Fears Risk and Scarcity is a powerful driver.

There was an advert on a few websites last week; it was for a face mask. Of course, it was a reaction to COVID19, but what is driving the panic. To me it is all about, fears risk and scarcity. 

The advert led me to write a post for LinkedIn called 

Where is the opportunity or wave to ride? Sadly fear is a powerful driver.

The guys at AusAir have been developing a face mask for the last four years as a response to air pollution in Australia and the Far East. It filters out the PM10 particles and uses botanicals to mask the smell of city life and pollution.

Exceeding Expectations

They launched a Kickstarter campaign in early February to raise £10,000. Did they know that Covid19 was about to get big in the News? Maybe they saw the potential in the added interest for their product. They were only looking for £10K at this point. Perhaps that was a strategy to guarantee funding success, as these platforms will pay nothing if you fail to hit the target.    

The virus hysteria boosted their campaign, and they took advantage of the opportunity with Google display advertising. The campaign topped out last week (March 5th) at £577,000. Nearly 9000 people bought into the project.

My screenshot was taken before the end of the campaign. Fears Risk and Scarcity

Now here is the mad reality, these masks will be manufactured in China and not scheduled for delivery until June 2020. 

That is the power of fear and scarcity.

People bought them regardless, these masks will not be available or of any use until well after this virus has run its course. China has shut down, and the chances of getting a June delivery date are very slim. It was panic buying and a knee jerk reaction, just like the panic buying of toilet rolls and hand sanitizer. 

People are frightened. With just a 1-3% chance of dying from this disease, the threat is low compared to other things that could happen. But I guess the difference is risk exposure, your chance of getting knocked over by a car are slim unless you regularly walk down dark country lanes at night after having a few drinks in the local pub.

The motivation here is all about risk management. What’s going on here is that most people avoid risk, any form of risk that may lead them  to be injured or hurt. 

Most risks that people do take are hidden risks, so eating a bacon sandwich and cake every day, plus smoking will take years off your life. But we don’t see that expressed as a percentage and the time frame is years, plus it is not in the News every day. The Covid19 is just a virus like any other, what makes it different is it spreads quietly, unseen and immunity is low. The potential outcome of it is possibly a 3% mortality rate. Now there’s a word for you “mortality” people are frightened of dying. It is Fears Risk and Scarcity driving their actions.

Fears Risk and Scarcity it the fear of dying.

That is the bottom line fear is driving the madness. People want to avoid exposure risk and they fear scarcity of resources. 

What does this mean for us as entrepreneurs or people in business? 

Problems present an opportunity, the guys at AUSAIR had no idea that a gift horse was going to come knocking when they were looking for £10,000 and ended up with over half a million. I imagine it’s a lovely headache to have (or maybe not).

There will be other opportunities that will turn up. This virus is changing our world. There has been a sudden downturn in demand; the oil price has tumbled, events and public meetings are being delayed or cancelled countries are in lockdown.

For example, the new James Bond film release has moved until Autumn. Less activity will hit the retail sector as people prefer to buy online. 

It looks like the virus will take hold in the UK with thousands of cases, it will change much that we take for granted and I am sorry to ay we will all lose people. No answers, but life goes on and for the brave, there will be opportunities that do not involve price gouging for toilet rolls.

Fears Risk and Scarcity

What does this mean for ordinary business?

Normality will return it always does, but it may be different from what went before. That is where we have to adapt and roll with the changes. I have a friend whose favourite word in these situations is NEXT.  

That brings me nicely to my next webinar on March 18th. As business owners, we need to be on the lookout for the next opportunity, but we also need to understand how to present what we have to offer.

The 6 Points of Influence 

What is it that makes people buy and what can you do to support the process. These six points are from the research of Robert Cialdini, to make any sale 3 of these steps need to be in place. 


On the webinar, I will go through each step so that you can look at how you might implement them into your business. It is worth saying even though we know they exist; we are powerless to resist these trigger. 


There are 6 steps and scarcity is one of them. Sign up below. 



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