Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Marketing Decision

Let's say you run a company. You're stressed. Business is slowing. You have investors, employees and customers all wanting to know how you're going to lead them through this recession. You're also brave. You're going to stay the course. You're just going to keep doing what you've been doing for the last 10 years.

This pressure to stay the course can be crippling? Isn't doing what you've been doing one of the things that has helped you slip into this recession?

Who will be better off:
1) The company who increases their imprint into the consumer mind in this time of uncertainty
or
2) the company that disappears until we all have money to spend?

Need an example? Think of Post Cereals and Kellogg's. Before 1929 Post was the leading cereal retailer in North America. The recession hit. They needed to cut back. Stay the course, but eliminate frivolous spending like marketing, advertising and branding. Kellogg's did the opposite. The Kellogg's brand became a point of stability in homes across the continent. It became the household name. Then the market turned around. People became consumers again. Kellogg's is still winning 80 years later. If that's not enough, check out the story of Purina, La-Z-Boy, Texas Instruments, Motorola, or the launch of Kraft's Miracle Whip - all brands that broke through the market during the Depression.

Use your circumstances as an opportunity and the excuse for uncomfortable and seemingly irrational change. Remember that the ideas that succeed wildly are the ones the experts deem to fail.

The concept is interesting… but to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” ~Yale professor on conceptual paper that became FedEx.