So...what do you think of the economy
so far, eh? Between slumping averages and dumping indexes, it's not too
pretty out there, is it?
Businesses all over the place are crashing
and burning, their flames fanned by annoying media pundits who never held
a real job, but manage to make a living predicting that which they know
little, if anything, about. No matter. The fact is, empty-headed or not,
the two most influential economic forces in our society -- media and politicians
-- have managed to spook the entire economy into one swell panic.
Hey, everyone knew the party was going
to end sometime. And this is the moment where you should take a look back
at the previous few years and ask yourself: "What did I really do
to prepare for this inevitability?" You knew the good times weren't
going to last, right? So how did you prepare for the proverbial seven
If you had been reading, listening and
paying attention, you would have heard at least one thing I've been preaching
since I began my career in branding: when times get tough, only the strongly
branded survive. They survive because they have taken the time to cultivate
users' loyalties. Their end users have willingly made business -- and
non-rational -- investments in those brands. And the result is that --
as predicted -- the well-branded businesses are taking the least amount
What did you do to build your brand over
the last year or two -- if anything at all? Where are your branded communities?
Your programs that reinforce your brand? Your services that make heroes
out of your end users? Your rewards for their evangelism?
You had a fe good years to build your
brand -- what did you build?
Don't get me wrong, my business is off,
too. But in a weird kind of way: On the one hand, the sales cycle is a
tad longer than normal. On the other, I have more leads coming in than
ever before. Why? Because now, with 20/20 hindsight, people are suddenly
understanding the value of a brand. They want to know how and what and
where to learn, build and implement their brands.
(Look, I normally don't blatantly plug
stuff, but I do want you to know that I'm working with the Zeff Group
on a gig called the AllStar Seminar. On April 19, in Washington DC, I'll
be joining a few other tacticians in a rapid deployment workshop focusing
on Revenue Generation. My particular day-long workshop will concentrate
on what you can do -- today -- to build your brand and grow your market
share. For more details, go to http://www.zeff.com/allstar/branding2.html
Okay, so there you have it. If you built
a strong brand, you'll survive. If you didn't, you'd best get on it --
like now. After all, the best news about any economy is that it's cyclical.
And whatever goes down, eventually comes back up. Make sure you're there
to claim your share.
Everyone has 20/20 hindsight. This time,
let's see how good your foresight is.