So apparently stocking up on toilet paper is a thing?
Seeing all the empty shelves at the grocery store yesterday was eerie. It was also mildly amusing to see which items people cleaned out and which they left. Chicken, toilet paper, and refried beans were all gone. Yet there was plenty of frozen shrimp, carne asada and off-brand instant oatmeal.
The interesting thing here is this isn’t really about survival. According to psychologists, it’s about control.
Right now, people feel scared and helpless. Stocking up on toilet paper is a cheap way to feel like they have some control over the situation.
People aren’t buying toilet paper. They are buying a feeling of control.
Keep that in mind over the next few months. Because that’s where business opportunities can come from.
What can you offer that will help people feel safe and in control?
How can you tweak your messaging to show your product/service will give them more security and control over their life?
And that’s not the only opportunity you have…
There’s a lot of talk about how the economy is going to suffer for the next few months.
People in the travel industry are already feeling it. DJ’s are getting punched in the teeth. Restaurant owners are worried, school teachers are seeing schools shut down… the list goes on.
But all this is creating new opportunities, too.
Some industries blow up during a recession. Including alcohol, cosmetics, and — wait…accounting? Seriously? Okay, guy from Entreprenuer.com, if you say so.
People in the prepper market (they sell things like non-perishable food, gun accessories, and other stuff to help you survive the apocalypse) are bathing in money right now.
And this situation creates unique opportunities. Because people are going to be spending more and more time at home. So they’re going to have new problems that need to be solved:
For example, people may looks for ways to:
– Be more productive working from their home
– Start a new business because their job just evaporated
– Improve their relationships with their family/partner (who they are suddenly spending a lot more time with)
– Write that book they’ve been thinking about now that they have nothing else to do
– Workout from their home
– Keep themselves entertained (Maybe it’s time to start knitting or gardening?)
– Improve their health/immune system
– Improve themselves (finally start meditating, etc.)
On top of that, my guess is the isolation will lead people to feel starved for community (another fundamental need along with control.) So things like weekly group calls on Zoom where everyone can knit together may be all the rage.
Finally, people are about to spend an absurd amount of time online.
The average American already spends 24 hours a week online according to this article I just Googled.
But now that people are bailing on parties, concerts, vacations, shows, clubs, etc… they’ll have even more time to muck around online.
So it’s a great time to build your audience.
Keep sharing great content on Instagram, Facebook, your blog, Youtube, or whatever the hell Tic Toc is.
Share content that helps them feel safe, in control, and not alone. Help them stay entertained. Help them solve the new problems popping up in their life in the wake of this outbreak.
Eventually, the country will recover financially. When that happens, you’ll have a mob of new people who trust you, like you, and feel grateful to you. When they have money to spend again, you can cash in. And until then, you can feel good knowing you’re providing much-needed help for people going through a tough time.