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    through the
“The winners will be the companies who knew how to  
  identify opportunities in the downturn.”
   Jim Davis, chief marketing officer, SAS 
“It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot
  of times, people don't know what they want until you show
  it to them.”
   Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Apple
“We don’t ask consumers what they want. They don’t know.
  Instead we apply our brain power to what they need, and
  will want, then make sure we’re there, ready.”
   Akio Morita, Co-Founder, Sony Corporation
“Great work comes from insight, and we have always
  worked from insight. …. Insights are going to come in so
  many different ways. We’d like to pride ourselves on the
  ability to capitalize on them.”
   Laura Lang, CEO, Digitas USA 
“The Future belongs to those who prepare for it today”
   David Smith, CEO, Global Futures and Foresight
So what do we do …
Stabilize the ship
Doing all the right things to stabilize the organization in the downturn is a necessary and urgent action. But as Bob Heller, author of over 60 management books, once told me, “what’s the point of surviving if you don’t know what you’re surviving for”.
Get lean mean and fighting fit
Consultants are telling us to get lean-and-mean, shed ‘fat’ that may have developed through the boom years and start getting into fighting shape to take your market on.
Develop insights and take a lead
Brand, marketing and advertising folks will tell you that asking your customers what they want can often lead you up a blind alley, they just don’t know what they want when everything around them is changing. You need to develop insights into their future, come up with your own solutions for them and show them what they need.
Get clear
After thirty years in business, most often in strategic marketing functions, I’ve learnt that if we take charge of our direction and develop a clear view – ‘strategy’ – of where the company’s headed we will most likely get there. If on the other hand we are content to be led by the sentiment in the market and follow others, that’s exactly what will happen.
Downturns are good for us
Many well known and successful organizations were born from previous downturns. History shows us that downturns really can be good for us.
Disney and Hyatt hotels were born of previous recessions as were Burger King and Fed Ex who grew out of the 70’s downturn. Downturns create the change, the energy and the imperative for action that, if grasped, can be ‘good for us’. No one would wish the pain and difficulty of the downturn on anyone but with the right attitude and approach our companies can come out fighting with greater insights into what customers want, better products and services and a refined, focused and fighting-fit organization to make it happen.
Our ‘Winning Ways workshop’ is designed to help you identify the drivers impacting your markets and customers, help you identify your opportunities for success and help you on the path to renewal and greater success.
If you’re interested in hearing more about this then e-mail or call on +44 (0) 1372 210941.  


Article printed from at 12:58 on 27 February 2020