Let yourself be inspired by this story of Kellogg and the Depression – a perfect read for business owners who are faced with uncertainty in these unprecedented times.
The economic and business landscape looks like nothing we have ever seen before, but before you hang the “closed” sign on your business, it is worth looking at one of history’s greatest business case studies – Kellogg and the Depression.
It’s not a new tale, but it is an important one that has a very encouraging message for Australian businesses. We all know how the story ends – Kellogg’s is still one of the most successful companies in the world – but how did the Great Depression factor into its triumph?
According to The New Yorker magazine, the Kellogg vs Post example of business management during the Great Depression has a message that will never date.
“In the late nineteen-twenties, two companies—Kellogg and Post—dominated the market for packaged cereal. It was still a relatively new market: ready-to-eat cereal had been around for decades, but Americans didn’t see it as a real alternative to oatmeal or cream of wheat until the twenties. So, when the Depression hit, no one knew what would happen to consumer demand. Post did the predictable thing: it reined in expenses and cut back on advertising. But Kellogg doubled its ad budget, moved aggressively into radio advertising, and heavily pushed its new cereal, Rice Krispies. (Snap, Crackle, and Pop first appeared in the thirties.) By 1933, even as the economy cratered, Kellogg’s profits had risen almost thirty per cent and it had become what it remains today: the industry’s dominant player.”
– Surowiecki, J. (2009, April 13) Hanging Tough. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/04/20/hanging-tough
There is a vital lesson here for all businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They key to success in the hardest times is not to fearfully tighten your grip on the reins, but to look for any and all opportunities to adapt and grow.
Whatever you are facing in your business right now, the same can be said for your competitors. If the popular reaction in your industry is to pull back on marketing and stop investing in growth, then you have the chance to be seen and heard more clearly amidst an unusual quiet.
If this Kellogg and the Depression story has anything to teach, it is that growth is a result of smart investment, and fearful inaction can be devastating. Fortunately for businesses today, the internet is here to save the day.
Are you looking for some effective and cost-efficient ways to help you become a better business and adapt to succeed during 2020 and beyond? Web Marketing Angels can help.