With everyone talking about economy, recession, job cuts & what have you; the scenario sounds depressing, whereas it actually is not.
Talking about this with friends from various industries, though primarily from the Jewelery business, advising them, I decided to pen down the basics, because even in such times a winning strategy can be executed, keeping the fundamentals of business in mind always.
Some basic mantras that can help tide you over:
1.PRODUCT – stick to the basics
i.Focus on profit, not volumes – The time is to rein in the volume push, concentrating on profits. It would be better to maintain profitability on existing volumes, rather than grow volumes.
ii.Innovate within existing Formats – Take cognisance of the different formats of sales/distribution. Aligning; offering more products, offers at a S-I-S (shop in shop) may be much better than trying to push a high street/stand alone store during these times.
iii.Maintain standards – Continue maintain laid standards, do not start switching off AC’s, lights (instead tone them down; use reflective visual merchandising to help). Do not compromise on service levels, staffing drastically.
iv.Let product innovation take a back seat – Continue investing in innovation, but do not invest time, effort, money into completely new products that may only be on the shelves after a couple of months or next season.
2.Promotion – Focus & Creativity
i.Do not blindly take decisions on cutting down advertising & promotion. Take a step back, analyze & implement.
ii.Yes all experiments may be held in abeyance OR better still targeted at niche, catchment areas before being rolled out.
iii.Above all do not get into deep discounting, just because everyone is doing so. It is the worst decision to get into herd mentality.
3.Price – Be determined.
i.Sure, create a lead in price but always keep competition in mind. Studies, Analyze but never blindly follow them.
ii.A good idea would be create closer price ladders in similar products, designs.
iii.And create, increase opportunities for standard pricing across designs, sub brands, collections.
i.Communication is the key here. During tough times, customers look for a tangible benefit & hence imperative to give them a good – great value proposition.
ii.Also deliver a much higher perceived value by add on and other related adjacencies.
5.People – recognize, own, connect, cherish, celebrate, reward – This goes for consumers as well as own people.
i.Take the lead in identifying changes of consumer behavior.
ii.Keep a constant & consistent dialogue about brand, product, and industry.
iv.Continue investing in the team; creating a sense of joint ownership.
v.Celebrate people’s (own & consumer) achievements.
vi.Infuse pride in people.
I am sure, there would be more points & would welcome inputs, thoughts.