Loin Cloth Found Inside a Bun

November 11, 2009

The day after my ‘The Emperor’s Naked’ blog I was having breakfast with Paul Domanico from Innovalyst and his first words to me were:  “Blues may come and go – it’s what you’re going to do about it – that’s what I want to know.”  So, I’ve thought about that – I also found myself Googling those words and combinations of those words to see what song he ‘borrowed’ that from. The closest I got was Gregg Allman’s ‘Come and Go Blues’.  Apparently, it’s an original.

Paul wasn’t the only chimer-in-er.  Several people sent back emails or made comments on my post.  From what I can tell, and mind you I am not vouching for its statistical significance, there are many out there who are shivering from exposure.

So, to answer Paul’s question, “What are you going to do about it?”  If we all agree there is a problem and that the current state of affairs is not working – then how do we do it differently?  There’s the personal aspect of the equation – figuring out what we can live without and doing so.  While that may impact the ‘demand’ part, I doubt enough changes can be made to balance the equation.  That ‘supply’ side still needs attention. 

Maybe it’s time to address strategy.  Is your focus too wide or too narrow?  Is there an audience or use for your product or service that you haven’t explored?  Do you need to change your tactics in the short-term? 

I just read a Business Week article ‘The Accidental Hero’ about an obscure Miami Subway franchisee that in response to scarily decreased weekend traffic came up with a $5 Footlong offer.  Stuart Frankel relentlessly pushed his idea to Subway’s corporate leadership, finally got approval, and well, the fact that it became a nationwide, profitable campaign says it all.  It’s not rocket science but the somewhat obvious “more-product-less-price” concept had generated $3.8 billion by the end of August 2009.  You can get crazy and make some fancy pants and shirt to go with your loin cloth for that kinda money.

I would love to hear from you.  Have you been brainstorming your version of the $5 Footlong?  Let me know – but beware it may end up in some MarketingSmack.

Still a little chilly from the nakedness?  Well at least you can fill your tummy with an inexpensive healthy sandwich while you consume MarketingSmack.  Get it at www.marketingsmack.wordpress.com or visit us at www.summitstrategypartners.com.


4 Responses to “Loin Cloth Found Inside a Bun”

  1. Lamadogg Says:

    Dear Jack,

    What makes the current situation unique was the speed in which we all watched it unfold on CNN, MSNBC and other shows. Disbelief doesn’t do it justice. More like shell shock? This disbelief played itself out nightly while providing front row theatre seats to the horror show in our living rooms.

    However, we were treated to the follow-up second feature titled “We’re the Government and We’re Here To Help”. A delightful comedy about elected officials caught off-guard when the world’s most robust economy evaporates overnight after years of artificial hyper-growth, unscrupulous housing excess and unbridled financial market greed. I never laughed so hard!
    Especially the scene where they throw $800B to bail out the bad guys. I peed my pants!

    What frustrates many people is their current situation is a result of issues that were beyond their control. The Wall Street melt-down, while a tangled and complex web of financial, housing and regulatory DNA, forced many into a hole where their feet many have only just hit the bottom.

    While risk accompanies all business, it was “our” risk driven by the promise of reward. A new job? New business expansion? Open another office? Hire more staff? These were decisions that involved some sense of control and self-determination. But many are in a position due to actions beyond their control. This only amplifies feelings of dispair and futility.

    So what are you going to do about it? Many people are doing “anything” and “everything” they can. I agree with review your strategy. Too narrow? Maybe too wide? How about one that’s simply breathing on its own? I’m sure some have suceeded with a product change, new market entries or unexpected customer appeal. These are likely the exceptions. Our facination with the Titanic sinking is the speed in which is sank and the number of passengers lost – not the ones saved.

    And while I applaud the Miami Subway $5 Footlong price promotion, how many promotions didn’t work. I’ll bet plenty were tried out of desperation as numerous franchises went under due to declining sales and frozen credit. (Maybe Lehman Bros. shoulda tried $ CDO’s… Get ’em while their hot!).

    Don’t get me wrong. I pride myself on being a “glass half-full kinda guy”. But in the end, you can’t simply will and wish away ~10% unemployment. The reality is that this will take a lot of time to economically correct itself. Time that is running out for millions of people right now.

    Fortunately, tomorrow is another day.

    • Amen, Matt – Great lunch the other day. I am excited about meeting you and Jake in the next few weeks. Who knows what may come of it? In the meantime, we’ll just keep finding new ways to shield ourselves from the cold wind.

  2. Great post. I do believe the bright side to this downturn is it makes us all (or most of us) think more creatively and look for new ways to accomplish messages and tasks. There will be well thought out strategies that work and ones that fail. Along with the Hail Mary passes that are completed and ones that are dropped…as Lamadogg stated tomorrow is another day.

    • Chris,
      I appreciate your thoughts and I want you to know I enjoy your posts on Tweeter. I think there is some philosophical alignment between us. Maybe worth getting to know one another a bit better? Are you open to a meet and greet – even a virtual one?

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