Lessons from three iconic brands that survived the Great Depression

Kendra Wehmeyer
Landor Perspectives 2010

What more can be said about the current state of retail? It seems as though a new article is written every hour about the grim economic situation and how retail sales are spiraling downward faster than the media can document. Stores are closing, prices and margins are plummeting, people just aren't shopping. Retailers and brands both big and small are struggling mightily to stay afloat.

Which of them will make it through the year? How must retailers adjust their product mixes and marketing approaches to remain profitable?

While these questions loom on the pages of every newspaper and magazine, marketers and brand managers are racking their brains to come up with strategies that will carry their companies through the turmoil. Even without brilliant answers, it's pretty certain that many brands and stores will survive this challenging time, just as their predecessors weathered the Great Depression.