Friday, February 12, 2010

Preparing for the Upturn

Right now the upturn sounds like a mythical creature - it lives out there with unicorns, dragons, and the loch ness sea monster. But it is coming, and it might arrive sooner than you think. At that point, your business needs to be ready.

First, keep a positive outlook in your brand communications. People are tired of hearing about the recession. They are more than ready for recovery, and at this point, they are just waiting for businesses to pick up. The more you remind them of the downturn, the more they are going to avoid your brand.

A few top advertisers have already begun to avoid the hum-drum in their commercials. Hyundai, known for the return-your-car-if-you-get-laid-off-promise, has begun talking about improving life for everyone. Allstate reminds us that one day, we will talk about "The Great Recession" in the past tense. Macy's has begun to make small changes to each local store, in order to better meet the needs of customers; they recognize that they can offer more value to a customer instead of lowering their price.

Second, prepare for the upturn by keeping prices fairly steady. Don't discount for the sake of discounting; it will ruin your brand reputation. Customers who are used to lower, recession prices will expect you to keep those prices in an upturn. When your material costs go up, what will you do? Holiday sales and clearance sales meant to remove excess inventory make sense. Sales to get sales do not.

Finally, take this time to fine-tune your business. Figure out what marketing works for you business. Work on innovating your products or expanding your product line. Build personal relationships with your existing customers. Smooth out any existing quirks in customer-service. When the upturn arrives, you're going to grateful you did.


  1. Any word on when this upturn will happen? I just want to mark it on my calendar.

  2. LOL. I have no idea. When I find out, I think I'll sell it on Etsy.