Thursday, March 05, 2009

How to survive a Depression: Advertise heavily [if you can]

To begin, not all was doom and gloom during the Great Depression. It was a time when those who knew what they were doing made great economic strides, and the very nature of the Depression was an economic boon for them. It was a time when several companies benefited from aggressive marketing while their rivals cut back. A good example of that would be Kellogg besting C.W. Post during that time. Consumers didn't stop spending during the Depression; most just looked for better deals, and the companies providing those better deals came out stronger after the Depression ended. When spending picked up, consumer loyalty to those companies remained.

The companies that demonstrated the most growth and that rang up the most sales were those that advertised heavily...

NVDL: Well, it stands to reason that if you have the cash to advertise, you have the cash to remain afloat. Not many companies can even manage the latter these days, individuals too.
Companies can and do prosper during times of economic turmoil. Take a lesson from brands whose Depression-era advertising strategies were key to their survival.

With the recent meltdown on Wall Street and talk of a possible depression, I thought it would be instructive to do a bit of research on what happened with regard to advertising during the Great Depression. I have heard anecdotes over the years of great companies founded during recessions. What do GE, Disney, HP and Microsoft have in common? They were all startups during steep declines in the U.S. economy. GE started during the panic of 1873, Disney started during the recession of 1923-24, HP began during the Great Depression, and Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft during the recession of 1975.

To my surprise, this archaeologist covered the impact on advertising and the accompanying rise and fall of businesses during the Great Depression. As he noted, smart companies prospered during and coming out of the Depression.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found a fantastic 17-step guide for surviving the depression...made for individuals, investors and small business...

I've saved thousands so far, just by following a couple steps in the guide: