Lessons for marketers on how to deal with setbacks.

By Amber Hudson

Last week my 6 year old broke her arm.  One running cartwheel on a sunny summer afternoon and the next thing you know we’re speeding down to Sick Kids ER.

Fast forward a week and even though she now has a hot pink full arm cast strong enough to smash concrete, she hasn’t let it get her down.  She’s smiling, laughing, running around with the same boundless energy as before.  She has learned to use her left hand to get dressed, colour and throw. She now accessorizes to match the cast.  I adore the optimism.

Interestingly, a child’s broken arm is a good metaphor for the bumps brands will face.  There are lessons to be learned from a 6 year old:

  1. Bumps WILL happen. But no matter how bad it gets, it will get better
  2. The true test of your  beliefs and values is how you weather the storm
  3. You need not suffer alone.  You will always have supporters and there will always be people offering to help
  4. And bumps are the best R&D that will ever happen. I  have no doubt my daughter her best cartwheel ever once she’s recovered

At the end of the day the message is don’t let bumps get you down.  Look at Coke. As the innocent archetype with that amazing sense of optimism it continues to face headwinds. Soft drink consumption is down, every week brings a new (presumably healthier) competitor, Pepsi gets to squeeze profits out of Gatorade, Tropicana and Doritos…and yet just like Dory, Coca Cola keeps on swimming.

So when your brand hits that bump (and it will), confront it, learn from it and keep moving.  You’ll find you’re better equipped to face that next bump.