Charging Ahead with Innovation in a Down Market

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

The economy is slowing, the stock market is volatile and your business is at best, struggling with reduced consumer spending from an overall fear of the unknown.


As a business leader, the question is now this: How can your business and your brand stand such times and thrive?


First, you need to view these tough times as opportunities. I know this sounds trite or crass but it's the truth. now is the time to push through all the negativity of uncertainty and explore new areas of revenue generation.


Next, be rest assured that economic slowdowns reward innovation. That's right, previous hard times have provided big opportunities, such as, brand management systems, soap operas, modern cable networks, airline loyalty programs, music revolutions, the IBM personal computer, Crest White Strips, Axe body spray and even fast food value meals.


Serioulsy, CNN and MTV launched in 1980 and 1981 amid the 1980-82 double dip recession. In that same era, American and Delta airlines launched miles-based loyalty programs in 1981.


Wal-mart used the early 1990's recession as an opportunity to charge into markets their competitor, Gold Markets, had vacated in the mid-west. as a result, 1990-1992 was the fastest growing period in the retailers' history.


In October 2001, only 42 days after 9/11, Apple unveiled the first iPod. Need we say more?


Still not convinced that a down market is full of opportunity...


In 2009, during the previous recession, Starbucks launch VIA instant coffee. The blend was 20-years in the making and they weren’t about to let a slow-perking economy hold them back. And, in 2010, KFC brought us the Double Down. The first-ever bunless chicken sandwich, selling 10 million in the first 6-weeks. Take that Popeye’s.


So, take heart. This is not necessarily the time to reduce staff or cut marketing and advertising budgets to bare minimums for the short-term gain. Now is the time to be smart, think strategically and act on innovation to capitalize on growth opportunities.

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