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The Barometer of French Values

Sylvie Gassmann
Managing Director, Qualitative and Strategic Planning, Insights Division

The Barometer of French Values

The latest edition of Kantar’s long-standing and wide-ranging body of research reveals powerful information.

Every two years for the past 30 years, we have compiled the “Barometer of French Values.” This semi-metrical study of 4,500 individuals allows us to gauge societal trends and values using 210 words from everyday life. The new edition, spanning 2018-2020, is as confusing as it is inspiring.

It’s confusing because it is intertwined with deep French anxieties, questions and doubts about established orders, a sense that mistakes have been made, an acceptance of hard and brutal power relations, and conflicts in society. The French perceive the convergence of three collective perils: economic, climatic and political, and feel the loss of what now appear to be collective illusions in parallel with a generalized failure of our Western models.

But it’s also inspiring because these moments unleash the most authentic energies, leading to actions that are carried out with determination and sincerity. More than ever, French consumers are becoming demanding, and expect strong and involved commitments from actors in the political, economic, media and cultural worlds. They want determined, justified and proven acts. This deep crisis and social transformation also offers tremendous opportunities for brands to speak to consumers in fresh ways. First, they must understand and respond to the new aspirations of the French. This is about actions, more courage and firm positions, and fewer words. And when words are used, those words should be true, sincere, direct and useful.