It’s easy for those in retail and almost any other industry to be negative right now. In fact, it’s always easier to default to negativity. However, that’s a path that can sabotage retail positioning. Spieckerman address the idea of the “nega-hype,” which is rampant right now. This term describes the irrational focus on negatives, which can ruin opportunities and possibilities.

Retail doomsdaying isn’t novel. Spieckerman recalled an early lesson on this. “I was working with some very jaded buyers in department stores. This was long before Amazon, but there was massive consolidation going on and freaking everyone out. I asked the CEO of a major retailer if I should be concerned. He said, ‘No matter how bad it gets, somebody will always be buying, and someone will always be selling what they are buying, so why not you.’ This was some of the best advice I ever received,” she noted.

So, what’s the antidote for “nega-hype”? Spieckerman suggests being positive assumptive. She said, “Positive assumptive has three rules. Assume positive outcomes until explicitly told otherwise. Make a positive approach your default. And, be assumptive in the first place. It’s an active position, not a passive one.”

Spieckerman notes some companies are doing this really well. “IBM is a great example. They are proactively positive but not ignoring reality. They have a firm grasp on reality but pair it with solutions,” she said.

The power of being positive assumptive can completely change a company’s culture and perspective. It can certainly quieten the “nega-hype” machine. 

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