Chaos (kā,äs) is the uncertainty sparked by
uncharted territory, economic recession,
and bubbles of opportunity.
Chaos often causes organizations to retreat . . .
but not always.
Disney, CNN, MTV, Hyatt, Burger King, FedEx, Microsoft, Apple, Gillette, AT&T, Texas Instruments, 20th Century Fox, IBM, Merck, Hershey’s, IHOP, Eli Lilly, Coors, Bristol-Myers, Sun, Amgen, The Jim Henson Company, LexisNexis, Autodesk, Adobe, Symantec, Electronic Arts, Fortune, GE, and Hewlett-Packard.
These iconic companies were all founded
during periods of economic recession.
Crisis creates opportunity.
Prior to the Great Depression, the only cereal brand that mattered was Post. After your great-grandfather silenced the piercing bells of his wind-up alarm clock, he savored the delicious taste of Post Grape- Nuts. Launched in 1897, the cereal dominated the marketplace leading up to the 1930s.
As the Great Depression tightened its angry claws on America, Post found itself hungry for cash. The prominent cereal maker assumed they “owned” the market. How could anyone stop lusting for Grape-Nuts? Accordingly, advertising budgets were cut to weather the storm.
As the managers of Post reclined in their rawhide chairs, bracing for a slow economy, a hungry tiger lurked in the shadows. That tiger was the Kellogg Company. Their mascot, Tony the Tiger, had not yet appeared, but his insatiable spirit was already born.
While Post retreated, Kellogg doubled its ad spend.3 In 1933 their campaigns introduced slogans like “Snap! Crackle! Pop!” and “ You’ll feel better”: motivational mantras during a gloomy era. The investment paid off. Americans loved the message and sales began to grow. Kellogg’s became the go-to pick for breakfast cereal and your great-grandfather abandoned his beloved Post Grape-Nuts.
The upbeat impact of the crisis is that
competitors become mediocre, and
the ambitious find ways to grow.
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