Mindstate Marketing in Uncertain Times

May 7, 2020

Did you miss the last BCAMA Virtual Education Series on Mindstate Marketing in Uncertain Times? Fear not, we have you covered with a summary of the hour-long webinar led by William Leach.

TThe COVID-19 pandemic has flipped our lives upside down in a matter of weeks and our anxiety levels are at their peak over health and finances.  William speaks to how consumers are drawn towards brands that speak to three  key needs in this time. Let’s dive in.

In this webinar, William spoke about uncertainty and how to integrate behavioural psychology into your marketing right now to acknowledge what people are feeling in this pandemic. Within William’s recent research studies, he has observed a rapid change in people’s higher-order needs since COVID-19 started. These three needs are: 

These three needs are:


People need a sense of safety, both physically and psychologically. People need control because they have lost much of their own through restrictions and orders. People also need release to escape from reality, whether through funny videos or an overflowing glass of wine. These needs link directly to subconscious mindstates. If you can understand someone’s mindstate, you can help increase emotional arousal in your messaging to therefore increase the likelihood for these people to make intuitive emotional decisions around your brand.

3 linked subconscious mindstates:

  1. Cautious Security Mindstate
    These people are motivated by minimizing risk and harm for their family and/or themselves
  2. Cautious Empowerment Mindstate
    These people are motivated by gaining (or at least not losing) control
  3. Optimistic Engagement Mindstate
    These people are motivated by obtaining more impactful moments of release

You can apply your own 2020 marketing to appeal to these mindstates by following these steps:

Step 1: Choose which one mindstate you can rightfully tie in with your brand.

– Don’t pivot or change what your brand stands for

Step 2: Integrate this mindstate into your creative.

– Be clear and open

Step 3: Be mindful of the moment, not just your brand.

– Don’t be tone-deaf, it’s not the time to be funny or in-your-face

– Focus on the customer and taking care of their needs, not your own

Think about this: How can you message to your customer’s emotional purpose without changing what you stand for as a brand? Consider ways you can help people feel secure and safe, such as showcasing your brand’s experience and expertise. Consider ways you can help people feel empowered, such as avoiding surprises or providing extra notice when you need to reset expectations. Or, consider ways to help people feel engaged, such as increasing the number and intensity of tranquil, happy moments for them.

This is an unprecedented time in modern marketing and it takes compassion, creativity, and understanding to deliver the right messages to your audiences. Understanding your audience’s subconscious mindstate makes this tough job a little bit easier. And always remember, this too shall pass. Thank you to William Leach for this insightful lesson! Don’t forget to keep your eye out for the next webinar in the BCAMA Virtual Education Series.

About William Leach

William Leach CEO of TriggerPoint

William is the founder and CEO of TriggerPoint, a behavioural research and design consultancy specializing in identifying & influencing the neurological and psychological factors driving consumer decision making. William has 25 years of consumer insights experience, is a behavioural design instructor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and is the bestselling author of Marketing To Mindstates- A Practical Guide to Applying Behaviour Design to Research and Marketing. Among these achievements, Will is also a two-time winner of the Explorer Award for Behavioural Science Innovation. Talk about impressive!

Written by: Amber Hoffart