In a weak economy.., consumers tend to only buy what they need. If consumers feel that they can do without your product/service — whether that's actually the case or not — your business is going to be significantly impacted.
Since 2006, many household products previously regarded as necessities have been placed in the luxury category by consumers. Microwaves, clothes dryers, air conditioners, and televisions all took a hit and have been dropping in sales.
Granted, this can be partially attributed to emerging technologies. For instance, there are now a variety of ways for consumers to watch TV — on their computers, mobile phones, and other little hand-held gadgets. And speaking of mobile phones, that's one industry that hasn't been hit by this economy. In fact, just as many consumers who felt that they needed a mobile phone in 2006 feel the same way today. (Read the report at http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1199/more-items-seen-as-luxury-not-necessity)
All is not lost if public opinion is saying that your product is no longer a necessity. People are still purchasing these products. College students will always need a microwave, and it will be interesting to see how many people feel that air conditioning isn't a necessity when the real summer heat hits.
Oftentimes, all it takes is the right marketing angle to show customers that they do need your product. If you feel that consumer opinion is placing your product in the luxury category because of this recession, let's talk. Or, better yet, talk amongst yourselves. I would LOVE to see the Hudson Valley business community come together and start doing some collaborative marketing. I always like to find the good in things. If one good thing comes out of this recession, it will be that our business community comes out stronger than we went in.
BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations