The latest from Cabaret’s cultural commentators


Trend 1. Growing relevance of the S.C.A.R.F. model for influencing behaviour


The SCARF Model was developed in 2008 by David Rock as a neuroscience based model for collaborating with and influencing others.  The model points to the 5 needs we all have in social exchanges

  • Status: need for personal worth
  • Certainty: need to know what the future holds
  • Autonomy: need for control over life
  • Relatedness: need for safety with others
  • Fairness: need for fairness

SO WHAT? Brands that fulfil the five SCARF needs in their exchanges with consumers build a more powerful consumer connection


Trend 2. Look East


The Far East has become a source of inspiration and excitement.

Far East cultures are seen as fresh, young, energetic and dynamic. They are cutting edge in many aspirational fields e.g. fashion, popular culture (K Pop), skin care and technology

They promise positivity in stark contrast to the negativity that is rife in the west with all its Trumpism, Brexit, nationalism, uncertainty and fear

SO WHAT? Innovating brands are looking East for dynamism & inspiration


Trend 3. Small but certain happiness 소확행


There’s an emergent Korean cultural shift from striving for the future… towards living for the moment

Korea has been one of the fastest growing economies, often spear heading global trends.  As such, success and winning have been overarching cultural themes for years and Koreans have delayed gratification for the promising future

But as the economy matures and becomes less dynamic, individual efforts are less likely to be rewarded.  Positively, Koreans are looking around and realising what matters is enjoying the now rather than the future – enjoying ‘small but certain happiness’.  (More negatively, recent nepotism and cronyism scandals have fed a realisation of a rigid society with limited social mobility)

SO WHAT? Brands can support the emergent desire to live in the moment


Trend 4. The convergence of science & nature in healthcare


There’s suspicion around western medicine.

Yes it has efficacy, and it’s fast and convenient, but it’s ingredients and processes can seem unfamiliar and harsh, and it can have ‘unnecessary’ ingredients and worrying side effects

Meanwhile, belief in the power of ‘naturals’ is growing: natural ingredients like sea minerals, propolis etc are believed to be effective; ingredients are felt to work with the body’s natural processes; and ingredients are familiar, simple, raw, clean and ‘safe’

SO WHAT? There’s an opportunity for science to harness the powerof nature –  creating a potent mix of the efficacy, convenience and speed of science with reassurance in the familiarity and safety of naturals


Trend 5. Choice as an expression of identity


Identity has become much more of a societal priority.

It’s always been human nature, but now more than ever, we seem to be aligning ourselves, and doing so more strongly, with perceived in-groups and out-groups.  Just look at the rise of identity politics around the world.

Against this background, consumers are finding new ways to express their convictions & identity.  Product choices are one way to do this – with being vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian etc following music, fashion & sexuality as a vehicle for self expression

SO WHAT? Brands that empower expression of identity can build more meaningful relationships with consumers