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‘A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste’
Stanford economist Paul Romer first uttered this phrase in 2004.
But the idea that economic downturns and periods of uncertainty often present unique opportunities is nothing new. The challenges and hardships from the coronavirus are unprecedented. But throughout history, recessions and sea changes have also proven to be breeding grounds for innovation and defining the next normal.
Take Disney and its most iconic character – Mickey Mouse.
Mickey was initially a product of the Roaring Twenties and its excess and debauchery. In his early film reels, he’s a naughty trickster (with highly questionable connotations).
When the Great Depression hit, Mickey got a face lift. Disney gave him rounder features and a friendlier look. He started starring in timely stories like “Moving Day” in which his property is taken when he can’t pay the rent. His updated character was all about overcoming adversity and a can-do attitude.
The Great Recession Offers More Relevant Examples
AirBnB was born just two months before the Great Recession, offering a relief valve for the nation’s housing crisis and jumpstarting the sharing economy.
In all of these instances, companies saw how their offering could evolve to solve a new audience pain point.
Today, brands continue to take Romer’s sentiment to heart, from rethinking virtual events to capitalizing on increased value in social media advertising.
Finding A Silver Lining in a Crisis
Here at Braithwaite, we’re formalizing those opportunities. We’ve given our weekly newsletter Long Story Short a new look, and we’ve just completed a total redesign of our website. Like all good brands, we’re focused on finding the silver lining in this crisis and rethinking the best ways to reach our audience in an increasingly virtual world.