Economics of fear and sustainable buying practices

Here’s a hypothesis for consideration:

With news media reporting – in particular headlines – bleakly declaring the end to life as we know it for many months now, it is inevitable that people feel that the global financial crisis is having a major impact on their lives. This feeling is spawned by what we are told day in and day out at least as much as it stems from real losses in employment or investment portfolios.

Sustainable buying practices might well be on the rise. Those are practices not based on personal debt financing and overleveraging to “get things now”. They are built on concepts of need, affordability, prioritization and saving for specific purchases. As this shift occurs it demands equally sustainable pricing practices, elastic enough to be responsive to the market and to ensure the survival of the business beyond this crisis. It means the “traditional” growth model has to be rethought in terms of “sustainable exchanges”.

Any business model but especially those based on debt financing will have to be rethought in the context of needs, wants and sustainable personal – and business – finance.

I imagine it also means customer value propositions will increasingly include price related incentives, meant as short-term fixes to stimulate consumption. But in business only a few can survive on low price positions, the rest need greater differentiation to sustain their business. I imagine the competitive landscape will increasingly be thought to include alternatives across sectors of the economy, not just direct competitors within a specific sector.

If the above is so, what does that mean for how I think about performing arts marketing and sustainably developing audiences?

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