A global survey commissioned by Johnnie Walker has revealed fundamental shifts in attitudes towards success and achievement across the world, including a shift away from materialism in the West, with half of those polled saying success is not simply based on wealth.

‘The Progress Index’, developed by Future Poll for the whisky giant, investigated how the concept of ‘progress’ is viewed around the world. It found that 52 percent of respondents believed success to be based not just on wealth, and 42 percent did not think material goods signify success. Leading the way was Spain, where more than two in three people no longer believe material goods to be signs of success.

The study’s authors claim the ‘me’ culture of the Western World to be dead, with 88 percent of respondents feeling they achieve more by working with others, and 31 percent saying they will regard themselves as successful when they are in a position to help others.

And despite the rise of conspicuous consumption, most notably in China, community values are still prevalent in Asian countries, although they were more likely to hold the perception that success is based on wealth.

In total more than 11,000 respondents were surveyed from Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Greece, Lebanon, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam, the UK and the  US, with the study forming part of the recently launched ‘Keep Walking Project’, a global, integrated marketing campaign by the whisky brand.

The ‘Keep Walking Project’ will use social media to gain support for creative initiatives in technology, business and the arts, and will also feature extensive use of TV and outdoor promotion as well as an app for iOS devices.

Results from ‘The Progress Index’ also see a new wave of innovation and entrepreneurialism emerging, with collaboration and crowd-sourcing coming to the fore. Almost 80 percent of respondents believe mankind will find the solutions it needs to combat the world’s problems.

These results come in the same week that global conglomerate GE announced a competition in China with a prize of $100 million up for grabs for individuals or organisations that can provide solutions to the changing energy needs of the world’s most populous nation.

Peter Roper
BY Peter Roper ON 3 October 2011
Editor of Marketing Magazine and Marketingmag.com.au