#33 – The myth of growth mindset, Amy Pohler's marketing tip, and the spending power of avatars
This is late, and I’m sorry, but thank you for waiting for me. This week’s Strategy Bites looks at the persistent myth of the Growth Mindset, how Roblox avatars influence physical spending, an important reminder about marketing by Amy Pohler, why you should use images when differentiating product variants, and a new-ish model for viewing the competitive landscape.
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This week’s Six (and a bonus) links of inspiration:
Growth Mindset. This episode of the podcast The Science Shows is a great and entertaining conversation about the concept known as “growth mindset”, the problems it may be causing, and whether it’s really a thing. It touches on some of the bizarre metrics used to measure its existence – how a lot of studies seem to be contradicting themselves, but how one recent meta analysis has (for) now closed the case.
Roblox 2023 Trend Report. In her post, Wiktoria Wójcik points out a couple of interesting data points featured in Roblox latest Digital Expression, Fashion & Beauty Trends report. A few one that struck me as immediately relevant:
84% of Gen Z's physical style is “somewhat” inspired by their avatar.
Three in four Gen Z individuals consider wearing digital fashions from a recognized brand "somewhat" important.
84% agree that trying a popular brand's item virtually makes them "somewhat likely" to consider the brand in the physical world.
Now, of course “somewhat” is a terrible claimed behaviour answer in an online survey – but it’s something worth keeping an eye on.
Why The Future Of Planning Is Opera, Only Fans, God, And Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. This is a short piece by Matt Waksman, Head of Strategy at Ogilvy UK, that’s a brief reminder that we need to think wider about the sources that inspire our actions as planners. In short: go all the way – but don’t go where everyone is going.
9 Principles of Improv. Jeremy Connell-Waite shares his learnings from Amy Pohler’s course on Masterclass. I’m not going to copy-and-paste all his nine take-outs – have a read for yourself. But what really struck a chord was a point hidden away in the conclusion: “Instead of focusing on a hero's journey (where the story revolves around a protagonist) - in improv comedy THE AUDIENCE IS ALWAYS THE HERO” In other words: it’s not about your brand, it’s what your audience does with your brand. Make your audience the protagonist, give them a role in your communication. Don’t spell it all out for them, let them enjoy the dopamine hit of getting it for themself. Arguably, a dopamine hit connected to your brand impression isn’t a bad thing.
Images beat colours. In this post, Ryan Lynch talks about research by Ehrenberg-Bass Institute that shows that images are more explicit signals of variety than colour. In other words, showing an 🍊 is better than colour-coding your product variant orange.
A Powerful New Model for Seeing the Brand Landscape. In this article, Jasmine Bina discusses the importance of incorporating time into competitive analysis for brands. It introduces the concept of Temporal Competitive Analysis, a four-step process that helps understand how the competitive landscape is changing over time and provides actionable insights for brands. The article emphasises the need to look beyond the competitors with similar products and focus on those with similar visions instead, identify the conditioning narratives they propagate, roll the dice forward to predict corresponding future behaviours, and build strategies for that very scenario – not for today. (One of her examples is how TikTok is changing expectations towards educational materials and content, considering that “one in four people use TikTok for education, and 69% of those people use it for their homework.”) In Jasmine’s view, a brand’s role is to bring the future forward – but I’m not quite clear how her model is doing that. What it definitely does, though, is encouraging you to think wide and forward. But most of her examples (Patagonia, Netflix, etc.) didn’t bring the future forward, they just built a brand/product that was ready for a future. But that might be semantics. You can’t argue that these brands haven’t anticipated and adapted to market changes better than others, and stayed ahead of their competition.
Bonus: Costco pumpkin pie Timelapse. This is a little bonus share. Not because I’m a Thanksgiving fan, but because I find manipulated herd behaviour interesting. Enjoy a time lapse of a Costco pumpkin pie shelf.
I hope you enjoyed the clicks – and you’re enjoying your weekends.
Read you all next week,