December 08, 2020

Topic, Trends

How the year 2020 has changed our values


Luisa Kuschetzki
Client Service / Rebernig Brand Design

Since 2009, the German "Werte-Index" (Value Index) - the largest social media study on value change - has been published on a two-year basis by the editors Professor Peter Wippermann and Jens Krüger. Around 3.3 million postings in German-language social media channels were examined to see how users discuss ten fundamental social values. By 2020, health is back in first place in the Werte-Index. Family follows in second place and success in third place, while the value of nature fell from number 1 to number 7.

Social media offers more room for public discussion
The Werte-Index shows that current discussions are less and less about everyday life or lifestyle issues, but that political topics are becoming more and more important. This is particularly evident in the value nature, the loser in 2020, which has lost its originality and beauty from previous years. It is being viewed more and more critically and linked to political demands. However, environmental and climate protection continue to be discussed much more critically by Generation Y than by the older generations.

At the top of the Werte-Index
The value of health has always been one of the most important values for Germans. Self-diagnosis and therapy are particularly often discussed in this context. Another popular topic of conversation is everyday moments with one's own family that are perceived as significant. Potential for conflict is also discussed more often. The rising star of the 2020 Werte-Index is the value success. It climbs from rank 6 to rank 3, with political successes in particular enjoying greater popularity in the list of topics.

Corona Update
An update of the Werte-Index already published in February 2020 provided interesting information about the change in values caused by Corona. The trend towards politics and away from lifestyle was again significantly strengthened by the Corona crisis. Of course, the lockdown has accelerated digitization and automation processes. The coincidence of accelerated digitization and social distance resulted in a new understanding of individuality. Consumers want to be more independent of others in many ways. Which means that ever higher demands are being placed on more individualized products and services. Self-empowerment is another product of the complex and insecure world into which the Corona crisis led us. In order to remain capable of acting, consumers are trying to become more independent, as the DIY or Right-to-Repair movement shows. But the questioning of the meaning of one's own actions and the purpose of a company was also intensified in 2020. This makes it all the more important for companies to position themselves clearly and to recognize, implement and communicate their own contribution.

2020 was the year of big questions. Crisis management was all about targeted questioning - a reflection on a whole level. More than ever, consumers longed for honesty and objective, authentic communication at eye level.

Would you like to learn more about the Werte-Index? Contact us.