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FringeStream is the New Mainstream: what used to be niche is now normal

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The Sound explores the perceived fringes of culture to illuminate how emerging ways of being are shaping mass culture and changing the human condition.

FRINGESTREAM is a new way of thinking about mass behaviours and values.
FRINGESTREAM is when fragmentation becomes the new normal.

Mainstream culture used to represent the majority story..
In the pre-digital and pre- globalized world, mass culture dominated with fringe cultures existing only on the, er, fringes...often in direct opposition to mainstream values and behaviors.

Now things have changed. Living in a globalized and digital age, mass culture is now heavily inflluenced and shaped by fringe behaviors and ways of being.

FringeStream is the new Mainstream

Published in: Marketing
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FringeStream is the New Mainstream: what used to be niche is now normal

  1. 1. WWW.THESOUNDHQ.COM
  2. 2. INTRODUCING FRINGESTREAM... Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy WHAT IS FRINGESTREAM? The  Sound  explores  the  perceived  fringes  of  culture  to   illuminate  how  emerging  ways  of  being  are  shaping   mass  culture  and  changing  the  human  condition FRINGESTREAM is a new way of thinking about mass behaviors and values FRINGESTREAM is when fragmentation becomes the new normal FRINGESTREAM IS THE NEW MAINSTREAM.
  3. 3. MASS CULTURE Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy In  the  pre-­‐digital  and  pre-­‐ globalized  world,  mass  culture   dominated  with  fringe  cultures   existing  only  on  the,  er,   fringes...often  in  direct   opposition  to  mainstream   values  and  behaviors. The  boundaries  between  fringe   and  mass  culture  were  highly   de?ined. WHAT MAINSTREAM USED TO BE... MAINSTREAM CULTURE USED TO REPRESENT THE MAJORITY STORY... F RINGE FRING E FRINGE FRINGE FRINGE
  4. 4. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy WHAT MAINSTREAM USED TO BE... MAINSTREAM CULTURE USED TO BE A HOMOGENEOUS COLLECTIVE, CONTROLLED BY INSTITUTIONS “Most  Americans  have  become   conformists...in  the  pursuit  of  short-­ term  happiness  and  grati9ication.” Caleb Jacobo Nation of Change, December 2012 HEAVILY MEDIATED CONFORMIST UNINSPIREDHOMOGENEOUS
  5. 5. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy Living  in  a  globalized  and   digital  age,  mass  culture  is  now   heavily  in?luenced  and  shaped   by  fringe  behaviors  and  ways  of   being ...where  the  boundaries   between  fringe  and  mass   culture  are  beginning  to  blur. MASS CULTURE WHAT MAINSTREAM IS NOW... NOW, THINGS HAVE CHANGED... F RINGE FRING E FRINGE FRINGE FRINGE
  6. 6. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy WHAT MAINSTREAM IS NOW... NOW, FRINGESTREAM IS THE NEW MAINSTREAM... “Power  is  shifting  from  big,   centralized  institutions  to   distributed  networks  of   individuals  and  communities.” Rachel Botsman, Author of What’s Mine is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live INFORMED CONSCIOUS COMPASSIONATEDIVERSE MEANS MOTIVATION FringeStream  emerged  as  a   result  of  people  having  the   means  and  the  motivation  to   live  differently.  
  7. 7. WHY IS FRINGESTREAM? THE MEANS
  8. 8. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy AN INFORMED MASS CULTURE Fringe  cultures  (and  brands)  used   to  be  niche  because  of  limited   awareness.  If  more  people  knew   about  them,  they’d  be  considerably   more  popular.   With  the  tech  revolution  and  rise  in   social  mobility,  fringe  ways  of  life   have  the  ability  to  reach  and   in@luence  mass  audiences  almost   instantly.   FRINGESTREAM IS HAPPENING BECAUSE IT FINALLY CAN “Uber  has  brought  its   service,  on  average,  to  a   new  city  every  two  days.”   The Globe and Mail, 2014 It  doesn’t  take  long  for  smaller,   more  localized  movements  to   spread  virally  and  become   culturally  relevant... So  what  used  to  be  niche  is  now   normal,  and  tipping  points  are   reached  ever  more  quickly.   Everyone  can  browse  fringe   behaviors  and  cultures  without   leaving  the  sofa.  And  people  like   what  they  see...
