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Hourglass Economics

November 4, 2008

There has been a large shift in positioning with small and large brands since the beginning of this economic turmoil, and it has all been a shift in one direction, to target the cash conscience consumer. While this is the obvious, and probably correct route for almost all brands, there is another option that has not been given much opportunity yet, and that is the idea of repositioning to those not entirely affected by the economic crisis.

This may seem strange at a time like this, but consumers have been split into an hourglass form, where the middle class has squeezed out in large part into the upper or lower target audiences. More have been sifted down, but with almost every brand targeting the lower bracket more, it is leaving holes in high end product arena. This theory may not work with large ticket items like cars, or travel deals, but with more household products it should. While just about everyone is going to want to spend less on big ticket items, the top section of the hourglass is a audience that still will not want to skimp on household and personal products.

landinglotionthumbnailOne company who has taken advantage of this is Kleenex, who came out with a new and improved lotion tissue that will be significantly more expensive then most tissues. While there initial research indicated that most people said they would not want to pay extra for these new tissues, once they were given a trial with it, they said they would. Kleenex is sending out samples of tissues in newspaper inserts throughout the country, hoping that this sampling advertising will sway their consumers into paying the extra money for their new product.

Households products such as these are a good example of markets that do not necessarily need to be re-branded in a cash conscience fashion, because there are enough people that still willing to spend a little extra for a better product.

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