January 5, 2009

“It’s not the strongest or the smartest of the species that survives, but the one who can best ADAPT to change!” – Charles Darwin

There can be little doubt that we’re experiencing a rocky road economically. From banking to automotive to housing, we see signs that it’s going to be a while before we’re back on our feet in a way that makes everyone feel (and behave) like it’s business-as-usual.

So what are you doing to adapt in today’s marketplace? Instead of reminiscing about heydays gone by, or gazing lovingly into a crystal ball, here are five tips to follow today to help position you for tomorrow.

1. Understand Your Company or Brand’s Primary Point of Distinction

This can be the result of either a functional or philosophical strength, but if combined, can lead to meaningful differentiation. Distinction is also created through the visual and verbal cues used to communicate your distinction.

2. Communicate With Consistency and Clarity

Once you understand what makes you different and better than your competition, speak with one voice across every audience touch-point. It will make your dollars work harder and gives your customers a clear understanding of what your brand is about.

3. Take Advantage of the Consumer Mindset

Develop a short-term messaging strategy that meets the needs of today’s buyers, but not at the expense of your long-term brand position. Don’t sell your brand’s soul to sell a few more widgets. It will potentially denigrate the brand and diminish equity.

4. Spend Every Dollar Wisely

As a rule, people may be spending less, but that doesn’t automatically mean your competitors are. Make your presence appear larger than it is with focus, visual distinction and strategic messaging placement.

5. Use This Year as a Time to Strengthen Your Brand

Prepare your brand to thrive when the economy turns around by developing a solid, well-defined, compelling and strategic brand platform. That will give you a competitive advantage and position your brand to come out of the gate running when things turnaround.