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Demystifying the Role of Business Anthropologists in an Ever-Changing World
Blog / Business Culture / Nov 26, 2023 / Posted by Oliver Sweet / 11

Demystifying the Role of Business Anthropologists in an Ever-Changing World


In today’s rapidly evolving world, businesses and governments face the constant challenge of understanding and influencing consumer and citizen behavior. This is where business anthropologists, like Oliver Sweet, step in, armed with their expertise in cultural analysis and human behavior. Through international research and immersive experiences. Oliver helps organizations navigate the complexities of diverse cultures and connect with their target audiences on a deeper level.

Unveiling the Business Anthropologist’s Role

During our insightful conversation, I had the opportunity to delve into the world of business anthropology with Oliver Sweet. Seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in the field. Oliver shed light on the often misunderstood role of business anthropologists.  Explaining how their unique perspective on culture and behavior can be invaluable for businesses and organizations. They are seeking to enhance their understanding of their target audiences.

“Business anthropology is the application of anthropological theories and methods to business challenges,” Oliver explained. “We use our understanding of culture, social structures, and human behavior.  To help companies and governments make better decisions about their products, services, and communication strategies.”

Culture: The Invisible Force Shaping Brands

Oliver emphasized the crucial role of culture in shaping consumer behavior and brand perception. He cited iconic brands like Coke and Nike, which have successfully embedded themselves into various cultures.  By understanding and adapting to local preferences and values.

“Culture is often the invisible force that shapes how people perceive brands,” Oliver explained. “By understanding the cultural context in which a brand operates, we can help companies develop strategies.  That resonate with their target audience and create a strong emotional connection.”

Delving into Subcultures: Unlocking Consumer Motivations

Oliver’s work often takes him into the depths of different cultures and subcultures, where he observes and analyzes people’s behavior to gain insights into their motivations and decision-making processes. He highlighted the concept of echo chambers, where individuals with similar interests and beliefs surround themselves with like-minded individuals.

“By studying subcultures, we can identify the trends and patterns that influence consumer behavior,” Oliver explained. “This allows us to help companies define their target audience more effectively and develop marketing campaigns that resonate with their specific needs and preferences.”

Navigating the Remote Work Revolution: Adapting to Changing Consumer Habits

The shift to remote work and the decline of commuting have significantly impacted consumer habits and brand loyalty. Oliver discussed the example of Pret a Manger, a fast-food chain that once thrived on catering to commuters in central London. However, with the shift to remote work, the company’s strategy of opening multiple locations in the city center has lost its edge.

“Brands need to adapt to the changing reality of remote work and redefine their approach to consumer engagement,” Oliver explained. “By understanding the evolving needs and preferences of remote workers, companies can develop strategies that cater to their specific lifestyles and habits.”

Authenticity and Simplicity: The New Currency of Consumerism

Oliver emphasized the growing demand for authenticity and simplicity among consumers. People are increasingly seeking brands that stand for something meaningful, offer genuine value, and align with their personal values.

“In today’s saturated market, authenticity is the new currency of consumerism,” Oliver stated. “Brands that can demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility, sustainable practices, and genuine customer care will resonate with consumers who are looking for more than just products.”

Conclusion: Embracing the Business Anthropologist’s Perspective

Oliver Sweet’s expertise as a business anthropologist provides a unique lens through which to understand the ever-changing dynamics of consumer behavior and brand perception. By embracing the insights and perspectives offered by business anthropologists, organizations can effectively navigate the complexities of diverse cultures, develop meaningful connections with their target audiences, and thrive in a world where authenticity and simplicity are increasingly valued.

About Author

Oliver is a business anthropologist who offers an unfiltered view of people and culture through international research. He educates companies and governments on how to change consumer and citizen behavior. His work has spanned over 35 different countries around the world where he has worked on topics such as public health, sustainability, product innovation, and brand development.


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