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Lessons From the Recession

Lessons From the Recession

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Published by 4imprint
If this recession has taught us anything, it has served to remind us that basic b-school tactics are also required to sustain a business, regardless of economic climate.
The proof can be found in the handful of businesses that have not only walked away from the battlefield of the last two years relatively unscathed, but are actually better off than before with new investments, new products or increased sales.

These businesses all have one thing in common: They were successful before things went south; they were positioned and prepared to forge ahead.
If this recession has taught us anything, it has served to remind us that basic b-school tactics are also required to sustain a business, regardless of economic climate.
The proof can be found in the handful of businesses that have not only walked away from the battlefield of the last two years relatively unscathed, but are actually better off than before with new investments, new products or increased sales.

These businesses all have one thing in common: They were successful before things went south; they were positioned and prepared to forge ahead.

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Published by: 4imprint on Jun 03, 2010
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06/05/2010

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© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
 
Lessons fromthe Recession
 
© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
 
© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Lessons from the Recession’sMost Successful Businesses
In his classic novel “Don Quixote,” author Miguel de Cervantes said it best: “To beprepared is half the victory.”It’s also half the battle. As we build our business, we hope for success and preparefor the future—we prepare for the next big idea, for the latest technology justaround the corner, for the changing demands of our consumers. Unfortunately,preparation for the future often doesn’t account for major unforeseen events,like natural disasters or the recent worldwide economic recession. And sometimes,the bigger picture vision of the future eclipses the smaller, more mundane detailslike the basic b-school tactics needed to build a business initially.If this recession has taught us anything, it has served to remind usthat these tactics are also required to sustain a business, regardless ofeconomic climate. The proof can be found in the handful of businessesthat have not only walked away from the battlefield of the last twoyears relatively unscathed, but are actually better off than before withnew investments, new products or increased sales. These businesses allhave one thing in common: They were successful before things wentsouth; they were positioned and prepared to forge ahead.It’s time to get back to basics. Take a few hints—10 to be exact—fromthe recession’s most successful businesses to grow and sustain your ownbusiness well into the future, no matter what the future may hold.
#1 Build a strong brand with loyal followers
A brand is not just a logo. It’s not just a tagline, a storefront, a color palette,a brochure or a spokesperson. A brand is an emotion or perception held bysomeone outside of your business that describes the experience of buying yourproduct or using your service. Businesses that understand this and successfullyrelate to customers on an emotional level will likely find loyalty in customers whobuy (and buy again) and who recommend a brand to anyone willing to listen.Perhaps the best example of a business that “gets” branding isApple
®
. Apple isone of the most recognizable brands in the world with one of the most vocal andfiercely loyal customer bases. This customer base is directly responsible for the46 percent profit increase in Apple’s 2009 fourth-quarter and its revenues thatreached upward of $10 billion.
1
1 Kahney, Leander. “Apple Laughs At Recession: Record Profts on Record Sales o Macs and IPhones
 
© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
 
© 2010 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
In fact, Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself is quoted as smuglysaying “Recession? What recession?” as the fourth-quarternumbers were announced.
2
If you ask branding expert and author of the book “EmotionalBranding,” Marc Gobe, why Apple is so successful he will tellyou that it’s got little to do with products.“Without the brand, Apple would be dead,” says Gobe.“Apple is about imagination, design and innovation. It goes beyond commerce.”
3
In an interview with Wired magazine, Gobe explains that successful emotionalbrands, like Apple, have been created in part with three very specific approaches
4
:
•
The human factor—There is a strong humanistic corporate culture anda strong corporate ethic. Apple makes it clear that its brand and itsproducts are about people and community. Apple aims to empowerpeople with technology and gives to like-minded causes such as donatingcomputers for education.
•
A unique identity—Fonts, logos, language and style are unique to thebrand and consistent in all communications across an extended period oftime. Apple’s modern minimalistic styling and geeky-cool attitude is justas apparent in ads as it is on its Web site and in its actual products likethe Mac operating system, the iPhone
or the Macbook
.
•
Relationships—The business makes an ongoing effort to engage withconsumers and build trusting relationships. Apple achieves this not onlyin creating products that are built around people, but in fostering acommunity with a cult following. Customer loyalty programs, industryblogs, marketing efforts that build buzz and perks unique to Apple’sproducts are all examples. They’ve succeeded in giving consumers thesense that Apple can’t fully be understood until it’s experienced and thatit’s in this experience that Apple brings people together.
| Cult o Mac.” Cult o Mac | The Mac, the IPod, the IPhone - and the People Who Love Them. 19 Oct. 2009.Web. 06 Apr. 2010.<http://www.cultomac.com/apple-laughs-at-recession-sells-record-numbers-o-macs-ipods-and-iphones/19035>. 2 Kahney, Leander. “Apple Laughs At Recession: Record Profts on Record Sales o Macs and IPhones| Cult o Mac.” Cult o Mac | The Mac, the IPod, the IPhone - and the People Who Love Them. 19 Oct. 2009.Web. 06 Apr. 2010.<http://www.cultomac.com/apple-laughs-at-recession-sells-record-numbers-o-macs-ipods-and-iphones/19035>.3 Kahney, Leander. “Apple: It’s All About the Brand.” Wired. 04 Dec. 2002. Web. 02 Apr. 2010.<http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultomac/2002/12/56677 >.4 Kahney, Leander. “Apple: It’s All About the Brand.” Wired. 04 Dec. 2002. Web. 02 Apr. 2010.<http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/commentary/cultomac/2002/12/56677 >.

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