Old is the New New (huh?)

Thursday, 26 March 2009 12:46 by kpotvin

In my BODYPUMP™ class (weight training to music), our instructor informed us she would be using "old music" so I was ready for rockin' 70s or 80s tunes.  Until she added, "These songs were popular about six months ago."  Wow.  That's a new definition for old.  That made me think of what that means in terms of new products.  A marketing piece in The New York Times earlier this week by Stuart Elliott was headlined, "A Strategy When Times Are Tough:  It's New!"  Contrary to what you might think, a recession can be a good time to announce a new product.  "One reason to stay the course on new products is that they can offer marketers new reasons to reach out to consumers when the impulse may be to pull back," writes Mr. Elliott.  Not to mention new products can bring in important revenue.  This strategy is echoed in Harvard Business Review's article, "How to Market in a Downturn" by John A. Quelch and Katherine E. Jocz.  They advise marketers to "contain costs" but say, "Companies that put customer needs under the microscope, take a scalpel rather than a cleaver to the marketing budget, and nimbly adjust strategies, tactics, and product offerings in response to shifting demand are more likely than others to flourish both during and after a recession."  So when "old is the new new" (or is it "new is the new old?"), now is the time to keep the new product pipeline full and marketing efforts engaged so your brand stays top-of-mind with consumers now and when the economy rebounds. 

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