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The Social Individualist


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"The Social Individualist" looks at the new mindset that best describes Tunisians after the Arab Springs.

JWT MENA's Head of Planning, Hubert Boulos' and JWT North Africa's Planning Director, Hazem Kaddour's presented this paper at ESOMAR's Best of MENAP 2013 on 5 March in collaboration with Tunisiana, Tunisia's leading mobile operator.

In association with Tunisiana, JWT conducted research in October 2012 to identify the new dynamics that were driving consumers and their behaviour. The research was led by the JWT Tunis team and focused on Tunisians, the birth place of the Arab Springs. The researched polled 551 adults and additionally operated 25 focus groups on adults and young adults.

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The Social Individualist

  1. A Post Arab Spring ConsumerA presentation by JWT and TunisianaHubert BoulosHazem KaddourNajla ChaarHoussem Abbassi
  2. Agenda I- Key Findings Pre Revolution II- Key Findings Post Revolution III- Opportunities for the brand
  3. Our Core Methodology:2 JWT Bonding Studies conducted preand post Tunisian Spring.1 Qualitative study conducted in 2012. - JWT Bonding Study conducted in 2007 on 308 adults with mobile phone subscriptions (pre revolution) - JWT Bonding Study conducted in September 2012 on 551 adults with mobile phones subscriptions (post Revolution) - Etude Point Cible 25 Focus Groups conducted on adults and young adults (15-60) in 2012
  4. Key Findings Pre Revolution
  5. Key Finding Pre Revolution Before 2011 A self restrained individuality that led to conformity, compliance and belonging.
  6. Muzzled Individuality The most important things in life for Tunisians were tradition and tolerance, opposed to creativity and self accomplishment. Source : JWT Bonding Study 2007
  7. Muzzled IndividualityFOR 67.9% OF THESOCIETY, TOO MUCH Freedom was perceived asFREEDOM LED TO a danger, partly because ofIRRESPONSIBLE the regime’s educationalBEHAVIOUR. system, and the importance of social norms.
  8. A Growing Dissatisfaction55% of Tunisians Lack of freedom resultedwere unsatisfied in a high level ofwith their life. dissatisfaction and lack of self-confidence.
  9. Belonging to the Community52.7% THINK Fulfillment was achievedINFLUENCING through belonging. It wasOTHERS IS NOT not about standing out within the group, but ratherIMPORTANT to just be accepted.
  10. Belonging to the Nation.FOR 60.3% OF 18-22, THENATIONAL IDENTITYWAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN In a society where voicedTHE RELIGIOUS ONE. religious practices were marginalized, the nation was the higher institution to belong to.
  11. Key Conclusion Before 2011, individualism had a whole different meaning: It was rather defined by an individual’s capacity to adapt and fit in the group.
  12. The Post RevolutionaryIndividual
  13. Post Revolutionary SituationAn increased individualismranging from the public to thereligious sphere The Transformation of the Arab World. Oliver Roy. Journal of Democracy, July 2012
  14. For the first time, it did not focus on the Arab Nation or the Muslim Umma but rather on the individual and the citizen. For the first time we did not see the rise of a charismatic leader, but rather a multiplicity of young and modern spokespeople.A Unique RevolutionBreaking away from thepast 60 years
  15. Telecommunications and Satellite MediaPlayed a key role Obviously allowing people to connect and debate on equal terms, but most importantly breaking the traditional hierarchical information path going from top to bottom.
  16. In That ContextPeople are challenging the patriarchalsystem and demand that individualopinions should be respected90% agree/strongly agree that individual opinions now must be respectedwhilst in the past a strong majority felt that too much freedom was not necessarily good They become more individualistic and less prone to follow the charismatic leader. Even within “islamist” parties they demand more debates, more democracy and a better governance and respect of others.
  17. A Religious SphereThat is more diverse and personal vs. an institution Religion is increasingly important in their lives (90%) as it is now more important than their national identity (70%). Nonetheless, individuals want to build their own Islam instead of an institutional Islam. Religion is a personal issue: It is about Islam from a personal perspective as a believer.
  18. Collectively the Current SituationIs far from being ideal If we talk about the country, everything seems to be going the wrong way. Collectively the situation is generating anxieties.
  19. The collective situation is terrible butas an individual I am ok! Base : 551 individus échantillon total The situation is completely inverted when it comes to the individual : self confidence success perspectives are at an all time high with only 21% of people dissatisfied with their lives vs. more than 50% who wanted to emigrate in the past (JWT Bonding 2007)
  20. Personal optimism levels aboutthe future are unbelievably high! Perception of the future Above 80% for both males and females!
  21. In That ContextThere is a clear intention to takeOne’s destiny in his/her own hands Base : 551 individus échantillon total
  22. Belonging to a group remains extremely importantBut even more so for the youth it is now even more important to mark yourdifference and perhaps your optimism within the group you belong to Need for recognition, intent to influence others and Being the center of interest are at 80%
  23. Home, family and friends become more essentialIn order to provide an audience for thatindividualism For 90% Home is the center of their world ! They need to be around their friends to feel themselves
  24. In a NutshellThey want to be the center of their world!
  25. Their world is without boundarieswith a new global game:Social Competition. I am more “inthe know”, I am trendier, I havemore followers, I have betterconnections, I have more followers,I have more “likes”…
  26. A situation globallyfacilitated by socialnetworks that are creatingan increasing competitionwithin each individual’ssocial circle. Source: SONAR study JWT Global trends report 2011
  27. With technology playing a major roleconnecting my world to the worldand reducing the fear of missing out The top two criteria expected from Telecoms Base : 551 individus échantillon total
  28. With immediacy acting as a catalystThe future is now
  29. Life “Fast Forward”80% live for the moment lmmediacy is beyond a lifestyle, it is even faster than that! Seeking change is aThe evolution of digital technology and continuous goal at every micro second!mentalities requires immediacy andinstant gratification . One can get what It is worth noting that the youth are not involved in what is happening in thehe/she wants when he/she wants. country, nor by any grass rootAn evolution from “I would like that” to organizations or cultural activities or sports“I want that now!” clubs. They are hyper consumers. The youth are totally unable to project themselves into the future and live for the moment. Etude Point Cible 2012
  30. The research findings have helped us spot a contradictionBased on a paradox that can generate very strong ideasespecially when it comes to telecommunications Social Link Rising increasingly Individualism vital
  31. A New Type of Post Arab Spring ConsumerBuilt on a new type of individualism: an individualism that isonly valuable and relevant within a social ecosystem Vital need of social Individualism recognition The “SOCIAL INDIVIDUALIST”
  32. A real business opportunity where telecom providers are the most legitimate: The Empowerment of the “SOCIAL INDIVIDUALIST”
  33. Which means for a brand: a Hyper Personalization of anindividual to put him/her at the center of his world