Volume 12, Issue 6 - November/December 2008

IWFA Update

Tom Niziolek

Gloom is in the Eye of the Beholder

I recently read a quote by Martin Puris, the advertising visionary who coined BMW’s timeless slogan, “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Puris said, “I love bad times. In good times, people are less apt to try new things. In bad times, they have to start to do better.” Puris must love the current times.

With oil prices again on the rise, the US government on the verge of passing an unprecedented $700 billion Wall Street bailout, and gloomy forecasts for holiday sales, Puris has a lot to love. Yet, as contrarian as his perspective may sound initially, he’s also on to something; something brilliant, in fact.

Companies can either surrender to an icy economic climate, or they can find warmth in discipline and innovation. Successful companies, of course, work harder and think smarter—especially in times like these.

So what can you do to succeed despite—or even because of— these challenges? You can begin by recognizing that many of the films you provide can play a vital role in helping home- and business- owners weather storms,  both literally and figuratively. When a sales dip dampens a company’stop line, that business must turn to cost-savings measures to offset losses. Reducing HVAC expenses with solar control films is an ironclad way for an organization to reduce costs. Never before has this message been more vital, nor has an audience been more motivated to consider your solutions.

When it comes to the homeowner, a new twist on this cost-savings message has emerged. News reports suggest money-conscious consumers are planning to spend more time entertaining at home, and less time in restaurants and theaters. This trend is ideal for companies that supply residential films. After all, solar control materials will not only save the homeowner money over time, but it will also make the house more comfortable for their families and ultimately increase its resale value.

Economic sluggishness can serve to remind companies of the need for measurement. Marketing investments should be scrutinized more carefully than in the past. Each program should generate either a clear return on investment (such as immediate sales) or enhance your brand for the future. Any activities that meet neither requirement should be tabled or should be rolled out as a limited trial.

But, most of all, these are not times to be sheepish. These are not times to slash your marketing budget. These are not times to “go dark.” Your competitors’ silence just may be your greatest asset. Remember that the value of what you sell may never be greater than it is right now. You know it; the IWFA knows it; now go let your customers know it too!

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