The consumers have already changed – Jeff Haden, author of ‘The Motivation Myth’

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The impact of ‘a dooms day’ scare caused by the prolonged lockdown, an occurrence that is strange to most countries that haven’t witnessed a war in the past 30 years, has transformed work, relationship, consumption, financial planning and governance.

Consequently, from an emotional standpoint, how people work and the psychology of consumption have been transformed. Some sets of new normal are cropping up. It is now normal to work from home. It is now normal for customers to ask to see vendors safety measures before transacting business. It is now normal to stay aloof and distant. It is now normal for organizations to endure government monitoring. It is normal to panic. It is normal to ensure more money are kept for unforeseen occurrences. It is now normal to live without things that are not really essential.

Nigerian consumers' spending patterns are changing - Businessday NG
A new savings-mentality among consumers will make them prioritize cost and price of every purchase

The consumers have been retrained by circumstances. Previously that was the territory of deceptive marketing strategies deployed as ads across TVs, the internet and billboards. Presently marketers will have to work twice as hard to pull the psychologically withdrawn consumers.

“If you think you’re going to do the same job, and you’re waiting, that ship has sailed. The opportunity is ‘What will we be?,’ not ‘How will we preserve what we had?'” That was the insight provided by an analyst recently.

The new psychological scenario has bred a new set of competitive landscape that will shake out the sluggish and rigid. The ‘safety-first’ and ‘savings-matter’ psychology will impact every consumer facing business such as restaurant, retailing, travels, tourism, and banking, To thrive in those sectors players need reinvent their processes and procedures – sort of adapt quick.

The CEO of leading restaurant chain, McDonald, Chris Kempczinski, referring to the economic depression resulting from the lockdown, said “The world is going to look different coming out of this crisis, and we expect that many of those changes are going to be enduring.”

Shoprite Holdings | Gallery
The ‘safety-first’ mentality among consumers make them prioritize seeing measures put in place by businesses before making purchases

Restaurant chains and airlines have their work cut out already. Meanwhile, Jeff Haden, the author of ‘Motivation Myth’ suggested some new approaches franchisees of larger restaurant brands can adopt as they reopen for business. These are the approaches:

  • Ensure workers wear mask and gloves
  • Clean surface areas as often as possible and add labels such as “This table has been cleaned and sanitized for your enjoyment” or “We’ll be right back to clean and sanitize this table” to induce confidence in consumers
  • Streamline menu to improve labour efficiency and boost supply chain. Haden said, “it’s a lot simpler to make, say, 30 items than it is to make 50”.
  • Block off seating to create more distance between tables
  • Close child play areas for now
  • Provide help to localities to keep in touch with their best intention.

Apparently consumers intention has changed. Businesses too must reinvent themselves to stay relevant.

Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He aims to enrich the Nigerian small business landscape. Through Hustle24 he connects entrepreneurs with information about new policies, enterprise solutions and opportunities that will aid their 'hustle'. He has written extensively for CobraReview, a product review portal, and served as a lead project manager for MarketingMix where he consulted as PR consultant for MTN Project Fame and Business Next Titan etc.

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