Demoralised States

Imagine a future where brands are the saviours of society.

Demoralised States describe a future with a fundamental cultural change: a future where we have all lost trust in our original protectors – the traditional hierarchical social structures of government & media. This is a seismic change.

From environmental catastrophe to social inequality, we will look to brands as trusted advisors, mentors & partners in building the future that we all need & want.


Why is this important for Brands?

It's now crunch time for business: step-up or be left behind.

Could brands, with streamlined production processes & the power to put change into action at a global scale, step into the breach, committing to radical transparency and taking responsibility & ownership of society's issues?

"The role & expectation for business has never been clearer, & business must recognise that its societal role is here to stay."
Edelman Trust Barometer 2022

What's driving all of this?

Who and what can we believe in anymore? Many feel that the institutions we once believed in can't be trusted, & moreover, that they're actively failing us.

The rise of the internet has yet to help, fuelling decision-making by emotion, not fact. Our current post-truth world has been a long time in the making. The traditional gatekeepers of trusted information have become polarised, & now, many Americans trust social media rather than legacy news organisations for their news. Accusations of 'fake news' are applied regularly to legacy media & social media alike – so who can we trust?

Data shows that this is happening right now:

Statistics show the rising numbers of consumers demanding change, & the initiatives beginning to help:

Nearly 2/3 consumers trust business more than any other institution

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2023, business remains the only trusted institution at 62 percent. Following a three-year period that saw business response to pressing issues, such as the social and economic consequences of COVID-19 and Russia’s attack on Ukraine, resulting in a rise in its ethics score.

Only 20% of Americans say they trust the government in Washington

Public trust in government remains low; according to the Pew Research Center, only two-in-ten Americans say they trust the government in Washington to do what is right "just about always" (20%) or "most of the time" (19%).

Companies with better ESG profiles outperform those without, even during lockdown

Better for the world is also better for profits 81% of a globally representative selection of purpose-driven companies with better ESG profiles – Environmental, Social & Governance - outperformed their counterparts in 2020 – all this despite a market downturn.


How can you create a more meaningful relationship with your consumers by focusing on trust & transparency? And how will this impact your brand long-term?


Platform innovation sprints: Give your brand or company a strategic jump-start by accelerating platform development through collaboration.

Our Brand ImaginAction sprints bring cross-functional stakeholders and partner agencies together to rapidly develop innovative platforms that move the brand towards its goals. Our strategists and creatives collaborate with your team to design and deliver an inspiring sprint resulting in compelling narratives that inspire organisational change, alignment and consumer testing.

Brand Exemplars

The Demoralised States trend is beginning to emerge across many different sectors of consumer life with big leaps:

Branded housing

IKEA, in collaboration with Swedish construction company Skanska, have offered their first home ownership concept to the UK; the prefab, affordable & low carbon footprint homes – 'BoKlok' - come with IKEA vouchers, a handyman visit & a session with an IKEA designer.

Transparent factories

The Plus is the world's most environmentally friendly furniture factory, based on 3000 acres of Norwegian woodland. The site also works as a tourist attraction, welcoming visitors to a significant experience centre to view production & enjoy an extensive recreation area.

Next-gen education

Since 2017, Microsoft has offered digital skills training to 42 million learners worldwide to ensure access to technology, skills & opportunity; in 2021 alone, it raised over $214 million for non-profits.

Feel good insurance

The insurance company Lemonade's Giveback programme uses money not used for personal claims to give to non-profits chosen by the customer. The company have so far given back over $6m in donations to non-profits.