Innovating Through a Recession

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 10

A sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without the TANGY ZIP of Miracle Whip.

If you don’t know that advertising slogan it’s because you weren’t around in 1933, when Kraft launched its mayo spread smack dab in the depths of the Great Depression.

Andrew Razeghi, a marketing consultant and adjunct associate professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, uses that example in an inspirational essay posted on the Andrew Razheghi Blogs, “Innovating Through a Recession.”

Other companies that began or kicked into high gear in the Depression were Motorola, Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard, La-Z-Boy, and Revlon, according to Razeghi’s essay.

His bottom line: “Now is the time to unleash corporate creativity.”

light bulb.jpg
As a postscript, I would like to call your attention to the cover story of the current issue of BusinessWeek, written by my boss, Chief Economist Michael Mandel. That light bulb is the image on the cover. The story is called Innovation, Interrupted: How America’s failure to capitalize on innovation hurt the economy—and what happens next.” Mike writes, “Whatever the ultimate cause of the downturn, a pickup in innovation would provide a welcome economic boost.”

Reader Comments

Joseph Weber

June 10, 2009 10:05 AM

Don't know about the tangy zip, but I certainly like the marvelous quip.

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BusinessWeek’s Joe Weber, Patricia O'Connell, Michelle Conlin, Frederik Balfour, Peter Coy, Greg Spielberg and Roger Crockett examine The Case for Optimism by looking past the financial turmoil and economic unrest gripping the globe to focus on the promising future that lies on the other side of this storm. We’ll chronicle the forward thinkers investing in R&D, launching promising new products, entering new markets, or implementing management and leadership.

See why BusinessWeek Editor-In-Chief Stephen J. Adler is optimistic about the economy amid the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression.

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