  9. 9. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy A DIVERSE MASS CULTURE Not  only  do  fringe  movements   travel  fast,  but  they  travel  far... The  technology  revolution  has   resulted  in  a  cross  pollination  of   ideas  and  practices,  making  it   easier  for  people  living  alternative   lifestyles  to  @ind  each  other  and   establish  communities.   FRINGESTREAM IS HAPPENING BECAUSE IT FINALLY CAN “Like  countless  other  outsiders   who  found  each  other  online,   Bronies  sought  each  other  out   and  created  places  to   congregate.  Now  they’re   everywhere:  Fan  blogs,  Tumblr,   Ponychan,  even  the  United   States  military.” Wired, March 11th, 2014 New  behaviors  are  then  legitimized   and  popularized  through  global   media...   Which  results  in  a  profoundly   diverse  majority...making  it  more   dif@icult  to  distinguish  between   ‘mass  culture’  and  ‘counter   culture’  (counter  to  what,  really?)
  10. 10. THE MOTIVATION WHY IS FRINGESTREAM?
  11. 11. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy A CONSCIOUS MASS CULTURE People  are  increasingly  informed   and  aligned  around  issues  relating   to  sustainability,  community,  and   equality. People  know  that  life  is  far  from   perfect  and  that  the  system  is  no   longer  working  for  the  majority.   They  feel  the  human  spirit  is   suffering.   FRINGESTREAM EXISTS BECAUSE PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE DIFFERENTLY “Millions  of  people  the  world  over  are   part  of  The  New  Mainstream.  It  is   de9ined  neither  by  generation,  by   politico  credo,  nor  by  religious  creed.   The  New  Mainstream  is  de9ined  by   recognition  that  we  are  in  a  time  of   awakening  to  a  new  mindset,  an   expanded  worldview  and  yes,  a  higher-­ level  consciousness  for  humanity.”   Dianne Collins, The Huffington Post, 2014 As  such,  people  are... ...asking  more  questions ...challenging  the  status  quo ...looking  to  live  in  different  ways The  more  conscious  the  mass   becomes,  the  more  motivated  people   become  to  change.
  12. 12. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy A COMPASSIONATE MASS CULTURE The  desire  to  change  is  not  driven   by  punk  ethos. The  desire  to  change  is  not  driven   by  a  need  to  rebel. The  desire  to  change  is  not  driven   by  a  relentless  need  to  be  ‘happy.’ FRINGESTREAM EXISTS BECAUSE PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE DIFFERENTLY “A  younger  generation  is  fast   extending  its  empathic  embrace   beyond  religious  af9iliations  and   national  identi9ication  to  include   the  whole  of  humanity  and  the  vast   project  of  life  that  envelops  the   Earth.” Jeremy Riftkin, Author of The Empathic Civilization, Huffington Post, March 18th, 2010 It’s  driven  by  empathy. It’s  driven  by  contribution. It’s  driven  by  a  need  to  reconnect  to   what  makes  us  human. The  more  compassionate  the  mass   becomes,  the  weaker  the  @it  of   capitalism.  
