Not long ago, I was talking with a Wall Street analyst who covers the CPG space. He mentioned that the C-suite leaders he meets with are collectively (and urgently) pondering how to navigate the ‘black swan’ period that basically comprised the last couple of years.
My response was that the first step is to recognize that the past couple of years hasn’t been all that out of the ordinary.
“WHAT?!?” But this has been “unprecedented”, “everything has changed”, and we’re into the “next normal” – and so on.
Yes, the last couple of years have been the weirdest. But it turns out that when you apply neuroscience to help explain what we’ve all been experiencing, the pandemic et al. have merely accelerated us toward a predictable cultural phase.
In other words, everything didn’t change. It just sped up a bit. And the cycle has been occurring for decades (and certainly longer). So while recent history has certainly felt dramatic and black swan–esque, our cultural cycles are actually pretty predictable.
A few high points:
- In the early 2000s, the events of 9/11 accelerated us into a highly ‘tribal’ mindset’: We banded together against a commonly-perceived threat.
- In the late 2000s, the financial crisis catalyzed a ‘rebel’ mindset: Out with the broken conventions of old, and let’s blaze a different path (i.e., “Millennials”).
- Now, the pandemic has accelerated us into an ‘exploratory’ phase: We’re discovering new, rewarding, and personalized ways of living.
As the 2020s continue to ramp up, what does it mean for those of us who make our living trying to serve the needs of consumers? Here are three “so-whats” to keep in mind as ’22 gets underway:
- Consumer perception will tend intrinsic (me) versus. extrinsic (us): Look for the introspective signals in your data. Do people refer to themselves, or others? Are they truly worried about personal consequences or are they worried about social consequences?
- The early adopters will be listened to: Those who adopt new behaviors will be looked to with particular openness, and prompting behavior change will be especially feasible in the years ahead. This is not limited strictly to guiding an influencer strategy, it’s about driving innovation that serves the ‘pioneers’ within their social tribes and empowers them to drive adoption.
- Experience will matter more than facts or results: From strategy to product design to claims, focus on what it feels like to engage with your brand. Stop asking research respondents to tell you what they think, what they’ll do, or what they want. Focus on how current solutions (and potential innovations) make them feel. The feels are the true currency of behavior change within this phase of exploration and discovery.
So take some comfort knowing that, while it has certainly been crazy, it’s been crazy before. And we’ll not only endure, but discover the new and better in the years ahead.
The Alpha-Diver research approach is built from three primary fields: 1.) systems neuroscience, 2.) evolutionary psychology and neuro-diversity, and 3.) emergent neurocognitive network dynamics.
The approach reflects the current state of the field in neuroscience and psychology. Key influential works include:
- Hale, TS. “A distributed effects perspective of dimensionally defined psychiatric disorders: and convergent versus core deficit effects in ADHD”. Frontiers in Psychiatry (2014) 5: 1-16.
- Mesulam M-M. “Large-scale neurocognitive networks and distributed processing for attention, language, and memory”. Ann Neurol (1990) 28: 597–613.
In addition, T. Sigi Hale, PhD, discussed this framework alongside author Paco Underhill and Wall Street Analyst Nik Modi in a capital markets virtual conference. He further reviewed this model in discussion with Priscilla McKinney in her well-known podcast.
A version of the preceding article was originally published on LinkedIn.
The post Still Crazy After All These Years: Neuroscience, Cultural Cycles, and 2022 first appeared on GreenBook.
By: Hunter Thurman
Title: Still Crazy After All These Years: Neuroscience, Cultural Cycles, and 2022
Sourced From: www.greenbook.org/mr/market-research-trends/still-crazy-after-all-these-years-neuroscience-cultural-cycles-and-2022/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=still-crazy-after-all-these-years-neuroscience-cultural-cycles-and-2022
Published Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2022 12:00:18 +0000