The Psychology of Consumer Sentiment

DISCUSSION TOPIC:  P&G CEO Advises Candidates to Stay Positive


Procter & Gamble’s chairman and chief executive A.G. Lafley wants the future President of the United States, whomever that may turn out to be, to remember that there is a psychological component to economic performance and that it’s important now that Senators John McCain and Barack Obama are running for the nation’s top office that they remember to stay positive about the underlying strength of the American economy.

“You know we are in a business where psychology matters – even in the staples business – and in the economy psychology matters,” Mr. Lafley told the Financial Times. “It could go negative on the economy, that could be a problem … We will talk ourselves into a worse recession.”

Discussion questions:  How critical is the psychological component to consumer spending? Is a strong retailing environment a by-product of consumer optimism and, conversely, are periods of weak sales created by shopper pessimism?

My post:  This is such an important topic.  The crisis of faith in the American economy today is a combination of real issues, perceived issues, and the basic mistrust of our current president and his government’s ability to tell the truth and/or do anything meaningful to make a positive difference.

The new president (I believe it will be Obama) will have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate trustworthiness and speak with clarity and power of his vision of an improved American economy and place in the world.  I am quite optimistic that after 8 years of a disaster presidency, that our new president (again, likely Obama) will lead us to both perceived and actual improvements in our economy and our faith in our individual and collective futures and the place America will have in the world economy.

It is perfectly OK for Lafley to publicly ask our next president to work the psychology of consumer sentiment and build a vision for a better future.  Kennedy did it, Reagan did it – watch Obama do it next!

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist

Go to the full discussion at    


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One Response to The Psychology of Consumer Sentiment

  1. As a marketer, and student of consumer behavior, I am convinced there is a definite link between consumer spending, and confidence that they will have the money to pay for the consumption. O’Bama is in a tough spot. Conventional wisdom says he has to attack our miserable economic position created by a Republican President, and that a change must be made…but doing so means going negative on the economy… So I believe he will have to choose his words carefully, which he normally does…much better than he chooses preachers! LOL

    However, we are in the age of consumerism. We love to have our “stuff” and nobody consumes like American’s. This is why, under even the extreme conditions we’re facing (food, energy costs soaring, banks failing), we’re able to continue to ink out small growths each month in consumer spending. It’s really amazing. Although mainstream press refuses to give up their quest to report us into a recession… Which is why I host

    There I posts some of my opinions on economic matters, although I am no economist. I do scour the news and scrape and post positive news about our economy. You’ll see so much of it that simply never makes the news, or if it does, they look for the dark lining on the silver cloud.

    I suppose one could say that the press feeds us what we want to see, and that’s a shame. I like to think we’re more positive as a country, and the news outfits would be getting calls telling them to find at least something to say that’s good…. Takes GM’s sales results… CBS news reported the dismal results of automakers yesterday, but failed to mention that GM’s stock ROSE yestersday, because they actually BEAT the analysts projections… **sigh**

    Nice site you have here… Best wishes..


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