Plan for Two Macro-Scenarios in 2022

If you missed my Friday webinar, here’s the big take-away. You really should accept that there is enough uncertainty left in the epidemiology to make two scenarios plausible for 2022. I’ll walk you through them briefly here.

They’re based on the new ‘fact’ that CPG sales in total are operating at 11-12% above 2019 levels. This is the permanent baseline shift.

Worst Case Scenario – CPG Sales surge due to sporadic urban lockdowns

  • Drivers
    • Fully vaccinated population taps out below herd immunity – 60% or less
    • Delta variant confirmed more deadly for children than original variants – media will drive public fear
    • Endemic outbreaks among urban poor in major cities cause further shutdowns, mask orders
  • How We’ll React
    • We learn to live with periodic Covid-19 outbreaks for at least 2-3 more years:
    • White-collar WFM oscillates from 40%-100% of the time
    • Travel reduced to most essential
    • Mask use mandates sporadically pause live event culture
  • Strategic Take-aways
    • The CPG Surge continues to oscillate up and down due to periodic urban shutdowns
    • This will create a periodic supply chain, onboarding, and shelf management problems for the youngest Phase and Phase 2 startups
    • Plan for this now by ordering more runtime and supplies than you think you’ll need
    • Don’t rely on sampling and field marketing in your playbook

Best Case Scenario – CPG Sales surge settles down to something at or near current levels

  • Drivers
    • Vaccination eventually reaches herd immunity by Fall ‘21
    • Delta variant threat to health systems contained
    • Endemic outbreaks small enough to be managed by public health systems
  • How We’ll React
    • What were temporary social adjustments (e.g., working from home) mostly fade away
    • White-collar work flex-work emerges as standard – 40% at home
    • Large public events resume
    • Urban social life mostly continues by Fall ‘21
  • Strategic Take-aways
    • CPG usage at home permanently lifted but without sudden surges due to sporadic urban lockdowns

Plan for both of these scenarios now, and you’ll be less freaked out later. Yes, you have time. This is a 2-3 hour thought exercise, using the playbook puzzle pieces you currently have. Good luck! If you don’t have a formal playbook or even a strategy, then perhaps it’s time to invest in both. On July 9, 2021, I’ll be leading my Q3 cohort through my Riding the Ramp quarterly training. Go deeper than my book does and DIY your exponential growth plan. Over 125 founders have gone through this training, and many are riding the ramp. 

Dr. James Richardson

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