Economists fear that the recovery will leave
more people behind than in past recessions.
Large companies are increasingly owned by
institutional investors who crave swift profits, a
feat often achieved by cutting payroll.
Consumers remain reluctant to open their
wallets with unemployment stubbornly high
and home prices falling.
The consumer-confidence index fell to 46.0 in
February, from 56.5 a month earlier, its lowest
point in 10 months.
In terms of consumer spending, it's not really
a strong recovery," said Brian Bethune, an
IHS Global Insight economist, adding, "We
continue to set ourselves up for
1. The economic outlook will improve slightly
but the consumer economy will remain
2. Rebuilding brand and company reputations
is going to be a critical component to new
3. Brands need to change the mind shift from
“market share” to “profitable market share”.
(Smaller markets that are more profitable).
4. Pricing will put more pressure on brands to
clearly communicate their value to frugal
Almost half (45%) say they are brown
bagging lunch instead of purchasing it.
Two in five (39%) are going to the
hairdresser/barber/stylist less often and 8%
have considered doing so.
One-third of Americans (34%) have
switched to refillable water bottles instead of
purchasing bottles of water while 10% have
considered doing so.
The media is also taking a hit as 33% of
U.S. adults have cancelled one of more
magazine subscriptions, one in five (19%)
have cancelled a newspaper subscription
and 22% have cancelled or cut back on
cable television service with an additional
one in five (20%) having considered doing
Results of The Harris Poll of 2,576 adults surveyed online between
January 18 and 25, 2010 by Harris Interactive
Consumers can instantly find a
profusion of brands or products to
meet their needs but would just as
quickly abandon any choices that
somehow fell short.
The recession has increased and
spotlighted this behavior leading to
a challenge for traditional branding
Increasingly even affluent consumers are
Research among more affluent consumers has
revealed mounting dissatisfaction with
Many desire a more wholesome and less
They’re recycling more, buying used goods,
and imbuing their children with traditional
values—behaviors that dovetail with the
growing demand for simplicity and a solid,
though currently slowing, interest in green
Recent research from Nielsen on top
CPG trends for 2010;
Consumers are seeking value for the
dollar and brand differentiation.
constraint will become the
Consumers will also focus on value, with
widespread discounting forcing brands to
differentiate themselves beyond simple
1. Reduce costs by focusing on operational
2. Use real-time data to spot new opportunities.
3. Translate corporate objectives into aligned
actions by employees.
4. Reward top performers
5. Ensure core values have meaning
6. Employee ambitious, flexible and adventurous
managers in key positions throughout the
7. Measure, optimize and improve all business
Companies that attend to improving
operational efficiencies fare better than
those that focus on reducing the number
Employees feel management is
committed to them and they are more
creative in reducing costs.
They don’t spend their time worrying
about job security.
As companies try to rehire, costs tend
to increase and quality suffers.
Executives and employees start
approaching every decision through a
The organization tries to do more with
less which results in lower customer
satisfaction and thus loss in customers.
Cost-cutting becomes centralized with
finance cutting costs across the board
without regard to initiatives that may
Pessimism permeates the organization
and employees feel disempowered.
Many companies continue to miss
market shifts that rivals exploit.
To indentify gaps in the market you
need real-time data and a process
to distribute it through the
Supplement with feedback from
employees who are in contact with
One of the best sources of real-
time data is social media but too
many companies are using social
media as a push channel and not
listening to what consumers are
Ensure that every executive
within the organization
understands the corporate
Ask how executives are
translating corporate objectives
to the rank and file ?
How are you going to measure
each departments alignment
with corporate objectives ?
A passionate employee is worth 3
Reward calculated risk.
Learn what incentives work best for
Get rid of people who are always
saying the “sky is falling”.
Get feedback on your key
managers, ensure they are in the
Rather than print posters listing company values and them put them
up in conference rooms and the lobby executives should breathe life
into the corporate values by hiring and promoting individuals who
demonstrate adherence to those values.
One big inning does not mean that you are
going to win the game. The business
environment is changing too rapidly.
Your competitors are always going to be in
your review mirror. You need to keep one
step ahead of them.
Technology can help you become more
responsive but don’t discount the “human
connection” of determining what data
means and making the right assumptions to
leverage business objectives.
Companies waiting for a
return to normality following
the recession may be
customers have tried
actually like them.
85% of market leaders get
dislodged during a recession.
Buzz means nothing today,
engagement means Progressive
Things executives can do to achieve self-awareness and personal
mastery in leadership;
Monitor your performance. Note areas in which you excel and need
Realize that failures and mistakes are just one step on the road to
Recognize that being aware of the impact that your behavior has on
other people is a critical leadership skill.
Remember that when criticism is difficult to accept, there is
probably some truth to it.
And, finally, learn to give yourself and others credit for improving.
The economy has changed consumer behavior.
Even consumers with good jobs are stressed about the future and
one way to eliminate that stress is to save more and spend less.
The elements of branding and marketing have also changed.
Operational efficiency coupled with cautious cost cutting can
improve business metrics but a careful balance must be weighed.
Executives need to examine their leadership principles and guide
employees with actionable priorities.
Reward passionate employees who are willing to take risks to
benefit your customers.
Real-time data is invaluable to your company find a way to listen to
the market, competitors and consumers.
Measure, optimize and improve all business processes.
My CV http://www.richardameyer.com
My marketing BLOG http://www.richsblog.com
MY DTC BLOG http://www.worldofdtcmarketing.com