Last month I watched the movie “Shut and Sing” which is a documentary film about the country/pop band the Dixie Chicks. The documentary is centered around what happened after lead singer Natalie Maines made the statement “(…) we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas” regarding President Bush and the war on terrorism, while performing at their 2002 concert in London, England.

The British media grabbed hold of this comment and hung it out to dry, like dirty laundry on a public clothesline at Buckingham Palace. Within two weeks, the news made its way around the globe and landed in the lap of the US media.

Talk about a wake-up call for the Dixie Chicks! What they thought was a casual statement became headline news and it changed the course of their music career from that day onwards.

One of the first issues the Dixie Chicks dealt with was the loss of their North American tour sponsor, Lipton Tea, followed by country music radio stations boycotting the group’s single. Country radio stations received threats from many listeners, and in order to maintain their advertising revenue, they stopped playing Dixie Chicks music altogether.

By the time the Dixie Chicks released their next CD in 2006, they realized the need to rebuild a portion of their fan base in order to continue performing in stadium-sized venues for their worldwide tour.

Looking back to 2002, the band could have allowed this incident to destroy their future in the music business, but they fought to keep a presence in the marketplace and continued to produce great music that was consumed by their loyal fan base.

From a marketing standpoint, building a foundation of loyal fans, or in our case, loyal customers, is critical. Just like the Dixie Chicks, it only takes one thing to change the course of history.

As business owners, we often negate the importance of marketing when our business is booming. We think, “Why bother? I can’t take on any more business anyway. Spending money on marketing would be a waste and I don’t have time to make it a priority.” Meanwhile, the newcomer to the marketplace is aggressively fighting its way to the top, investing in developing its brand, setting up a marketing infrastructure and telling every customer how much they are loved. These newcomers are not nickel and diming on price; they are building a strong and clearly defined position in the market. They are willing to take risks and work with a marketing expert to get them to the next level.

They understand that out of nowhere, something could happen tomorrow that will impact the future of their business and they will not let the “good times” get in the way of building their marketing foundation. They are continuing to strengthen their brand and make the customers they love feel ultra special.

Is your marketing infrastructure solid? Are you confident that when the economy changes overnight, you will have established the “ultimate” value with your loyal customer base so they will return time and time again? If not, start now! Take as little as 15 minutes every day or a few hours a week to figure out how to achieve this. By committing to this process now, you will be able to quickly change paths, should it become necessary. Remember, having a loyal customer base will help you sustain your business even during the most difficult of circumstances.

To learn more about how LeapZone Strategies and sidekick Lift Strategies can help you increase brand equity, awareness and profitability through business, branding and marketing strategies, fill out our free Needs Assessment Questionnaire today.

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