Stop trying to be productive

The Growth Report - #10

Today's topics include

📈 Growth Marketing:
Fasten your seatbelts: How to market in a downturn

🧠 Personal Growth:
Stop trying to be productive

🔮 Trends - The world during and after Coronavirus:
Link collection: The best reads on how the world is shifting right now

📈 Growth Marketing

Fasten your seatbelts: How to market in a downturn

Let's be honest, we don't really know what's coming. As sales started to drop in the past weeks, the immediate reaction for many was to cut costs, reduce prices and postpone new investments.

But in the long-term this won't be a sustainable solution. Instead, John Quelch from the Harvard Business Review suggests we look ahead and adapt to the new reality by taking our customers' changing needs under the microscope.

Understanding Recession Psychology

As I highlighted in previous newsletters, generic demographic and lifestyle segmentation of customers become less and less relevant. And in a recession, this becomes even more obvious.

The Four Psychological Customer Segments

John Quelch presents a model on how we can split our customers into one of four psychological segments.

Segment 1:Slam-on-the-brakes

This group is hardest hit financially and reduces all types of spending by eliminating, postponing, decreasing or substituting purchases.

Segment 2: Pained-but-patient

These consumers and businesses are resilient and optimistic about the long-term, but less confident on the speed of the immediate recovery. Also this group faces uncertainty on how well they can maintain their current standard of living / doing business.

Segment 3: Comfortable well-off

This segment feels secure and is confident that they can successfully overcome the current crisis. The consumption / buying behavior is near the same as before, though they might be a little bit more selective in what they purchase.

Segment 4: Live-for-today

This final, and most well-off segment carries on as usual and doesn't worry too much about an upcoming recession. Their spending behavior won't change much, or even increase. For B2C, this could be the young urbanites who have little fix costs and value experiences over owning stuff.

The Four Product Category Priorities

Furthermore, All of the above segments prioritize consumption by sorting products in one of the following four categories:

Category 1: Essentials

Necessary for survival or perceived as central to well-being.

Category 2: Treats

Indulgences whose immediate purchase is considered justifiable.

Category 3: Postponables

Needed or desired items whose purchase can be reasonable put off.

Category 4: Expendables

Products and services perceived as unnecessary or unjustifable

Putting it all together

Now following are two important graphs: One showing the shifting consumer behavior based on the above customer segments and product categorization, and the other giving clear tactics per segment and product on how to tailor your marketing to your unique situation.

This is a lot to digest and I highly recommend reading John's full article linked below. I leave you with the following quote of the Harvard Business School professor:

During and after the recession, it would be foolhardy for marketers to ignore those changing expectations. While businesses are putting customers under a microscope, their customers are, in turn, examining them more closely than ever.

Check out the full article

🧠 Personal Growth

Stop trying to be productive

This NYT piece by Taylor Lorenz made me smile, because I see signs of the "omg-everyone-is-so-productive-why-am-I-not-changing-the-world-with-all-that-extra-time" everywhere around us - and frankly, inside of me a bit as well.

She talks of people feeling the pressure of organizing every room in their homes, becoming expert home chefs (and bakers, judging by the flour-aisle at Coop and Migros), writing the next NYT bestseller and getting in the best shape of our lives.

We all see it in our Instagram and LinkedIn feeds, the blogs we read, and the newsletters we subscribe to. It seems as if everyone around us suddenly became productivity-machines pumping out the best content, designing the coolest products and baking the best fucking sourdough bread.

Chris Bailey, author of "Hyperfocus: How to manage your attention in a world of distraction" cautions us:

“It’s tough enough to be productive in the best of times let alone when we’re in a global crisis. The idea that we have so much time available during the day now is fantastic, but these days it’s the opposite of a luxury. We’re home because we have to be home, and we have much less attention because we’re living through so much.”

And she tells a story out of her own life:

“I set an hour on my cal every day for a home workout. Then I’d be on calls for three hours, then I’d make a homemade breakfast, take a walk at lunchtime, work on something non-screen-related in the evening, cook dinner and go on a run, so far none of this has stuck. And I feel incredibly guilty about it.”

And especially the millennial group seems to be hard hit. As the burnout-generation, we need to feel productive every moment of our lives. No run or workout without listening to a podcast on how to become a better person.

But Taylor at the beginning of her article puts it bluntly:

The internet wants you to believe you aren’t doing enough with all that “extra time” you have now. But staying inside and attending to basic needs is plenty.

“Get yourself some Indian food and drink a bottle of wine with your spouse. We’re going through a lot and we all just need to take it easy.”


To a productivity-free weekend.

Read the full article

And a bonus read, written before the pandemic-outbreak: You’re Never Going to Be “Caught Up” at Work. Stop Feeling Guilty About It.

🔮 Trends: The world during and after Coronavirus

It's tough to talk about trends or make predictions right now. The world is in flux.

So I decided to turn this section into a link collection and let you pick and choose what's relevant for you. Here we go.

That's it for this week.

Keep quarantining 🏡

If you don't wanna miss future updates of GrowthBay Weekly, subscribe here:

See you next week,