What’s Tomorrow got to do with it?

By Dan Monheit, originally shared on Carsales.com.au, 06.01.21

We’ve said goodbye to 2020 and have welcomed a long-awaited 2021. So, after the rollercoaster we’ve just had, how might people’s preferences and priorities change over the course of the year ahead?

Turns out, it doesn’t really matter, and Behavioural Science can help us understand why. Cue the Projection Bias, our tendency to assume that our future selves will have the exact same set of tastes, preferences and priorities that our current selves do. It’s the very reason we shouldn’t grocery shop when we feel hungry, get a tattoo the moment inspiration strikes, or sign up for a gym membership on our first 6am visit. Thanks to the Projection Bias, whether we’re hungry, inspired or highly motivated, we can’t imagine ever feeling any other way.

Despite the inevitable move back to offices and mass transit, the need for safety, hygiene and personal space are still top of mind for many.

It’s no surprise then, that new car enquiries are through the roof and sales are booming, as more Aussie’s look to create their own transportation ‘bubbles’, befitting of their new, ‘Covid-normal’ lifestyles.

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Maybe we’ll be a compulsive hand sanitising, QR code scanning, toilet paper hoarding population forever. Maybe we’ll be cramming our way back on to peak hour trains before the Easter Bunny gets here in April. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. The ‘right here, right now’ dominates our decision making, and the auto industry is already shaping up to of the biggest beneficiaries.

For car dealers, it pays to be attuned to customers currently seeking safety and security. While there’s no telling how soon things will be back to ‘normal’, now’s the time to make the most of motivation in the moment.

Further reading

‘Go on, you deserve it’

Why on earth are new car enquiries up 95% year on year?

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