Recession Marketing, 5 Golden Rules

20070118_napoleonDe world is shaking and shivering… We are experiencing the biggest crisis ever. We do not know what impact the recession will have… Companies go bankrupt, people lose their jobs and as a result of this… No one moves… Everyone stops spending. What to do? The ultimate challenge for 2009 is to maintain your revenue and at the same time increase your market share as a result of that. A marketing revival? See here how you should perform Recession Marketing… 

No 1: Reconnect With Your Clients

Your clients have changed since the last 3 months. The order of their values have changed considerably. Security, safety, cocooning, discipline, order, confidentiality and family life are top of their agenda. You think you know your clients but actually you do NOT. Take a close look at your client segment. Analyze your client behavior, not only from your desk but visit them and have a chat. In the crisis not all segments are affected in the same way. Families with children are hit, the families without kids will probably have more dinners at home. Youngsters will hardly change their behavior and the grey and old do not consume that much.  

No 2: Innovate Smart During Recession 

Innovation is a must. The crisis doesn’t change that. We identify radical, smart and strategic innovations. Radical innovations, creating complete new markets, are still possible. In fact, they are so close because of technological developments and despite the crisis will just continue. Smart innovations  are about maintaining the revenue and market share in the current market. The idea is to create small connected innovations to improve the product and to inspire and surprise your clients (crisis packaging, Nokia silence booth) . Strategic innovations are in fact innovations on your business model. Innovations on business models are necessary to survive in the industry. Take for example a swatch with a ski-pass inside. Innovation needs to speed up! Do not waste your time on research but try (trial & error). 

No 3: Don’t Go Silent

Mostly companies are inclined not to invest and to reduce costs. That is easy. All your competitors will do so. Easy to stand out by doing the opposite. But invest on smart ideas. “When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you MUST advertise.”

N0 4: Encourage Creativity

Don’t do what normal managers would do. Look at your creatives. Don’t focus on cost reduction but on creativity. Do let fear run your mood… Welcome uncertainty. Njoy the process and not only the output. Focus instead of meeting and all kind of overhead tasks.

No 5: Sharing and Cooperation Will Increase Opportunities

You are not alone! One of the patterns in business modeling is creating partnerships and make it work. It is about your strategic partners, suppliers, people, distribution and customer relationships. Study your value chain and brainstorm on new products that you can deliver with your partners. Look at the bigger picture. Who can help you? Make friends! Unexpected friends…

But what do all these rules need? Leadership. And leadership starts with believe and trust in yourself. If you don’t think you can manage? You won’t! Leadership is needed as well as passion, energy and pugnacity. Motivation will make the difference. Leadership is about paying attention and serving as an example. Be visible. “A leader is a dealer in hope” (Napoleon Bonaparte). 

These Golden Rules are inspired from the book “Recessie Marketing” by Roland and Rogier van Kralingen.


Workshop by Alex Osterwalder on 11-03-09 in Holland

portrait-alex-0011I am very happy to inform you that Alex Osterwalder found time to visit The Netherlands in March for a training on business modeling. As you know Alex is writing the book on the businessmodelhub and still has 14 book chunks to go until the end of May as the book will be launched in June. The training will be about the business model methodology, a look around in the world what’s happening on business models (Nespresso, Skype, Easyjet and many others) and Alex will train you how to describe, assess and innovate your own business model. 

We offer you this workshop with a different business model. A crisis model. We can offer you the workshop for only € 450 for a full day including drinks and lunch. Thanks to Ronald van den Hoff (owner Seats2meet) who supports our thinking and location ;-).

If you want to subscribe or know more, please go here.

Are there crisis sustainable business (models)? part I

global_financial_crisisIn 2008 we learn that the top 10 of Fortune 500 companies Energy represents 60% of the ranking, the Car industry 20%, Banking 10% (ING) and Retail 10% (Wal-mart on number 1). How would the ranking nowadays look like in February 2009? Who is going to replace the position of the Car and Banking industry?  

Take a look at the industries now during financial crisis. Are there any crisis sustainable models to find? In the Energy industry we see Exxon and Chevron boosted there revenues. Maybe as a result of the oil barrel price going down from 147 to 35 in 4 months time. In the Industrials Cargill reports profits whereas BASF and Sabic cut costs sharply. Aviation is hit strongly for Boeing and Airbus after cancellation of orders. No need to talk about the Car industry. All carmakers – if still exist – cut costs. Fiat mentioned 2008 as their toughest year ever.

In Transport Iberia sees her profits go down by 90% while Easyjet sees more and more passengers. Easyjet is taking measures as the board has an internal conflict about their strategy. Sir Stelios wants to limit the expansion of the airline’s fleet to a minimum in the face of the deepening recession.

P&G  (Retail & Consumer) sees their first loss since 2001. P&G is exploring the web as a new strategy. Starbucks is cutting costs and closing stores. Is this a result of the crisis or also coffee sold through new competitor McDonalds? WSJ online reports it is not easy for McDonalds to sell coffee as consumers prefer to make coffee at home now and franchisees are not willing to invest USD 100k on infrastructure. Still McDonalds is a winner. Like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s has been one of those companies that has proven itself resilient despite our ongoing and serious recession. And of course, it’s obvious both companies appeal to consumers because they provide wares for those on tight budgets. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, saw its shares jump more than 10 per cent as it announced quarterly sales that outperformed both its bricks-and-mortar competitors and the US e-commerce sector as a whole.

In Transport Airlines see a drop of 22% in cargo. Fedex is reporting a downturn in revenue as well as Singapore harbour. The business model of the successful Somalia Pirates is also questioned now as more and more vessels find protection from different countries. 😉

This short journey along the industries show that there are sustainable models. Tendency towards the lower priced products. However, in the same industries we see out performers (!) with better business models eg. Exxon (!) vs. Shell, McDonalds (!) vs Burger King, Amazon (!) vs. Ebay, Easyjet (!) vs. KLM. 

To be continued traveling through other industries next week… as Motorola, Cisco and Walt Disney will come with their figures…