What Hope-Fueled Markets Can Teach Brands
AnxietyIndex Quarterly - Volume 2, Summer 2009
In analyzing 10 markets so far this year through our Anxiety Index research, we have found that they tend to fit into one of two buckets: fear-fueled and hope-fueled. Not surprisingly, the hope-fueled markets comprise what are considered the emerging economies: Brazil, India, and China (BIC). While Russia is normally grouped with these three as a fast-growing market, we found that it falls into the fear-fueled camp along with the seven established economies we looked at.
What sets hope-fueled markets apart from fear-fueled is not their anxiety levels and drivers but their pre-disposition to optimism and how they move past their anxieties. While people in the fear-fueled markets expect most things to get worse - from the national infrastructure to the budget deficit to the economy - the BIC markets feel that a preponderance of factors will improve. Hope just might be the antidote to anxiety.
These optimistic and pessimistic mind-sets are manifesting themselves in brand behavior - for better or for worse. While brands in hope-fueled markets are playing to win, many in fear-fueled markets are playing not to lose. The latter are focused on discounting, deals and promotions. The former, on the other hand, are focused on how they want things to be and how they can get there. As a result, they are innovating, investing and experimenting with the hope of creating new and better futures for their consumers. And while there are instances of hope-fueled brands in fear-fueled markets and vice versa, each country's mind-set is largely driving brand attitudes and actions.Download the full report