  13. 13. WELCOME TO THE NEW HUMAN CONDITION LIVING FRINGESTREAM
  14. 14. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy LIVING O FF THE GRID Making  the  conscious  choice  to  not   be  dependent  on  technological,   social,  political  &  economic  systems   CONNECTION TO FREEDOM Making  a  conscious  effort   to  consume  fewer  things   and  own  more  experiences CONNECTION TO OWNERSHIP  Appreciating  diverse  family   dynamics  and  forms  of   relationship CONNECTION TO LOVE Communing  &  empathizing  with   other  human  beings  in  authentic  &   meaningful  ways CONNECTION TO OTHERS Finding  personal  &   spiritual  guidance  outside   of  organized  religion  or   traditional  channels CONNECTION TO SELF  LESSISMORE NEWSPIRITUALITY 5 FRINGETRENDS... LIVING FRINGESTREAM FALLOUTFAMILIES POSITIVE COLLE C TIVISM
  15. 15. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy MAKING THE CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO BE LESS DEPENDENT ON TECHNOLOGICAL, SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS LIVING FRINGESTREAM LIVING OFF THE GRID THE CONTEXT Lack  of  trust  in  government Economic  recession Time-­‐starved  families Over-­‐reliance  on  technology Over-­‐consumption  of  goods   &  resources THE ALTERNATIVE Live  a  simpler  life Be  more  self-­‐suf@icient Use  tech  wisely Re-­‐connect  with  nature CONNECTION TO FREEDOM
  16. 16. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy MAKING THE CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO BE LESS DEPENDENT ON TECHNOLOGICAL, SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS LIVING OFF THE GRID "We  are  both   artists  and  wanted  to   live  in  nature  as  we  are   inspired  by  it.  We  decided  that   we  wanted  to  9loat  and  one  can   live  in  nature  and  not  interfere   with  it  by  9loating."   Catherine King, Co-builder of Freedom Cove, a self-sustaining island “Designed  to   promote  a  healthier   balance  between  our  real   lives  and  those  lived  through   the  small  screens  of  our  digital   devices,  Moment  tracks  how  much   you  use  your  phone  each  day,  helps   you  create  daily  limits  on  that  usage,   and  offers  ‘occasional  nudges’   when  you’re  approaching  those   limits.” TechCrunch, June 2014 CONNECTION TO FREEDOM LIVING FRINGESTREAM
  17. 17. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy COMMUNING AND EMPATHIZING WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IN AUTHENTIC AND MEANINGFUL WAYS POSITIVE COLLECTIVISM THE CONTEXT Rapid  urbanization Physical  disconnection Violence  in  media Time  starvation   THE ALTERNATIVE Know  thy  neighbor   Meet-­‐ups Crowdfunding Share  economy CONNECTION TO OTHERS LIVING FRINGESTREAM
  18. 18. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy COMMUNING AND EMPATHIZING WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IN AUTHENTIC AND MEANINGFUL WAYS POSITIVE COLLECTIVISM CONNECTION TO OTHERS LIVING FRINGESTREAM “Started  in  New  York  City   in  2004,  Cuddle  Party   currently  has  over  70  different   facilitators  in  eight  different   countries.  “   The Huffington Post, November 26th, 2014 “We  are   hopping  into  strangers’   cars  (Lyft,  Sidecar,  Uber),   welcoming  them  into  our  spare   rooms  (Airbnb),  dropping  our  dogs   off  at  their  houses  (DogVacay,  Rover),   and  eating  food  in  their  dining  rooms   (Feastly).    We  are  entrusting  complete   strangers  with  our  most  valuable   possessions,  our  personal  experiences— and  our  very  lives.  In  the  process,  we  are   entering  a  new  era  of  Internet-­enabled   intimacy.” Wired, April 23rd, 2014
  19. 19. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy FINDING PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE OUTSIDE OF ORGANIZED RELIGION OR TRADITIONAL CHANNELS NEW SPIRITUALITY CONNECTION TO SELF LIVING FRINGESTREAM THE CONTEXT Lack  of  work-­‐life  balance Consumerist  culture Religious  corruption  and   violence Secular  society   THE ALTERNATIVE Health  &  wellness Mindfulness New  drug  culture Atheism Smaller  spiritual   communities
  20. 20. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy FINDING PERSONAL AND SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE OUTSIDE OF ORGANIZED RELIGION OR TRADITIONAL CHANNELS NEW SPIRITUALITY CONNECTION TO SELF LIVING FRINGESTREAM "Whereas,  only  a   few  decades  ago,  the   ayahuasca  experience  required   that  a  lone  traveller  make  his  or   her  way  to  the  forests  of  South   America,  now  notions  of  local  and   global  spaces  converge  as  shamans  and   tourists  travel  throughout  the  world  to   perform  and  participate  in  a  diversity   of  ayahuasca  ceremonies.” Dr. Daniela Peluso, Social Anthropologist “More  than  90  schools  in  13   states  now  teach  meditation,   thanks  in  part  to  nonpro9it   organizations  like  MindUP  (founded  by   actress  Goldie  Hawn),  the  David  Lynch   Foundation,  and  Mindful  Schools,  a  Bay   Area-­based  initiative  that  offers  teacher   training  and  structured  curricula  for   kindergarten  through  high  school.“ Outside Online, April 17th, 2015
