Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Message Is Needed 

This is not the first person who has commented that the age of consumption may be drawing to a close in the US. The economic dislocation it is causing is profound since business depends heavily on consumer expenditures. But if true, there is a need for new messages built on savings rather than purchasing, on exports rather than imports and on building products rather than buying them.

It is hard to remember now, but there was a long period in US history when we were manufacturers for the world. We lost that distinction decades ago and have willingly allowed factories to leave this country by the thousands. The worry now is that if consumers fail to start purchasing again, the US will not be able to work its way out of the recession. That is understandable. Economic patterns cannot change overnight. But, if consumer habits have changed fundamentally, we will need new ways to communicate to them, and it is not too early to start researching what we need to say.


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