Wednesday 18 March 2009

Recession, what recession?

One of the most confusing aspects of the current recession is why everyone in the shops still looks the same, appears to be buying as before.
(Reminds me of when, as a new brand manager, I drove very slowly to work on the morning my first 1/4 page advert broke in Woman's Own to try to guage the reactions of my target consumer in the street....)
Sure, some high street shops have closed (15% national average, but 40+% in Liverpool, mabey not looking in the right places?)
Customers are still living off pre-christmas stocks (we hope) and the cheque-in-the -post is taking longer to arrive...and customer agreement decisions are floating to higher levels in the hierarchy, and being rejected more often...
Realists know that the recession is here, but it needs time to establish a working pattern..recognisable to all.
However, like bankruptcy, recession starts very slowly and suddenly becomes unstoppable...
This means that NAMs & KAMs have to try to gain the innovator's advantage by anticipating the obvious and taking action now.
Doing a 'what if' on various levels of doomsday scenario is not a case of succumbing to a doom 'n gloom view.
In fact, leading-edge creative thinking recommends that the best ideas can be generated by imagining oneself at the solution stage, and then looking back to try to clarify the pathway... the essence of a what-if.
Success in a recession, as in fast growing categories, is about realism used as a basis for action, faster than the other guy, but slowly enough to work out and implement the options...playing to your competitive differences
All else is detail

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