Does it Matter?

May 17, 2009

[As posted on Sigma Blog]

It matters not what road we take but rather what we become on the journey.Rarely does a day go by without my reading or hearing a going-out-of-business article/message.  Each time I hear the company/brand name, I ask myself, does it matter to me (as a consumer) that they will no longer exist?  Sure, there are some that make little or no impact on my life, but there are far more brands/companies that I say, “it matters.”  Why?  Because I have a personal relationship and connection to them.  Those relationships range from personal preferences to convenience to reminiscence of what some of them meant to me at some point in my life.  Well, I found out last week that I’m not alone in my thinking.  MatterMeter,  a new site for consumers, lets the world say which brands matter and which ones don’t.

The grim destiny of brands/companies we know so well is unavoidable, as their downfall has stemmed from a variety of areas (lack of innovation and reluctance to change applying to many of them).  But while many will fail, many more will survive and come out even stronger.  It all depends on what we do along the way — including some key strategies for surviving and thriving in today’s business.  Starting this week, we will highlight each one.

Part 1:  Adapt to the Changes.
Know your current and emerging customers — their needs may have changed because of the downturn. Your service offerings, messaging and brand experience may also need to change in order to properly connect with them.

A fine example of adapting to change is Home Depot‘s current focus on catering more to the everyday homebody/do-it-yourselfer to offset the decrease in the stream of builders and contractors. Here’s a selected list of marketing/sales efforts they are implementing to energize their business, as covered by Mercury News.

  1. Power Hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, when sales associates are placed at the end of each aisle to assist customers who shop during their lunch hour.
  2. Ladies Night Out classes geared to women with a common interest. At the store located at The Plant in San Jose, for example, female customers buying expensive tile wanted lessons on installing it themselves.
  3. Free Weekend Clinics for Kids on how to build age-appropriate toolboxes, planters, derby cars and other projects, materials included.
  4. Do-It-Yourself Workshops where homeowners are taught how to repair screens, paint, install plumbing and other tasks usually done by pros.
  5. A Garden Club customers can join for access to master gardeners, project ideas, coupons and a buying guide for anything related to gardening.

So, what are you doing to adapt to the changes?  Share them with us.

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