It never ceases to amaze me how fast businesses come and go. It’s so easy to set up shop, hope people come in and then go out of business before anybody even knows you’re there. However, what really blows my mind is when an established company doesn’t really advertise, then announces they’re going out of business, or in this case, shuts down a store, and then starts advertising.
My story today is about Hush Puppies but you can apply the same thinking to literally thousands of businesses. I don’t mean to pick on Hush Puppies. In fact, I think we can all say that Hush Puppies is a very recognizable brand, and even though I haven’t bought any of their shoes for years, I still have a positive image of the brand. But I haven’t been in their store in Sedalia, Missouri for years either. I also haven’t seen any advertising from them in years! Maybe I missed it. Maybe I wasn’t their target customer, so I asked my wife, who believe me should be a target customer for every shoe brand! Her response? She didn’t even think they were still open. So, it blew my mind this week when on the front page of the Sedalia Democrat was an article and photo announcing the closing of the store. Then, on page 5 of the same paper was a big half page ad with a closeout sale.
Why do company’s do this? Why do they wait until they’re going out of business to advertise? Why don’t they invest advertising dollars on a regular schedule with a consistent image and consistent message to keep people coming in? I realize that me being in the advertising business may bias my view and I have had clients and friends over the years share with me their thoughts about cutting back on their marketing when times are tough because they can’t afford it or there’s just no one buying. I don’t buy that!
During this economic time when there are fewer buyers and less buying being done, it is more important than ever for a business to advertise to their customers and their prospective customers in order to get their share of whatever market there is. There always is a market — it’s just always changing. So the moral of this story is; invest in advertising before and during the time you’re in business and when business gets tough, step it up a notch. It might just be the difference between survival and oblivion.