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State of public discourse: An Executive Summary
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State of public discourse: An Executive Summary


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The State of Public Discourse report will provide Canadian brands and organizations with an overview of the key findings surrounding consumer beliefs and values that are forecast for 2015. The …

The State of Public Discourse report will provide Canadian brands and organizations with an overview of the key findings surrounding consumer beliefs and values that are forecast for 2015. The report's findings are based on a unique analysis of thousands of public conversations by Canadians on over the past year. One of the most influential communities online, reddit drew over 731 million Unique Visitors from across the globe in 2013, including over 7.4 million Canadians.

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  • 1. Trends 2014/2015: Executive Summary SONIC BOOM & TRENDS 2014/2015 What the culture creators want you to know: An executive summary This document provides an executive summary of the key findings from our most recent trends report titled “State of Public Discourse,” detailing emerging trends in culture, and more specifically, trends in four industry verticals - Automotive, Healthcare, Entertainment and Telecommunications. To arrive at the conclusions below, our research team examined over 20,000 conversations on, covering a range of topics such as politics, brands, pop culture, cars, technology, pharmaceuticals, food, entertainment, telecommunications, etc. Trends defined by the internet’s culture creators 1 Source: WanderingtheWorld (
  • 2. Trends 2014/2015: Executive Summary SONIC BOOM & 3 TRENDS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ! 1 - Individualism is desired, and celebrated. Individual autonomy and expression are highly valued. Brands, organizations, and things that allow people to express themselves, and establish niche and often bookish connections with others in the community, will be loved and celebrated. For example, audiences expound an incredible amount of effort uncovering hidden plot lines and character ‘tells’ as a way to express their identities as fans of the show ‘Breaking Bad’. ! 2 - Fairness is expected. An assessment of fairness is now a critical ingredient in the evaluation of brands and organizations and audiences will proactively dig up information about a brand of interest to assess for themselves the fairness with which a brand conducts its business. Trends defined by the internet’s culture creators 2 Source: Daquella manera
  • 3. Trends 2014/2015: Executive Summary SONIC BOOM & For example, the “big three” telecommunications firms in Canada are constantly criticized for their unfair trade practices – from price fixing to bad customer service, consumers are constantly left frustrated and disappointed. 3 - Innovation is required. Everyone (from celebrities to brands) is constantly expected to innovate as it is now the minimum requirement to keep audiences interested. Importantly, those that leverage science to innovate and in the process improve upon existing systems will be looked upon with great favourability. For example, Tesla Motors is considered the standard for innovation in the automotive sector because of its pursuit of uncompromising excellence in producing electric cars (while the competition creates electric cars that require one to compromise on speed and performance). ! ! ! ! Trends defined by the internet’s culture creators 3
  • 4. Trends 2014/2015: Executive Summary SONIC BOOM & IMPLICATIONS FOR YOUR BRAND OR ORGANIZATION ! CONCLUSION ! Audiences use belief and value systems as a way to connect with people, brands, and things on the Internet. Understanding these value systems can go a long way in understanding where a brand fits in the context of a larger conversation and, more importantly, whether there might be opportunities to authentically engage audiences with conversations that go well beyond a discussion of products, their features and benefits. Interested in knowing more about your audience? Feel free to contact us at 
 1 Examine your brand’s relationship to the identified trends and pinpoint the areas of strength and weakness. Then, consider answering two questions: !• What specific initiatives will allow you to play to your strengths and allow a deeper and more emotional connection with your audience? • Are there opportunities to introduce new communication programs, formats, or even channels that can address some of the identified weaknesses? 2 Consider the most pressing issues within your vertical today. Now, think about what your organization/brand can do to address those issues, through the values lens, and maybe even lead discourse in the industry! 3 Don’t neglect the geeks! Find those people within your organization who really embody the brand, the product or service in question. Give them an opportunity to have authentic dialogue with brand fans who will be excited by the opportunity to “geek out” over what you do today, and what you can do in the future. 4 Think about the overall set of values that guide your own organization, its operations and even marketing. Are there points of alignment between organizational values and the emerging values identified in this report? If so, what can you do to further communicate this marriage in values to the marketplace, and build a closer relationship with your publics? Trends defined by the internet’s culture creators 4
  • 5. Trends 2014/2015: Executive Summary SONIC BOOM & APPENDIX: OUR APPROACH ! For years, we’ve looked at the real world for clues on where our culture is headed – fashion, art, music, television and more provide direction on changing consumer perceptions and needs. Today, it’s a very different scenario. An increasingly active online audience that spends more time on the web, than it does offline, means we now have an incredibly rich pool of online data to understand the evolving nature of people, their perceptions of, and expectations from brands. Sonic Boom’s Trend Forecasting team looks at thousands of these online conservations across a range of themes such as corporations, governments and people, and forecasts emerging trends and value systems across culture, and across specific verticals (from Healthcare to Automotive and even Quick Service Restaurants). To achieve this, Sonic Boom leverages an exclusive partnership with - the most influential online community existing today, with over 7.5 Million Canadian visitors - made up of artists, technologists, early adopters, geeks and culture creators. is so persuasive in our culture that in an attempt to influence public opinion, it has attracted people such as Bill Gates, Barack Obama and Chris Hadfield, to engage the community in meaningful discourse. Trends defined by the internet’s culture creators 5 Source: kagey_b