Flair Italy 2014 - A Country without Intermediaries

Flair is in its fourth year. Our ambition again is to describe what has happened and form hypotheses on what might happen, seeking to read between the lines of our data and to discern what was not said in our interviews.

The author(s)
  • Nando Pagnoncelli Public Affairs, Italy
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As always, this research and analysis and these hypotheses are based on the mass of data that we collect each year from the telephone and face-to-face interviews that we carry out each day, from the focus groups we hold and from web monitoring and online searches.

We are again focusing our attention on Italy, which is still passing through a severe, deep and lasting crisis.

It is a pervasive crisis that has changed us structurally and probably irreversibly.

It is a crisis that has brought to light our country's historic problems and the inability to respond not only of politics but also of our leaders in general. It is a crisis to which the country is trying to respond, often finding itself alone without the supporting fabric that has stood firm even in the recent past.

This year again we will try, as we always do, to help our customers to understand their customers. We will do this from many different points of view, looking at them as consumers, voters, spectators, workers, readers, vendors, etc. We can do this because of our structure with its areas of expertise (Marketing, Advertising, Media, Opinion, Loyalty, Observer).

We will try with them to understand what the trends, opportunities and possible developments of this story are. And we will try to draw together the multiple identities into a single narrative. This is necessary more than ever today, when relationship structures, established archetypes, forms of representation, consumption strategies and the role of brands seem to be breaking down and are struggling to be rebuilt. We are again in a complex situation of transition and change.

It is not just a crisis situation, however. The original meaning of the term, in Ancient Greek, also refers to discernment, assessment or, in short, choice. Perhaps that is what we are trying to do in ways that are not always clearly visible and understandable.

The individual is the centre, the heart of the transformation. The interpretations of this that have been made to date have been predominantly negative. It is as if the assertion of the individual was the result of a loss or a lack: the loss of the concrete social references of the second industrial revolution and the "class" structure of the European welfare state, the lack of value reference points and organic views of the world. But in the definitive crisis of this organicistic vision, the division and crumbling of society, where the diminishing of nation states' sovereign powers make politics increasingly less effective and organisations less representative, the individual has become ever more important and in some ways seems to have become aware of this, even in our country. And this form of self-awareness has many manifestations, other than those that we have tried to highlight in this text.

We often tend to assess this outcome, which is still in the making, as the victory of a neo-liberal viewpoint which has dominated since the 80s. In reality, on the one hand, this idea proves to be extremely limited when it comes to the crisis, for which it is jointly responsible in part, and, on the other hand, the assertion of the individual is also a necessity dictated by the changes described and contains great potential within it. This is specifically because it is not a matter of individualism but of individuals opening up in their relationships, asserting themselves not as monads but as intersections.

The recomposition of individuals in relationships with each other (a 'we' continually subjected to checking) is in effect the heart of the topic of reconstructing representation.

So we will do everything possible to tell this intricate story, narrating the details that can help us to build up the overall picture.

The author(s)
  • Nando Pagnoncelli Public Affairs, Italy