The Future Laboratory

The Future Laboratory, hosted a conference in November on Backlash Culture that I was lucky enough to go to.  Backlash Culture is a call to arms that urges companies to take a more combative stance against the tired tropes to which consumers have now closed their minds.

Within Backlash Culture, the three macrotrends – Backlash Brands, Gen Viz and The E-motional Economy – provide an in-depth look at the brand language, consumer mindsets and cultural atmosphere that will define the months and years ahead.

Backlash Brands explains how to be more honest and why you must now be bold in using conflict and contradiction to connect with consumers. Gen Viz is an eye-opening portrait of new-generation teenagers who are terrifyingly entrepreneurial, primarily visual and upliftingly engaged. The E-motional Economy investigates how a new focus on feelings is combining with artificial intelligence to create a new era of emodiversity. Together, the three build to deliver inspiring insight into the new and next all information stated by The Future Laboratory.

It is difficult for brands to be everything to everyone, to stand for something that appeals to one demographic while not offending another.

Some brands are embracing the culture of backlash through:

  • Controversy-courting
  • Righteous Retail
  • Opt-in Culture
  • Anti-choice Architecture
  • Reply and Demand

Brands have repeatedly shown they are not to be trusted, and consumers now mistrust them by default.


‘Visibility is key in this era because we live in a world of images.  If you don’t see yourself represented, you don’t feel like you are part of a landscape.  It’s like you don’t exist.’

Today’s teenagers are confident with technology, ambitious and keen to make the world a better place.  61% of high school students would rather be an entrepreneur than an employee.  ‘Anyone can make a change, whether its sharing a message through selfies in your bedroom or just speaking to friends and family.  You don’t have to be a pop star to get your voice heard.’

I think this shows the ever-changing world that we live in and how the balance of certain aspects can affect others.  This change is something that can be expected because of the change in the environment we live in and the inevitability that it changes every element of the world we live in.


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