Susanna Forrest | January, 2023
Economic cycles play out on repeat from contraction to trough, expansion and peak, but the circumstances and opportunities change every time. As we slide towards a crunch, remember that 10% of publicly owned companies never lost earnings during the Great Recession and powered into the aftermath. That 2007-9 downturn was driven by a credit crunch that didn’t stop blockbusters like Amazon, Instagram, and Airbnb reaching the stratosphere. The 1990s dot-com bubble was always going to burst, but it also saw the launch of giants like iRobot, Google, and eBay. It’s possible to not just weather an economic storm but thrive—if your brand has a strong strategy. Evviva Brands should know—we were founded in the teeth of that Great Recession and have been helping brands through every part of the cycle since then.
How to Thrive
Some guidelines for a contraction and trough remain the same and are interrelated: avoid debt; cut operational costs—but not too much; look ahead. We also know from experience that innovation feeds on economic downturns. If falling sales slow production, funding and people power are freed up for innovation in new areas at a time when deep cuts could repel investors. Trim too much fat and you may never recover. However, it looks like this coming downturn is colliding with a disruption that complicates these classic strategies.
Microsoft’s Chat GPT has landed like a 2001 Monolith and, as the dust settles, we’re looking at a radical new future. In the short term, the arrival of Chat GPT means that competitors like Google, Pandora, and Oracle will need to dig into their own pockets for investment even as they are cutting spending and personnel. In the long term, an aggressive new explosion of AI tools means revolutions in multiple industries from software coding to employee training, education, HR and healthcare. It means new jobs too, like AI trainers and supervisors, but that’s a talent gap to be bridged with upskilling and training.
What to Do
The answer according to Evviva Brands is, as always, the long game. We won’t be advising you to junk everything in favor of the new—at least, not without a strategy developed by our hard-won expertise. We’ve encountered plenty of cycles of disruption in 14 years in business. While we have a healthy respect for technology, we will always create our own evidence base, and we’ll always rely heavily on real consumer and employee insights—the kind you can only get through qualitative research and real people talking to real people. Once we have that, we will always rely on our best-in-the-industry copywriters and designers to deliver outstanding creative results and client engagement.
We have an impressive roster of clients and successes in over 30 countries to make our case, and you can find a fairly complete list of them when you scroll down at evvivabrands.com/approach. So, hold your nerve as the dark clouds gather and call us. Your brand has a job to do. Let’s get started.