"Change" is '09 Marketing Buzzword, Too

"Change" is in the air. It was the one word uttered by Barack Obama that propelled him to the White House. Change is being forced upon us in the business world as well. First it was escalating prices, then deteriorating credit access and finally, a sharp pull back on consumer spending. With no immediate end in sight, 2009 will require change in marketing and strategies.

An excellent article on the need for change in marketing was written by Jonah Bloom for Advertising Age. Among the most critical points Bloom makes is that short-term obsession on sales and profit growth should refocus and become a long-term view of brand building. In particular, brand building efforts that entail environmental and social responsibility components can elevate the relevance a brand holds for consumers. Bloom points to Jet Blue and Starbucks as two brands that may have gotten too consumed with growth and lost some of its relevance with customers in the process.

There are concerns that weak economic conditions may force companies to abandon social responsibility initiatives given that they often create expenses that lead to higher prices for their products. In Bloom's view, companies must not back down from becoming better stewards of the places where they do business. In a list of 8 resolutions for 2009, Bloom quotes Nike chairman Phil Knight on the role brands will play going forward: "The performance of Nike and every other global company in the 21st century will be measured as much by their impact on quality of life as it is by revenue growth and profit margins."

Link: Ad Age - "Recession Provides a Chance to Build a Better Capitalism"

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