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Monday, October 10, 2011

Pre-occupied with Wall Street

If you’re feeling like your income has lost some of its spending power since the beginning of the recession, you’re not alone.  A story from the New York Times this morning explains that incomes have fallen since the recession is widely held to have ended, due largely to the persistently high unemployment rate.  (Click here to see that story.) 

This issue, combined with pervasive coverage about gridlock in Washington, extreme compensation for many of the country’s CEOs, and higher food and fuel prices, has led to outright economic frustration.  

Yesterday, there was a story in the New York Times about the group Occupy Wall Street and several variations of the movement that have sprouted-up around the country.  Click here to see that story.

Implications:   The NY Times story acknowledges that the “Occupy” movement started very small, but hints that uprisings also started small in places like Tunisia and Egypt this spring, and throughout much of Europe over the summer.  I’m nowhere near ready to watch for a citizen-led uprising here in the U.S.  But smart government officials—and businesses—are noticing this period of discontent.

It might be more important than ever to communicate the logic of your business to your customers.  If there is a price increase, why is it justified?  If you’re a public company and paying dramatic bonuses, what is the logic?  More often now, consumers are not just re-thinking the dollars they spend; they are more closely scrutinizing the very companies they spend with.  If you’re running a fundamentally sound and fair business (which I assume to be the case)… transparency is your friend.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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