First, if you haven't read either of the above, I highly recommend them. (Clicking on either of the quotes above will take you to their respective pages on Amazon.com.) Now then...
Every day, I'm convinced these statements are increasingly true. Especially today in our open-source, collaborative, conversation culture. The more good things you do for people, the more of your thinking and ideas that you share, and the more you help people out, the more good things will come back to you.
I've personally experienced this throughout my life, but none more so than in sharing things here. (Just as I'm sure many of you have.) Now we're in a situation where this mantra could create significant returns for brands if they are willing to take heed.
With growing talks of a global recession and reports of consumer confidence sinking around the globe, people are looking for ways to make their dollars go further. Brands that truly try to help people get through this period solely for the purpose of wanting to help make peoples' lives a little bit easier will come out significantly ahead of the pack when things turn around.
Almost everyone has natural tendencies that kick in when money starts getting short which tell them to hang on to as much as possible. This is just as true for businesses as it is for people. But if a business is willing to take a little less profit now in order to create greater savings for people and help them get what they want, it will come back to them when people have more money to spend.
It's not an easy decision to make. Especially when there are outside demands from stockholders and parent companies. But I have no doubts that those who approach this the right way - by doing what's best for the people who buy their products or services - will end up far better off than if they just try to ride it out by cutting costs that do not get passed through to consumers/customers.
On a related note, David Armano has turned a smart post titled "10 Ways Digital Can Help You Thrive In A Recession" into an easy to view slide show. You can view it below, on Logic + Emotion, or in glorious full-screen mode through SlideShare.
I'm certain there are several great examples out there that show this and I know I've heard or read them several times before. Right now, I'm simply too tired to look them up. Ha. Sorry, but just being honest. So, if you know of any off-hand, please share them in the comments...