retail | December 03, 2019

In Brands We Trust: Retail Prophet Doug Stephens Explains Why Companies Are the New Communities

For his latest article in The Business of Fashion, retail futurist Doug Stephens explains why brands have stepped up to fill the void of belonging and meaning left behind by America’s declining institutions.  

Once a pillar of social civility and community, the government today has become so divided and polarized within itself, it now contributes to the sense of overwhelm, anxiety, and division it seeks to repair. Only 17% of Americans currently believe they can trust the government to “do what’s right”—a stark contrast to the 77% who believed in 1964. “But declining trust in institutions like the state and the church doesn’t quell our fundamentally human desire for affiliation, purpose, and meaning,” writes Doug Stephens in his new article for The Business of Fashion. “The need to belong to a community that aligns to our values and beliefs lies so deep in our DNA that no amount of social or political disaffection can drum it out of us. We must believe in something.”


A whopping 53% of people now trust that brands can do more to solve our intractable social problems than our governments. Stephens writes: “And so, brands find themselves facing a unique and historic opportunity. The opportunity to move beyond running clubs and yoga classes, and become global ‘brand-nations,’ filling the void in values, in meaning, in belonging that has been left by government and religion, and recruiting millions of followers in the process.”


Read the full article here.


To book Doug Stephens for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today, his exclusive speakers bureau.

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