  21. 21. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy APPRECIATING DIVERSE AND ALTERNATIVE FAMILY DYNAMICS AND FORMS OF RELATIONSHIP FALLOUT FAMILIES LIVING FRINGESTREAM CONNECTION TO LOVE THE CONTEXT Cost  of  living Discrimination High  divorce  rates Extended  adolescence Shifting  gender  roles   Geographic  mobility THE ALTERNATIVE Communal  living Multi-­‐generational  families Alternative  families DINKs
  22. 22. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy APPRECIATING DIVERSE AND ALTERNATIVE FAMILY DYNAMICS AND FORMS OF RELATIONSHIP FALLOUT FAMILIES LIVING FRINGESTREAM CONNECTION TO LOVE  “In  the  US  18%  of   women  now  reach  their   mid-­40s  without  having  a   child,  an  increase  of  80%  from   four  decades  ago.“ The Guardian, April 8th, 2015 “The   Tipton-­Tatz  quad   live  together  in   Marietta,  Georgia,  with  the   Tipton’s  3  children  -­-­  ages  12,   7,  and  5  -­-­  and  the  Tatz’s  infant   son.  The  children  are  raised  to   call  all  the  adults  Mom  and  Dad   and  the  adults  share  childcare   duties  for  all  4  children.” CNN, October 26th 2013
  23. 23. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy MAKING A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO CONSUME FEWER THINGS AND OWN MORE EXPERIENCES LESS IN MORE LIVING FRINGESTREAM THE CONTEXT Hyper-­‐consumerism Economic  recession  &   @inancial  system  collapse   Environmental  degradation Global  hunger   THE ALTERNATIVE Share  economy De-­‐growth  economics Down-­‐sized  living Makers’  movement   CONNECTION TO OWNERSHIP
  24. 24. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy MAKING A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO CONSUME FEWER THINGS AND OWN MORE EXPERIENCES LESS IN MORE LIVING FRINGESTREAM CONNECTION TO OWNERSHIP “Freeganism  is  a  total   boycott  of  an  economic  system...     instead  of  avoiding  the  purchase  of   products  from  one  bad  company   only  to  support  another,  we  avoid   buying  anything  to  the  greatest   degree  we  are  able.” freegan.info “The  tiny  housing   market  has  quickly   evolved  from  a  quirky  project   to  a  serious  undertaking.  As  more   and  more  tiny  homeowners  share   details  on  their  comfortable  lives  in   their  tiny  homes,  many  people  -­-­   particularly  Millennials  -­-­  are   following  suit.” The Huffington Post, March 17th, 2015
  25. 25. SOUND ADVICE FOR BRANDS THESOUNDHQ.COM
  26. 26. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy A BRAND NEW WORLD ‣ With  FringeStream  there  is  no   normal,  no  majority  story... ‣ Study,  work,  vote,  have  kids,  get  in   debt,  retire,  die...following  the   rules  of  previous  generations  has   never  looked  so  unappealing ‣ The  FringeStream  wants  to  live   life  on  their  own  terms,  and  they   have  the  means  and  motivation  to   do  so ‣ Brands  therefore  need  to  re-­‐think   their  role...     -­‐ Marketing  and  branding  to   FringeStream  will  be   fundamentally  different
  27. 27. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy GROWTH IS UNSUSTAINABLE ‣ Ownership,  growth,  and   consumption  are  being  challenged   and  rede?ined  by  FringeStream   ‣ Upgrading  and  buying  the  latest  and   greatest  version  may  well  become   minority  pursuits ‣ Some  brands  will  need  to  re-­‐think   the  very  nature  of  transaction  and   by  association,  their  business  model -­‐ If  there  is  a  free  option,   FringeStream  will  ?ind  it -­‐ If  there  is  a  means  to  lease  or   share,  FringeStream  will  adopt  it -­‐ If  there  is  a  sustainable  option,   FringeStream  will  support  it  
  28. 28. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy MAKE A DIFFERENCE ‣ FringeStream  is  empathetic   and  inclusive...and  brands  need   to  be  too ‣ Social  cause-­‐led  brands  and   marketing  activity  are   increasingly  well  received -­‐ A  key  differentiator  and   driver  of  loyalty ‣ Your  brand  needs  something  to   believe  in...and  don’t  fake  it,  or   they’ll  spot  it
