Thriving While Others Hunker Down
In our continuing quest to promote optimism during these turbulent
times, we share an article that provides an opportunity to learn from
the past. In summary, times such as these make it more important than
ever to ensure that you hang on to your existing customers and
continuously improve your operational performance. If you'd like to
learn the pragmatic approaches available to you to meet these
objectives, simply give us a call. Doing so may very well be the key to
your firm prospering in these turbulent times while others focus
internally and thus lose sight of their single source of revenue (the
Learning From The Past
by Robert Mannal
There is no doubt that we are currently in a recessionary period. Some
observers are suggesting that this recession will be second only to the
Great Depression in severity and economic impact.
Everyone in America felt the Great Depression. At its depths, over 25%
of the labor force was unemployed, resulting in lost homes, widespread
hunger, significant government intervention and social change. Many
companies failed. However, some companies were able to carry on and, as
a result, prospered when the economy turned around. What strategies did
these companies employ and are they applicable in today's climate?
Reviewing the literature relating to this question suggests that
customer-focusing companies survived and prospered. As one observer
"Consumers didn't stop spending during the Depression, most just
looked for better deals, and the companies producing those better deals
came out stronger after the Depression ended."
He goes on to say:
"Both anecdotal and empirical evidence support the case that
advertising was the main factor in the growth or downfall of companies
during the Great Depression."1
Other writers have come to the same conclusion, i.e., that those
companies who ignored their customers, or became invisible to their
customers, and who did not offer a perceived value-add, failed.2
Three strategies for today, drawn from the Great Depression, are:
Focus on existing and potential customers
Provide perceived, differentiated value
Keep your name in front of customers….don't allow them
to forget you
A classic Business-to-Business ad for McGraw-Hill publications, written
by David Ogilvy, poses the following:
"I don't know who you are
I don't know your company
I don't know your company's product
I don't know what your company stands for
I don't know your company's customers
I don't know your company's record
I don't know your company's reputation
Now – what was it you wanted to sell to me?"
This ad is as relevant now as it was then. It touches on the need to
maintain customer contact and the need to use customers to spread the
word about your products or services, a theme that is especially true in
today's recessionary environment.
Companies who forget to position themselves in the market, or who lose
touch with their customer base, risk being forgotten.
If you'd like to ensure that you maintain a high-level of customer
satisfaction and loyalty, give us a call. We'd be happy to discuss our
highly pragmatic programs that result in improving your customers'
experience and the operational performance of your firm.
Brands Thrived During the Great Depression" Dave Chase, October 17,
"Business Lessons from The Great Depression" October 8, 2008, Stacy
Perman, Business Week; Google Answers,
Re: Successful companies and industries during the Great Depression,
especially the answer from digsalot-ga; Wiki Answers:
What Businesses thrived during the Great Depression;
"When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Don't Skimp on their Ad Budgets"
November 26, 2008, Knowledge@Wharton.
Robert Mannal is Managing Director of RHMinc, an IT Security
Consulting firm. Previously he held management positions at Vericept,
Network Engines, in the Information Risk Management Practice (IRM) of
KPMG, at Security Dynamics (now RSA/EMC), and at Codex (Motorola).
Mannal holds a BA from Lafayette, an MBA in Marketing from Wharton
School of Business and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP)
and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Serving Those (Still) In Need
On Monday, March 2, 2009 the First Baptist Church of Hudson, NH will
again be sending a team to Biloxi, MS to work with Habitat for Humanity
to help rebuild the Mississippi Gulf coast. This area was ravaged during
Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. Nearly 267,000 homes in the Gulf
Coast area were either destroyed or damaged in the storm.
Much has been done, but there still remains a great need. At its peak,
FEMA placed 44,000 trailers in the area to shelter storm victims. As of
June, the last 7,000 occupied trailers were closed, sending hundreds of
poor desperately hunting for affordable housing. Katrina's devastation
has dropped off the national media radar screen, but we have not
forgotten. Rebuilding the infrastructure of the Gulf Coast is an ongoing
process and there is still a great deal of work to do. Habitat for
Humanity currently requires 1,000 volunteers a week in areas along the
Each team member has been deeply affected by previous trips and once
again, we are thrilled that we can be a part of this project. You can
play a part too, by praying for the team, which is made up of: Ellie
Cropley, Al Daigle, Bri Daigle, Torre Daigle, Pastor Jim Harrington,
Clarice James, Mike Ledoux, Bruce Mostrom, Terry Mostrom, Tony Rice,
Jayce Stella, Jessica Surro and Craig Bailey. Please pray for our
protection, safe travel, good health, and ability to bring much needed
relief to those who need it.
We are also seeking financial donations. The cost of the trip will be
approximately $5,000. Your tax deductable donation can be made securely
Thanks for your support.
+ Thriving While Others Hunker Down
+ Learning From The Past
+ Serving Those (Still) In Need
+ Recommended Reading
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