The U.S. recovery from the Great Recession is still one of the worst recoveries in history. Consumers are being very careful about how they spend their money and which brands they let into their lives yet some brands continue to act like we are free of the restraints of the last recession.Five years after the recovery began, unemployment remains high. And the Americans who are lucky enough to be working are getting paid less as a percent of the economy than they ever have in history.
One company’s employees are other company’s customers.
Americans save almost nothing, so every dollar your employees earn in wages gets spent on other companies’ products and services (including, in some cases, yours). The less American companies pay their workers, the less American consumers have to spend. And the less American consumers have to spend, the worse the economy is.
The reality behind the employment rate is that more American’s are taking home less money and that too many have given up looking for work. Those who have good jobs are cautious about which brands deserve their hard earned dollars. What can brands do?
1ne: Tell the story – Marketing, in part, is telling a story but brands need to better understand which stories resonate with consumers. Beware though because consumers have ways to ensure the story you tell is the truth.
2wo: Make me feel good – Can your product make consumers feel good about themselves? Starbucks continues to do well because consumers feel like they earned a daily latte. Apple does well because consumers are glad to be Apple customers.
3hree: Focus business processes around customers. If you’re in back to back meetings you’re not adding value to your customers, you’re adding value to your managers who are afraid to empower employees.
4our:What are you really selling? Do you know? When was the last time you went to a retail store ad looked at your products vs. competition?
5ive: Focus on superconsumers not in gaining new customers. Superconsumers represent 10% of a category’s customers but account for 30% to 70% of sales and an even higher share of profits .