As business people we are afraid of the recession. What will happen? Will customers buy nothing but absolute necessities? And if that happens where will we be? Out of a job or out of business? These are all scary thoughts.
Luckily for most of us the current recession hasn’t reached these dire conditions and though demand has been softer for most discretionary products it still exists. And as long as there is demand there are opportunities. The opportunities lie in two areas: The first area is reduction in supply that coincides with reduction in demand. The second opportunity is competing and taking market share from other members of the market. Both of these can play a roll in a company’s strategy to grow during a recession.
The first strategy is the easier and least costly of the two mentioned above. In the cycle of business and economics a recession has a tendency to clear the field. The weaker companies, the less fortunate companies, and the less prepared companies usually end up going out of business. And as they exit the market a vacuum is created. There are still customers looking to buy goods from those companies who no longer exist. And even if the customer list is purchased by a competitor, there is still no relationship with those customers.
The second strategy is more aggressive and requires focusing on specific customer requirements that might have changed due to the recession. It requires identifying that in a recession, especially a severe recession, most customers are more interested in protection from loss then they are achieving gains. So if you are able to reposition your message you will in many cases be able to take business away from competitors.
The real excitement comes when a company has been able to capitalize on the situation and is now positioned for explosive growth when the economy rebounds, assuming the company continues to perform on the same level and not get complacent.
So now the question is, what can you do to emerge from this recession stronger then you were? What new marketing avenues? What new customers or vertical market potentials exist now? Which customers might have been served well at one time by a vendor who is no longer in business? Also how can you reposition your message to appeal to a customer in the new normal? I would love to hear some comments.