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The 5 consumer personas that will decide U.S. businesses’ post-isolation performance

By Emily Wengert

June 18, 2020

A human — and humane — customer experience in the COVID crisis.

My best friend is a “Trapped Butterfly.” She isolated herself for weeks but is re-engaging with the outside world as quickly as state government restrictions have eased. She describes the period of staying in using synonyms for pain, like “agonizing” and “mind melting.”

My partner, on the other hand? Definitively an “Eggshell Walker.” He ventures out once a week for groceries, but otherwise feels in no rush to do more. He’ll hunker down for the summer if he thinks the risk is still there.

Before Huge embarked on its research to study attitudes for emerging from isolation, I didn’t have words to explain why my best friend and my partner were on such different pages. But thanks to qualitative research we did at Huge, combined with quantitative insight from GlobalWebIndex, I now understand the wide ranging ways people are calculating the risk of COVID and determining their personal plan to make contact with the outside world.

Fortunately, this information does more than just help me make peace between two of the most important people in my life. It can also help guide businesses as they think about their consumers’ — and their employees’ — mindsets. Understanding these personas can guide businesses toward what services, messages, and policies they need to offer as well as their return-to-work strategies.

The old segments won’t be good enough for a while. Having a meaningful CX strategy means adjusting our understanding of both the customer and the employee in these fast-changing times.

Emily Wengert leads the experiential practice globally at Huge. She’s also a “Polite Optimist,” happy to let others lead the way when emerging, but looking forward to getting out there again soon.