Episode 09

Energy beyond the moment

We go deeper with customers to discover that our energy to persevere is fueled by something unexpected.

What’s happening with Customers, Now?


Energy beyond the moment

The value of being present is widely known. Staying in the moment. Focus. Being in the now. However, looking beyond the present gives us hope. Energy. It forces us to see beyond the now. It takes us out of the moment and gets us to look forward. To anticipate. To dream. A vacation, a friend’s wedding, a summer concert.

Now, as many of the events people historically looked forward to are postponed or cancelled, with Customer, Now, we wanted to explore the question, “what are we losing beyond the moment?”

Much of what we saw, in what people shared, takes place in relatively short periods of time. A three-hour match. A four-day festival. Even a two week vacation. In the scheme of things, not very long. But these bursts of activity provide us much more than the moments themselves. Before the moment, we have the anticipation, the planning, the excitement, the “looking forward to.” After the moment, we have the stories, the memories, the photos, the “remember when you ___?”

The whole of the experience, well beyond the moment itself, gives us energy. The “anticipation” that fuels future. And the “echo” of our memories made.

Within the context of COVID-19, we don’t just postpone our vacations, we lose the energy surrounding them. The “anticipation” and the “echo” – these parts of an experience are far greater than the event itself. By staying almost entirely in the moment now, we are drawing almost exclusively on ourselves for our energy.

We see an emerging human truth in our work via Customer, Now that suggests people are increasingly drawing down from their own limited sources of energy. With less to look forward to, people have less fueling and refueling their energy. And so, people are tapping into their reserves. This is not an endless supply. People will need to find ways to refuel, to live beyond the moment.

What’s next for brands?

The experiences we look forward to are filled with micro-moments.  It’s not just the vacation we experience, it’s the wardrobe we plan out beforehand and the photo album we put together afterward.  These moments involve acts of doing and sharing between one another.  They get us excited.  They give us something to talk about.  In many ways, it is the micro-moments that make the experience.


Feel they have more energy.


Feel they have the same amount of energy.


Feel they have less energy.

Where people get energy

Before COVID-19

External Focus

Thinking about an upcoming event with friends! We love to get together for music venues all year long. I play bass guitar, so it’s fun to anticipate playing open jams with other musicians!”

I get energy going to work and getting ready for work. I fall apart as soon as I walk in the door back home for some reason I am exhausted. I get energized talking to my husband and to my girlfriends! That is such wonderful times to just chill and relax in the right ways for me. I get energy when I am hosting a BBQ or party I am a social person.”
Getting up in the morning and having my coffee gives me a burst of energy that lasts most of the day. When I get to work and there is a whole lot of work to be done, I somehow get an energy burst just knowing I have to complete it before the day at work is over. Then after dinner I usually take a nap for an hour or so and then I have a cup of tea which gives me energy to do some things around the house.”
I was energized by making plans. Whether it was going to the grocery store or planning a fun weekend, I was motivated by planning.”
Training for a race (running). Events to look forward to and plan for. Coffee with creamer in the morning.”
Before lockdown, I used to start my day with my morning walk followed by a lemon honey tea. I was spending daily at least 1 hour with my friends at evening which was really energizing me. All the friday nights were scheduled for night out with husband and kid which was the best part and was giving me energy.”

During COVID-19

Internal Focus

Almost all of the things that gave me energy before now are no longer possible (meeting friends and family, going to fitness classes). I try to find energy in the little things; a cup of coffee and listening to good music.”

Finding something on TV or on my computer that makes me laugh or else I get so engrossed in what I am watching or doing that everything else is blocked out of my mind. These amount to a total escape from reality. I enjoy my dog, taking care of him and his needs, and taking him for walks or just having him cuddle up next to me. He is diabetic and has a breathing issue, so I am also a “nurse” to him.”
Things I am doing such as planting flowers and plants, drinking coffee, reading the newspaper, surfing the Internet, cooking, doing gymnastics and sports at home can all bring energy to my daily life.”
I work, I exercise, I am learning to cook better, I help my children with their Homework, I read, I watch series, I never get bored”
In lockdown my energy levels are neither high nor low. I am getting up in the morning going through the same routines and catching up on all the jobs in and around the house and garden. My wife says she has never seen me so calm!”
I’m still trying to exercise, just in different ways – with yoga at home rather than going to the gym. Virtual social gatherings have replaced physical ones and I’m trying to find pleasure and energy in small things around the home like spending time with my husband and baking, singing and dancing.”

It’s the small things

The experiences we look forward to are filled with micro-moments.  It’s not just the vacation we experience, it’s the wardrobe we plan out beforehand and the photo album we put together afterward.  These moments involve acts of doing and sharing between one another.  They get us excited.  They give us something to talk about.  In many ways, it is the micro-moments that make the experience.

Now, with less (or very different) macro moments of connection between brand and customer, brands can find new opportunities to connect by creating more micro-moments of micro-meaning.  Reaching out to customers.  Saying hi.  Asking how they’re doing.  Listening.  Telling a joke.  Providing a moment of levity.  Making the unremarkable, remarkable…literally:  Giving people something to talk about.  People are missing having experiences – having big and SMALL things to talk about.  That’s a big opportunity for brands.

In the small things are arguably bigger points of meaning, differentiation and discussion.  We don’t talk about the difference between my v6 engine and your v6 engine.  While the differences may mean something to the engineers, they mean nothing to us.  Instead, we talk about where we went, what we did, who we saw, how we felt, what we learned and how we got there.  We talk about the points of the journey, not the features and benefits or reasons to believe.  We talk about all the small things that happen along the way…every day.  It’s the small things that make the experience, increasingly so now.  As much in our lives as in our relationships with brands.


Customer Now 2020

Nothing is changing faster than ourselves.What’s happening with customers right now and what should business do next?

Suddenly, these two questions became a lot more complicated; the answers require us to get beyond the numbers, headlines and hyperbole in search of simple, scalable human truths.

That’s why we’ve launched Customer, Now., a project to document, explore and understand lock-down, and what follows it, from the customers’ perspective.

Through our global communities, we are tapping into the human truths behind customers’ experiences in real-time; exploring their inner worlds more deeply, and creating fresh, generative insights and implications to share with our community.

There’s one guiding insight that’s immediately become clear: in this fast-changing situation, nothing is changing faster than ourselves. This is what we’re exploring through Customer, Now.

It’s not uniform change, nor is it constant. It’s an evolution of our inner lives, our relationships, family, friends, home, health, work and, inevitably, our customer behaviour. And it’s more rapid than we’ve ever seen before.

Through Customer, Now. we'll deliver to our community an insight, and its implications, every week. With this work, we have one simple aim: to drive a brighter, more progressive, customer-inspired version of tomorrow.