Like most in the marketing and advertising world, I do a lot of reading about what’s going on in all different types of companies. 2009 has brought many a story of the failures of businesses of all kinds, sizes and ages, for-profit and not-for-profit alike. Not so much about success. Maybe it’s not as big a draw as failure but if you’re like me, I want to learn how businesses are succeeding in what has been termed ‘the worst time since the Great Depression'.
So, why are some businesses doing well (notice I’m not saying great) and others are just plain out of business? There is no one answer however I do think success relies on vision, ingenuity and optimism, along with an evolving business plan.
Remember the , “As General Motors goes, so goes the nation”. Phew! Glad that’s no longer the case, or is it? I will give GM the benefit of the doubt that they make a decent car (I’m not a GM owner). However, their recent failure had as much to do with their lack of vision and ingenuity than everything else.
AND, quite frankly, they rested on their Brand! They assumed the GM name and all it has stood for since 1906 would continue by rote. If we build it they will come! Instead of keeping up with trends and the competition, they rested on what the GM Brand used to stand for and not what was needed to evolve into for today’s economic and consumer environment. Even the bigger than life Brands must keep up or be left behind.
A few companies, off the top of my head have been extremely proactive, including Apple, Walmart, Martha Stewart and FaceBook.
Locally, the United Way of Westchester and Putnum County (UWWP) is being extremely proactive, as is the national headquarters. Recognizing that United Way is a very recognizable Brand but must always keep up with the times and changing demographics. What to do? First, they formed a marketing group made up of community members, of which I am a proud member, and asked them dissect what UWWP is doing and then recommend what they should be doing to achieve their new objectives, i.e. reach a younger demographic. While I am not going to divulge any secrets, by having non-associated eyes and minds participating, wonderful, heretofore unheard of, ideas were offered up and will be acted upon.
Is your organization resting on its Brand? What are you doing to keep up to stay ahead? We love to hear success stories!
Deanna Gould, New Business Development Manager, The Byne Group