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Recessionary State of Mind

Forrest Gump

“Recession is as recession does,”

This was the reported response (according to About.com:Retail Industry) from the fictitious Forrest Gump Worldwide Management Consortium to an October 2008 AlixPartners survey of consumers on the prospects of a recession:

  • 86% believed the U.S. was in a recession or depression.
  • 64% said they would spend less in retail stores to prepare for the hard economic times
  • 46% predicted hard times would last three years.

The point of the article is that consumer response to recessionary news determines the level of recession at retail. More important, the response by retailers determines how well they do. The article cites cases during previous recessions where companies and brands such as Chrysler, Ivory Soap, Kellogg’s, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell successfully introduced new strategies that brought them greater market share both during and post recession. Time and again history has shown that retailers that respond with aggressive marketing of innovative strategies come through and out of troubled times better than those who do not.

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Use and Enjoy, or Own and Enjoy?

judy-stapler-100x100-low-res

Guest Blogger

Judy Stapler, Qualitative Insights

“Times have changed. Today people are more interested in what they will use and enjoy than they are in what they will own and enjoy.” Judy Stapler 11/08

You don’t need me to tell you how stressful it has become to live in this great country. While we serve a broad range of consumers, disposable income is becoming a thing of the past and every purchase can now be a major decision for some of them. Gas up the car? Buy food? Keep the home at a comfortable 70°– 72° or a more efficient 65°? Buy the art object or new car we’ve admired for months (now at a greatly reduced price) or decide to spend for something you can actually use. The net effect of this is that consumers at all income levels make decisions more purposefully. It is my opinion that come spring, we will see more people choose to buy those items they perceive that they actually need and can use and enjoy immediately rather than those they simply look at and enjoy owning over time.

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