Antifragile: What Does This Mean For the Influencer Business?


Antifragile is a concept you will love if your company is going through hard times. 

It means that shock is necessary to the improvement of any structure – whether biological, economical, political (or else) – as it brings strength, and callosity. Just like a working hand.

Its creator, Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese-American essayist and author of two bestsellers you may already know: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (2007) and Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (2012).

As the concept of antifragility works for so many fields, why not marketing strategy?


Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s lessons of strategy


First, let’s clarify. Antifragile does not mean robust -that means shock-proof, really. A shock may destroy a fragile item, while a robust one remains the same, like untouched. An antifragile item would, instead of absorbing an impact, welcome the modification it implies. Shock will help it to develop a unique immune system. 

Now translate that to business.

This means a strategy based on antifragility would help increase ROI based on crisis handling and unexpected events to come.

TIP #1: For a realistic strategy, think data

We really cannot anticipate much. And this says a lot about the success of the Agile approach. 

This also explains why flexibility will remain so important tomorrow. The ability for a brand to respond in new unusual ways is key, whatever the size of the company.  

To be antifragile is to be okay with the vision or working of a company being hurt. Yes, it is necessary to be Agile first. And to be Agile, there are levers, like being informed soon enough of every move and trend peaking. Are you?

It is time to adapt the Test and Learn strategy to your offer. 


As for the “Test” part: The relevance of your offer depends a lot on the quality of your current insights. Those insights need to be put to the test regularly, such as your product or service. Tools like nano-influence for example, allow for AB-testing and high-value data gathering through the collection of User Generated Content (or UGC). In fact, brands only select the core target of the potential consumers to implement trials. 

As for the “Learn” part: To build a proper database is key. Learning how to use it and why is what will make you save even more time and money. 

For that matter, tech solutions are existing, and data-scientists are often for hire; let’s not forget that collaborators can also be trained! Let’s never forget human capital and own adaptability.


TIP #2 : It is important to take small risks often to grow big

In webmarketing, performance is measured through small actions than can be counted. To monitor these actions, tools exist and require small but regular human supervision. 

These actions are linked to marketing roadmaps, perspectives and SMART goals. These goals are reassuring, shaped and clear, with a beginning and an end. They intend for teams to move forward with low risk-taking.


In a crisis context, this frame of thoughts seems yet unrealistic, precarious even.


Since the business activity is to go on, the SMART logic needs updates – as the needs for reactivity grow even bigger and crises, themselves, evolve in typology, consequences and proportion.

In this context, volatility is good for taking decisions right off the bat.


Indeed, the exceptional situation invite you to get used to your business being challenged and troubled in its vision and economic pillars.

This situation invites, actually, to make more ‘CLE’ projections (standing for ‘Counter-intuitive, Long-termist, Educated’ projections).


A CLE projection is for us a business projection or scenarios, gambling with the unexpected.


This type of projection is, by definition:

Counter-intuitive : you are experimenting on what you always put down your to-do list. This can be a CSR branch, another branch of business to develop, a recruitment policy.


Long-termist : vous y faites l’exercice d’ignorer les coûts à courts termes pour vous focaliser sur les investissements de longues haleines nécessaires pour rester flexible.


Educated: you can invite collaborators you are not used to audit your ideas. Ask them for expert reports and advice.


Especially in digital business, a strategy cannot afford being too rigid. Iteration, questioning is a state of mind that is worth a lot (if not more) than a full client-file (fragile) or a robust tech tool (but non-creative).


TIP #3 : What is more antifragile than a humanist communication 


In times of crisis, it is advised to keep on communicating for numerous reasons but mainly: 

-to stay visible

-to position oneself on a credo 

-and really, to be there in case an opportunity shows up. 


Still, it is fine if your communication is not perfect. It has to show humanity, flaws, so to say humility and space to grow.

Perhaps, your company is one of the few that stayed open during COVID-19 in spite of the risks, due to their crucial feeding, healing or logistics parts.

If you don’t, you’ve read it or heard it. Eshops rely on well-working platforms, well-working-logistics but few thoughts of how difficult it would be to make a society work with all humans at home.


So what do we do with that? Maybe try a communication that insists on the happiness and protection of the employee that produced the service or good. 

This counts.

And this type of PR is under-valued and exploited as for now.


This would be such a simple way to avoid:

-jeopardizing employes’ lives in the future

-having communication dilemmas in the future 



So here is food (and soap) for thoughts.

Beware of well-rounded processes and budgets. Always keep an eye (even a reluctant one !) on forgotten or secondary spendings, habit, way of thinking strategy-wise.

Why? Because the next shock will not be more expected than the one we currently live. 

Shifting or flipping ever so slightly (but regularly) is a cheap efficient way to upgrade and test the real fragility of your system. You may even find solutions and inspiration to work with!

In case you still do not know where to start, Sampleo offers solutions to help you collect royalty-free data and insights. 

So, don’t hesitate to audit your current goals and contact us anytime.