Stories can illuminate the past, present and future, by showing us the paths of change. Stories are used to make sense of what is happening. Moreover, they can make change happen. How is the narrative of home evolving for New Normal?
Different phases how stories evolve:
- Remaining story
– Reaches mainstream audience. Interest is dimishing but slowly.
-> Increasing need for investment in new regulations and public policy (long term)
- Dominant story
– Becoming popular with increasing awareness
-> Becomes social currency and evolves public interest
- Emerging story
– Initially less known. New rituals & experiences are changing behaviour
-> Need for investment in new technology and knowledge
- Disruptive story
– Creates new meanings. Often rebelling against mainstream
-> Has constraints, increases learning, requires investment in systems
- Remaining story
Below is an example of how the story is evolving for meaning of home from Nest, Hub, Communal to Improvised:
1. Remaining story ‘Nest’ HOME
– Interest is dimishing but slowly. Mainstream audience
‘Nest’ HOME is a place that calms the mind and restores order. It is a safe haven against threats from the outside world. The importance of being safe by staying at home has been easy to observe during the pandemic. As the situation stays uncertain this story is likely to remain for a long time.
CALMING ORDER – Sensitive Conformist persona
In the previous posts I have been describing New Normal design concepts like CALMING ORDER that are based on human driven needs (security, trust). I also presented Personas like Sensitive Conformist (logical individualist) based on new behaviours & motivations of New Normal life after the Pandemic. Nest’ HOME is designed around needs of security and trust, so it is ideal for a Sensitive Conformist type of person.
SOCIAL LISTENING AND SEMIOTICS
So what is changing and how? Change can be initiated by changing the language first. We can analyse the data of language use online (e.g. Google Trends) and social media (Twitter trends, Instagram hashtags). Social listening methods can reveal not only trending data, but also conversations. What are key words, visual cues and who are real influencers (Instagram)?
The process starts by analysing dominant language. Next, we need to find signals of change from emerging language and stories. Once key conversation themes are identified semiotics can be used to analyse and clarify the wider social and cultural context and meanings.
WHAT IS CHANGING; SIGNIFIERS
– Explicit: Home improvements, Home entertainment & technology, furniture upgrades, storage and cleaning, home gym, health monitoring, electric car ownership etc.
– Implicit: Making sense by logic and order, finding new systems and routines, feeling in control, fearful, has a lot to loose, health becomes first priority, hibernating attitude etc.
BREAKING DOWN THE CONVERSATION
– Concerns & needs:
Stay home, follow rules & restrictions, hygiene, touchfree, AI, automatisation, sensors, health data & privacy, self-care, Biometric, Self diagnostics, data privacy etc.
– Aspirations & community codes:
“By keeping myself safe I keep others safe”, science led etc.
BROADEN SEARCH TO IDENTIFY CULTURAL SHIFTS
– Key conversation themes from social media: Influencers, emojis, hashtags
#tyidingup #decluttering #organising etc.
Influencer Marie Kondo is a tidying expert, bestselling author, star of Netflix’s hit show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and founder of KonMari Media, Inc.
This is only a short example how to start building the narrative. The end result always depends on specific project needs.
The advantage to use social listening methods is the more descriptive and qualitative outcome than quantitative research data. They help to understand and uncover how meanings are changing, and as the end result produce more relatable and meaningful stories.