Worried the economy is going down? It’s time to go upscale.

Lies. Damn lies.

I made a mistake. I should have known better, but I did it anyway. I started reading a newspaper. Almost immediately, I started feeling depressed and overwhelmed. I put down the newspaper and took a walk.

Let me share with you how the current media talk can adversely affect you and your business. I’ll also share a strategy that can help you sail through the next few years.

Here’s the first step: Stop believing generalities. Deal only with specifics.

“Everyone is broke.” “No one is buying anything.” “Everything is bad, and it only is going to get worse.”

Not only do these types of broad generalities produce a “deer-in-the-headlights” effect, they are not true .

Part of success is being able to differentiate between one thing and another. When you look at the economy and the customers you sell to, you’ll see that all customers are not the same. Everything is not all bad. There are market segments and customers that do well despite recessions.

For example, over the last weekend, movie theaters across the nation had some impressive results:

The top 12 movies took in $128.8 million, up 32 percent from the same weekend last year. (as compiled by Media By Numbers LLC)

So, while “times are bad,” evidentially they are not bad enough to miss the opening of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

An interesting thing happens during tough economic times. The bottom end of the market — the low-cost leaders — do well. McDonald’s, the world’s largest hamburger chain reported that global sales of restaurants open at least 13 months rose 8.2 percent in October, topping analysts’ targets.

The high end of the market also does well, as affluent buyers are not as adversely affected by economic downturns. Rolls-Royce is continuing to see rising sales and seems to be bypassing the credit crunch. Figures released last month showed RR deliveries up 7.5 percent from the same month in 2007 marking a 42.8 percent increase in deliveries since the start of this year.

It’s the middle range of the market that gets hammered.

Put it this way: this is a great time to be selling Mercedes Benz, and a tough time to be selling Chevrolets. General Motors’ stock value is now at a 62-year-low and analysts report that GM is burning through cash fast.

So what’s the take away message? If you want to increase your sales and increase your profit margins, you need to target more affluent customers.

Yes. It is counter intuitive. While the media is saying everything is down, you’re best strategy is to be aiming up.

This may mean revamping some of your products. Can you add prestige and value to an existing product to turn it into a high-end, super product? The goal is to transform your product or service into something irresistible. To become high-end, it needs to become an exceptional experience.

Compare the typical barbershop experience with the Grooming Salon in McLean, Virginia. Here, men line-up to receive a $50 haircut that also includes an open bar. In addition, you’ll find hot lather shaves complete with steamed towels, rich lather, and silicon-enhanced aftershave lotion.

If the basic men’s haircut can go upscale, so can your product or service.

Another application of this strategy is to look at the people in your customer base who are doing well and create a plan to get more customers like them. It requires an effective program to attract and close this new high-level of customer.

Want some expert help in developing and implementing this type of strategy? The next step is to call 1(800) 595-1288 to set up a meeting. At Sentium, we are currently working with our clients to identify and best leverage viable opportunities for the current economic scene.

In the meantime, ignore the negative generalities for the media. Focus on specific areas where you can see success – both with your clients and in other affluent segments. Get a plan in place that helps you develop your new upscale strategy.

To your business success,


Ready to kick sand in the face of this whole lousy economy? We can help with marketing that makes sense. Call Sentium at 1 (800) 595-1288 to set-up a no-obligation telephone consultation. It will cost you zero, zip, zilch, nada, but could give you answers that can dramatically boost your sales results.

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Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Communications which helps companies craft the right message for extraordinary results. Over the past 31 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.



© 2008 All Rights Reserved. All people who are looking to dramatically boost their business should read this e-zine. Don’t even think about reproducing this document or its contents without written permission from Richard Wilson. But feel free to forward this or e-mail it to all of your friends. For reprint permission, please call 800-595-1288.