The economic and sales news isn't all doom and gloom. In a recession there are winners and losers. What do you have to do to make sure you win? We think you should pay attention to the "shifting consumer".
The economy doesn't stop. It shifts with what consumers feel comfortable with. Think not? Let's look at the banking industry.
The news is really bad in the financial world so bad one might think that all financial institutions are in trouble. Not so... Small, local banks are doing just fine and bringing in more customers. Credit Unions are seeing major increases in their business. Why? Let's call it the comfort shift. The consumer wants to trust their financial institution, they want to know who is making decisions and they want to feel comfortable. Enter small banks and credit unions. Both offer what the "big banks" can't or...won't.
Here is more: In a recent Los Angeles Times article, John Replogle the CEO of Burt's Bees says, "It's the small indulgences that people are reluctant to trade off." What Mr. Replogle calls "reluctance" has led to a doubling of sales over the past three years.
Burt's Bees is an example of a small business that is doing well because they are focused on the "small indulgences" and paying attention to what people will buy and why.
In our mind these examples point out that people are still spending money...but they are shifting their decisions to things that spell value, trust and...comfort.
The best way to thrive in a recession is to pay attention to what works well, to what people are buying and the reasons why they are buying specific products. To be one of the companies on the top of the wave you have to pay attention to the shifts and act accordingly.
Keep an eye on the good economic stories, what is behind them and what can you learn for yourself. Then be ready to adjust your consumer message. We think the top words now are VALUE, COMFORT & TRUST.
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications. You can follow us on Twitter @MichaelLibbie and see our work at www.InsightCubed.com