other … Growing business and consumer confidence 4
  5. 5. On one hand … Roiling civic dissent across many parts of the region 5
  6. 6. On the other … A 2012 Nobel Peace Prize (by unanimous decision!) 6
  7. 7. On one hand … Damaged GDP in several countries due to banking crises 7
  8. 8. On the other … Overall, a GDP increase from $15.39 trillion to $16.4 trillion, still the largest in the world 8
  9. 9. Flashback to Our Look at 2012 1. Dissent, Blame and Populism 2. New Digital Life 3. North Versus South 4. Migration 5. English to Go 9
  10. 10. 2013: Continuing Contrasts? 10
  11. 11. 1. Against All Odds, Optimism There’s no doubt the economic crisis knocked the world off-balance in 2007-08. For millions of people in North America, Europe and beyond, life has gotten tougher. Money is tighter, jobs are more precarious, safety nets are looking threadbare and the world seems pretty wild. 11
  12. 12. 1. Against All Odds, Optimism In companies, the talk is now all about engagement, teams and culture. In public life, people are looking to strengthen their local communities. In private life, empty nests are filling again as multiple generations gather under the same roof to collaborate, pool resources, and share financial, practical and emotional support. 12
  13. 13. 1. Against All Odds, Optimism Many countries have seen budget cuts as a result of the crisis. And yet many state and city governments are embodying a surprising optimism with “countercyclical” policies—e.g., still funding the arts and cultural projects. They know that a diverse and productive cultural environment can raise the spirit of many citizens and will, at the same time, contribute toward overcoming the difficulties faced by governments, civil society and economic players. 13
  14. 14. 1. Against All Odds, Optimism People who go against the crowd and succeed have a catchy new name: positive deviants. No wonder today’s hero companies and leaders tend to be big on positivity in their words and deeds. Virgin head Richard Branson is famed for the irreverent, upbeat attitude typified by his book Screw It, Let’s Do It: 14 Lessons on Making It to the Top While Having Fun & Staying Green. 14
  15. 15. 2. Austerity with Double-Dip Frugality Despite all the optimism, the mindset of Europe has changed—perhaps permanently—to one that is more conscious of the need for more considered consumerism. In the most troubled parts of Europe, austerity is biting deep; unemployment in Greece and Spain is 25 percent, way above the far-fromstellar 11.4 percent average of the euro currency area. In the U.K., average incomes have fallen by near-record amounts. 15
  16. 16. 2. Austerity with Double-Dip Frugality As the economic crisis drags on, the shop-till-you-drop exuberance that drove the long boom has given way to caution. And odds are against a return to consuming as we knew it before 2007-08. For one thing, it was fueled by debt; all that credit just won’t be as cheap or readily available again. For another, people are finding different ways to get the things they need in life. The bad economy is spurring people to get creative. 16
  17. 17. 2. Austerity with Double-Dip Frugality If lavish consumption was about spending and buying things to feel good, frugal consumption is about feeling good by being smarter and spending less; it’s about finding alternatives to the expense and wastefulness of old-style consumption. Why spend a lot to own something that’s not going to get used much? 17
  18. 18. 2. Austerity with Double-Dip Frugality Bikes have long been an ideal candidate for shared ownership; cities all over Europe have been doing it for years. This movement, Collaborative Consumption, harnesses interactive technology to match supply and demand for pretty much anything—and create personal connections in the process. 18
  19. 19. 3. Embracing the Imperfect World The quest for perfection has come so far that it’s now taken for granted, especially in new media. Digital imaging software slims silhouettes and erases blemishes. Digital recording technology corrects a singer’s wobbly pitch. Cosmetic procedures straighten teeth and noses, reshape ears, firm up sagging folds, remove unsightly hair and sculpt chests to order. 19
  20. 20. 3. Embracing the Imperfect World This pursuit of perfection was fulfilled in the unforgettable opening of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing: Thousands of finely honed young bodies, flawlessly coordinated. Four years later, Europe expressed a different yearning. The opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics included a sequence of children bouncing on hospital beds, comedian Rowan Atkinson cheating in a race and a solo by a choir boy who was born with his left arm missing below the elbow. The whole thing was quirky—and terrifically charming. 20
  21. 21. 3. Embracing the Imperfect World The difference between the two events wasn’t just a matter of resources or national self-images. Nor was it because the London director, Danny Boyle, acknowledged, “[Y]ou can’t get bigger than Beijing.” It was because London sought to reflect a big shift in attitudes toward perfection and imperfection. 21
  22. 22. 3. Embracing the Imperfect World British cultural entrepreneur Stephen Bayley looks deeper into the appeal of imperfection in Ugly: The Aesthetics of Everything. He makes the point in The Independent that talking about beauty is “boring”; discussing ugliness makes things “interesting.” 22
  23. 23. 4. The Big Burg Theory Say “cities” and the negative associations come cascading out: noise, dirt, housing projects, shantytowns, concrete, crowding, crime, drugs, pollution, gridlock, stress, alienation. For many decades, people in the developed world flocked to live outside cities in suburbs or way out in the countryside, where they could escape all of that and have a yard and a garage to boot. 23
