Monday, December 7, 2009

Growth in 2010...It's Back to the Future

After speaking with a number of companies and I'm starting to notice an interesting trend.  Customers are making their way back to companies and they’re coming after “core” offerings (even those offerings may have been passed over by newer and “sexier” services).

In the boom, companies found themselves venturing into new markets, creating new services , etc. that came with the rising tide, especially in the Financial Services industry. In many industries, these services were build on flawed assumptions on market demand, a companies ability to deliver, etc.,…it happens in every bubble.

What’s interesting now is as the recovery is beginning, companies are starting to see customers return but they’re buying services/products that may not have purchased in years. With budgets smaller and harder to spend, customers are returning for services and products with which they are familiar without the “bells and whistles”…the solid, dependable, low risk “core” products.

For example, a friend of mine, who runs an agency that was built on serving the needs of Fortune 500 Corporate Investor Relations groups, had recently repositioned the firm as a “brand consultancy.” She said that they have recently seen an upturn in their business, and it’s been customers coming back to them looking for the same IR services they offered years ago.

Some companies have already picked up on this trend and have incorporated it into their sales and marketing efforts. Take a look at any Bank website and you’ll see that they’ve jumped in the DeLorean and its 1985 all over again.

So why bring this up now? Well, I’ve also heard folks talking about the path of growth and recovery for them is about “new innovation.” Ah, Ok as long as you’re looking for new innovative ways to sell and market your core products. This is not the time to experiment with “new.”

If you’re looking for growth next year…start by going back to selling what put the “equity” in your brand.