A new American dream based on shared values

Widening inequality and social rifts have sent Brand USA into a national identity crisis. Americans are not only choosing to identify by their values rather than their nationality, but are uniting behind URL and IRL communities based on these values.

Only 18% of Americans feel a strong sense of national community
6 in 10
Americans use negative wording to articulate what they expect the rest of the world associates with the US
of Americans think brands need to be doing more to create a sense of community/unity

Selfish. Divided. Stupid. Arrogant. Racist. Joke. These were a few of the top answers when we asked respondents how they thought the USA was perceived from the outside.

Compared to how they want their country to be seen – united, fair, caring, strong – something’s clearly gone wrong for Brand USA. In fact, only 18% of Americans say that they feel a strong sense of national community.

This divide is even more pronounced across generations. Although 64% of Americans overall see themselves as national rather than global citizens, for baby boomers the figure is 72%, and among Gen Z it falls to 55%. Within the next generation, we’re likely to be approaching a 50/50 split between the two camps overall.

The famous brand of American patriotism might be waning – but communities based on shared values and identity are stepping into its place. 44% of people feel a strong sense of community with their gender, and opt-in communities based on a shared cause are growing on both a local and global scale.

While the United States might be in turmoil, united communities are on the rise. And 48% of people think that brands should be doing more to create them.

Now brands must ask themselves:

How am I creating a sense of community?

What values unite my community?

How can I cater to more localised communities?

Headshot of Brooke Gregory, President, Courageous Conversation

Brooke Gregory, President, Courageous Conversation

Courageous Conversation is an invitation to discover a future in which intentional, compassionate and generative racial dialogue is the means by which we transform ourselves and our organizations. A future and a dialogue that examines and transcends predictable patterns of privilege and power. We inherited parts of our current reality, but we own the choice between perpetuating inequity and recreating something better.