  24. 24. 4. The Big Burg Theory Yet since three years ago, more than half of the world’s population has been located in towns and cities. Currently, Paris is the only European city on the list of 26 megacities (with populations of 10 million or more), in 25th place with almost 11 million. 24
  25. 25. 4. The Big Burg Theory Look for a Euro tipping point. For example, there are 358 people in each square kilometer of the U.K. (versus 32 people per square kilometer in the U.S.) and real estate is still in high demand, with businesses optimistic enough to be looking for second locations. 25
  26. 26. 4. The Big Burg Theory Megacities create megaproblems, but by offering buzz and many opportunities for minds to meet, they also spur people to figure out megasolutions—public transportation, access to education and healthcare, and more. 26
  27. 27. 5. Fair Weather’s Friends By 2030, according to a U.N. report, almost half the global population will be living in water-stressed areas. Plus, scientists foresee an increasing number of wildfires as the result of climate change. 27
  28. 28. 5. Fair Weather’s Friends Already, Europeans spend more money on weather prediction, use faster and larger computers, and are more engaged with academics in developing and upgrading their models than the United States. In fact, it was the European nations’ joint computer model that was the most accurate in predicting Superstorm Sandy’s destructive swath. 28
  29. 29. 5. Fair Weather’s Friends As we all come to terms with life in a wild weathered world, look for weatherpreneurs to offer weather-related services: Weather concierges will help clean out your house post-storm and care for your pets, while custom weather survival kits with a warm change of clothes, body washes, deodorant and flashlights will be packaged for the design-conscious. 29
  30. 30. 5. Fair Weather’s Friends Speaking of the design-conscious: Greenpeace Germany commissioned testing of 14 rain jackets and trousers from top outdoor adventure brands, and the results were surprising. Every piece tested positive for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a persistent hormone disruptor, and other chemicals that can contaminate drinking water, food, blood and breast milk. 30
  31. 31. 5. Fair Weather’s Friends If superstorms are going to stick around, look for a rise of faith when it comes to searching for meaning as to why all of this weather is happening. Historically, the Celts were big weather worshippers, but today, modern citizens are worshipping the weather anew: The Four Seasons Seychelles spa, for example, has introduced outdoor full moon massages, where guests can “experience the power of nature as they are taken on a journey of healing.” 31
  32. 32. 6. Still a Luxe Life Coming full circle, Europe’s optimism in the face of extended economic crises leads directly to the luxury market—which remains remarkably stable even in these days of Euro-skepticism. 32
  33. 33. 6. Still a Luxe Life One of the last digital marketing holdouts, the luxury industry is now firmly looking to technology to move products. Burberry and Stella McCartney are among the labels granting that entrée with behind-the-scenes glimpses of catwalk showings through iPad apps (and click-to-shop options). Plus, luxury U.K. department store Harrods offers a snazzy iPad version of its catalog. 33
  34. 34. 6. Still a Luxe Life A new mantra for the fashion business might be “Men don’t shop; they buy.” Menswear accounted for 40 percent of the total luxury fashion market last year, growing 14 percent from 2011, compared with womenswear, which grew by just 8 percent. Europe’s fashion shows reflect the growing interest with menswear: Designers sending their best-dressed male models down runways is a must for any serious fashion house. 34
  35. 35. 6. Still a Luxe Life Taking a lesson from the established popularity of fashionable food trucks and pop-up stores, many luxury goods and services industries are finding more ways to maintain their momentum with temporary digs. High-end shops and boutiques are popping up across Europe, and the luxury travel and tourism sector is embracing the trend as well. 35
  36. 36. Implications In terms of the Western European way of life, the only constant is change. As the eurozone crisis continues to play out, Europeans will continue to look for the silver linings. 36
  37. 37. Implications In terms of the Western European way of life, the only constant is change. As the eurozone crisis continues to play out, Europeans will continue to look for the silver linings. Silver lining: An extended economic impasse has given rise to “positive deviants.” 37
  38. 38. Implications In terms of the Western European way of life, the only constant is change. As the eurozone crisis continues to play out, Europeans will continue to look for the silver linings. Silver lining: An extended economic impasse has given rise to “positive deviants.” Silver lining: Crippling austerity measures have forced new creative solutions to pre-existing problems. 38
  39. 39. Implications In terms of the Western European way of life, the only constant is change. As the eurozone crisis continues to play out, Europeans will continue to look for the silver linings. Silver lining: An extended economic impasse has given rise to “positive deviants.” Silver lining: Crippling austerity measures have forced new creative solutions to pre-existing problems. Silver lining: A population pushed to the extremes of the quest for perfection can now warmly embrace their natural state— imperfection. 39
  40. 40. Thank you! Marian Salzman Havas PR North America

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