The organisations who embraced a creative and innovative sales approach through the 2008 financial crisis were more resilient, competitive, and are still thriving today.
Creativity and Innovation.
In recent years, there has been increased interest in creativity and the role that it plays in sales competitiveness. This is because creativity, the ability to create new ideas or think ‘outside the box’, has been identified as one of the most compelling ways for modern companies to survive unpredictable economic situations.
Because today’s business environment is highly competitive and leaders are looking for the next latest and greatest innovation, creative solutions are necessary in order to keep their customers engaged and excited. This is why sales leaders must be willing to adapt and change for the market, providing approaches with innovation and an ambitious edge. One IBM survey of more than 1,500 CEOs concluded that creativity is the most crucial factor for success (2010). This is due to the fact that leaders are required to remain adaptable and strategic, making rapid and responsible decisions, in order to face an uncertain future. During times of financial instability, many companies rely on creativity to keep consumer attention, stay relevant, and continue growing.
Make Creativity Part of Your Culture.
For organisations to embrace and embody a spirit of creativity, it must be included in their values from the very first day – they make creativity part of their culture. When leaders are supportive and foster innovation within their companies, employees grow in their creativity and offer newer, more diverse solutions. This is how Nexflix, an iconic company, ensured its survivability through the 2008 financial crisis.
Where other businesses were buckling down during the 2008 recession, prioritizing their funds via cost-cutting measures, Netflix was creatively positioning themselves to a place of significant importance. As the recession hit, the media services company stopped all of their DVD sales, and immediately began offering an affordable entertainment option, an alternative to cable or satellite TV. At the height of the recession, they collaborated, creating four new partnerships in 2008 alone. In response, their stock jumped more than 50% in that year, truly highlighting the importance of continuously carrying a culture of innovation. When creativity is at the forefront of all business decisions, it leads to many more new opportunities.
Focus Innovation in the Right Areas.
It’s also important for businesses focusing on creativity to remember the unpredictable, and even unstable conditions of the consumer market. It can be difficult for sales leaders to identify the proper areas to focus their innovation, which is why it’s important to continuously appeal to the consumer through their desires and needs for safety, health, comfort, and happiness. In order to move the business forward, leaders must properly study the market and add value to the lives of their audience. Focusing on consumer demand, and responding accordingly, is how Groupon, a startup that launched in the middle of the 2008 recession, survived and thrived.
In a time when people were desperately looking for ways to save money, but still live their lives, Groupon saw a need and found a way to meet it. The e-commerce organization began offering huge reductions on non-essential services which allowed people to have fun, get together and bond with the ones they loved, and temporarily forget about the dire circumstances, all at a discounted price. They did the appropriate research, responded accordingly, and skyrocketed their way to success.
Another way for businesses to ensure survivability, and even growth, during a financial downturn, is to generate the ability to see opportunities everywhere. If one location is suffering a financial crisis, companies should consider looking elsewhere for growth and sustainability. And, in 2008, that’s exactly what Lego did. Within the US, families considered toys and games non-essential during the Great Recession of 2008, Asian and European sales were still growing. Lego viewed this as an opening to explore the global market, expanding its sales locations dramatically. In response, the company’s stock jumped more than 60%, allowing them to reach their all-time profitability high.
In the business world, creativity and innovation offer a competitive edge that can’t be seen anywhere else. The creative approach opens the door to new ideas, new solutions, and new opportunities for success. For this reason, companies should prioritize the creative approach, focusing their efforts on innovation, and rewarding employees who spearhead that growth.
Companies like Netflix, Groupon and Lego don’t stand out for no reason. It is their creativity and dedication to growth that allows them to stand out from competitors and survive situations and circumstances that other entities cannot. By including creativity into the very culture of a company, and focusing it in the right areas of development, new, younger businesses can follow in the footsteps of these business giants, ensuring growth and success no matter the circumstances.