Cautious optimism and the need for scenario planning

Author: Ashley Smith, Research and Strategy Director

The June edition of our Mood of Australia research reveals right now Australians have entered a phase of ‘Cautious Optimism’. Positivity has returned but this is countered with a sense of realism on how long this situation will take to resolve and trepidation by many to take advantage of recent relaxations. One-third of us feel restrictions are being lifted too soon. We need to give Australians the confidence to participate again in key external and social activities.

Our ‘impacted’ group has reduced from April to June meaning more Australians have moved along our COVID-19 Motivational Journey to the Bargaining and Acceptance stages.  They are still seeking to feel more Positive Empowerment and Achievement. However, there are groups of Australians that are at a real risk of a ‘yoyo’ effect back to an earlier stage of Depression and needing emotional support from brands and organisations. The unfolding situation in Victoria is a case in point with the risk of a ripple effect into additional states.

Whilst worker positivity is also up, 44% of Australian workers are still considered ‘impacted’. Caring for the people who work for us is critical for business success. COVID-19 has amplified this need. 

Our key takeaway is that scenario planning for different groups of Australians is essential from a Brand, Customer Experience and Employee experience viewpoint. The Plan ‘A’ is still about empowering more Australians to move further toward positive achievement on their COVID-19 Motivational Journey, whilst simultaneously planning for those Australians who experience a COVID-19 ‘Yo-Yo’ effect back to an earlier emotional state. These distinct groups will respond to different messaging and product/service offerings.  ‘I don’t want to be disempowered again’ will be top of mind for many Australians.

This time around we have also detected a Generational spin to the COVID-19 situation: from the heightened ’emotionality’ of Gen Z to the safety concerns of Gen X and the need for Boomers to again feel accepted and connected to society. We will flesh these stories out in greater detail as part of our upcoming “Generations by COVID” content series.

Download our Mood of Australia June Update below.

Feel free to reach out for any clarifications on our content or our Mood of Australia Research series. We are also happy to talk about our research into Motivational Needs and how to use Behavioural Economics in Business decision making.