  29. 29. Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy GET REAL ‣ FringeStream  represents  a   new  human  condition ‣ People  are  seeking  more   community,  more  time  with   people  they  love,  greater   connection  with  nature,   answers  to  big  questions,  a   healthier  life...     ‣ Brands  can  help  facilitate  this,   but  be  careful  not  to  overstep   the  mark     -­‐ FringeStream  is  not  just   brand  savvy  but  brand   skeptical;  emotional  selling   points  and  big  ideas  are   only  welcome  if  they  are   respectful  and  realistic
  30. 30. INNOVATE AGAINST THE FRINGETRENDS ‣ FringeStream  is  made  up  of  a  myriad  of  emerging  communities  and  behaviors...we  call   them  FringeTrends ‣ Each  FringeTrend  represents  an  innovation  opportunity  for  brands -­‐ A  niche  is  often  only  a  niche  because  of  awareness... Immerse in The Sound’s FringeTrends by subscribing to and reading The Sound’s FringeStream series, bringing to life each of the trends from July to December 2015...and employ them in your innovation process. Watch out for FringeStream, the documentary series. Coming soon! Strategic Research & Brand ConsultancyStrategic Research & Brand Consultancy
  31. 31. THANK YOU For more information on FringeStream contact fringestream@thesoundhq.com
  32. 32. RESOURCES THESOUNDHQ.COM
  33. 33. RESOURCES - Images & quotes SLIDE 3 http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2014/12/RS13431_459912610-qut.jpg SLIDE 4 http://static.businessinsider.com/image/537fa568ecad04e939ab36ba/image.jpg SLIDE 4 http://www.nationofchange.org/essentiality-individualism-modern-america-1354804096 SLIDE 5 http://loatree.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/eatinglocal1.jpg SLIDE 6 http://res.cloudinary.com/thefader/image/upload/s--GLOeT2fL--/w_1440,c_limit,q_jpegmini/abafc6s7cdnc1tgamlju.jpg SLIDE 6 http://www.fastcoexist.com/3022028/the-sharing-economy-lacks-a-shared-definition SLIDE 8 http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/197229/file-1657405855-jpg/iStock_000040645286Large.jpg SLIDE 8 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/uber-straps-in-for-the-long-haul/article22221679/ SLIDE 9 http://www.amylombard.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/amy-lombard-bronies-02@2x.jpg SLIDE 9 http://www.wired.com/2014/03/bronies-online-fandom/ SLIDE 11 http://www.sierraculture.com/foodwineart/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Wanderlust-Tom-ONeill_HR.jpg SLIDE 11 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dianne-collins/theres-a-new-mainstream-o_b_6146988.html SLIDE 12 http://www.empowermagazine.com/grassroots-giver-playtime-project-uses-recreational-play-reduce-trauma-homeless-children/ SLIDE 12 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremy-rifkin/the-empathic-civilization_b_416589.html SLIDE 15 http://img.s-msn.com/tenant/amp/entityid/BBjn0ak.img?h=373&w=624&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f SLIDE 16 http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/other/freedom-cove-couple-build-self-sustaining-floating-island/ss-BBjmZJK#image=3 SLIDE 16 http://techcrunch.com/2014/06/27/a-new-app-called-moment-shows-you-how-addicted-you-are-to-your-iphone/ SLIDE 17 http://i3.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article3025024.ece/ALTERNATES/s1227b/Cuddle-Workshop-MAIN.jpg SLIDE 18 http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/11/26/cuddle-parties-vancouver_n_6227272.html
  34. 34. SLIDE 18 http://www.wired.com/2014/04/trust-in-the-share-economy/ SLIDE 19 http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1715241/images/o-MEDITATING-IN-SCHOOL-facebook.jpg SLIDE 20 http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27203322 SLIDE 20 http://www.outsideonline.com/1967871/meditation-should-be-taught-school SLIDE 21 http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/131011163138-polyamory-06-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg SLIDE 22 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/08/why-justify-decision-child-free-culture-war-parenting SLIDE 22 http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/26/living/relationships-polyamory/ SLIDE 23 https://smallhousebigadventure.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/riverstone-tiny-house-3.jpg SLIDE 24 http://freegan.info/ SLIDE 24 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marko-rubel/is-the-tiny-house-market-_b_6882688.html SLIDE 27 https://mouthmag.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/paul20griffith20freegan20-20rex.jpg SLIDE 28 http://s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsweek.com/files/2015/01/16/black-lives-matter.jpg SLIDE 29 http://sustainablehowesound.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Connection-Fircom-4.jpg SLIDE 30 http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/67187247.jpg RESOURCES - Images & quotes

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