Marketing In Times Of Uncertainty: Companies Who Turn Crisis Into Success
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When we live in uncertain times, it’s easy to allow the crisis of the moment to overshadow our vision for the future. For example, how can businesses form viable marketing strategies when the circumstances seem to be continually unstable and evolving?
The key is perspective. Let us explain.
In our society, with every significant change comes new opportunities—but many people don’t seize them because they’re too focused or afraid and can only see the things that don’t work anymore and are waiting for something to “get back to normal.” Often, those who take the 10,000-foot view see options that others miss—and they are the ones who typically thrive where others flounder. Let’s look at some examples of businesses and industries that found an opportunity amid crisis.
THE “NEW MUSIC INDUSTRY”
A few years ago, Internet streaming threatened to bankrupt the music industry due to lagging record sales. At that time, a few entrepreneurial-minded musicians envisioned a whole new income opportunity with a platform called YouTube. These artists began creating content and became pioneers of social media marketing. Many of them (some still relatively unknown) now have 6-figure incomes entirely from streaming content. A few, most recently, Grammy-winning artist Billie Eilish, have become wildly famous with over 30 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and without the backing of a major distribution label.
FUJIFILM VERSUS KODAK
Here’s a perfect example of contrasting ways of thinking during a crisis for affected FujiFilm and Kodak. Kodak once dominated the film camera industry. Its primary competitor, FujiFilm, struggled to keep the same name recognition but managed to hold its own. When the digital photography revolution made camera film all but obsolete, Kodak struggled to weather the storm. At the same time, forward-thinking FujiFilm diversified early, expanding its reach into optical technologies, medical imaging and related fields, and marketing itself. Today, FujiFilm remains a thriving business with a healthy portfolio. Kodak retreated into bankruptcy.
Once one of the world’s most successful restaurant chains, McDonald’s encountered a crisis around the millennium when a growing American obesity problem and a new emphasis on healthy eating threatened its profits. In particular, a 2001 book called Fast Food Nation set McDonald’s public image back. The fast-food chain began reinventing its image in two ways: 1) They added more healthy options to their menu; and 2) They focused on the “best meal of the day”—breakfast. They began re-marketing their highly popular breakfast sandwiches as an “all-day breakfast” menu, and they added a designer coffee drink section to their menu. Innovation and quick pivots keep McDonald’s relevant and popular.
The takeaway from these examples: The key to successful marketing during uncertainty is not to resist, but to adapt. We can’t stop change from happening, but we can read the signs and leverage change with innovation turning it into new opportunities for sales and growth.
At Wicked Bionic, we are focused on the ever-changing business world and leveraging our marketing and advertising skills to provide new messaging for businesses adding product lines and initiatives. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you adapt your marketing strategies to changing landscapes.