Oh Canada, why fear the US recession?

No matter what happens in the United States, whether a slowdown, recession, or a big depression, the fact remains that Canadian businesses should continue going forward and get more occupied with their own local, national and international game plans, build outbound global scale marketing  and branding strategies, create and lead with brand new world-class icons and fill the void now created by the major global image positioning shifts.

The previous recessions have clearly taught us some very valuable lessons, this time around; the application of the right game plan will offer a winning streak. But first, let's discover the romance in "R" words.

Re-Charge Innovation
What better times when things are slow and getting quiet, as normally, in busy, booming days, Canadian businesses along with senior executives become so convinced of success that they begin to forget about real innovation. The best ideas of innovation come through depressive, recessionary cycles. What better times to reengineer, redesign and rethink the entire business processes, overall strategies and most importantly the prime business model itself? Most successful corporations are very seriously behind in innovations already and often too complacent with surrounding technology, only to be jolted when attacked overnight by a new innovative wave. Simply put, start innovating today.

Re-Align Marketing
When everyone is in a shock, about what and how all this recession happened, the customers and clients both scratch their heads. That's possibly the best time to nurture innovative marketing to determine the sharpest and fastest means to get the new marketing messages and products from point A to B. Canadian businesses should take a bold and positive approach to fill the vacuum with new ideas and new efforts. Ask that innovative team you just organized to help you.

Re-Position Image
When customers want new solutions to overcome slow cycles they are looking for the best image and powerful identity. It's all about professionally branded identities and corporate image. Today, in Canada, when it comes to national and international world-class name brand identities  there is no other issue as important as this one. Not to be confused with logos-centric-slogan-happy traditional advertising, the promotional strategies are always in a meltdown during recession, and while the old branded guards dwindle down, this opens doors for new faces to appear, creating immense opportunities for newcomers to emerge as the real solution provider. Hold the traditional logo-promotion; fix the brand identity and its image fast while pushing hard as a new warrior on the block.

Re-Name Brands
A recession is the boiling point in which most businesses want to forget old name brands, as they are flushed out and old identities fade away, often reminding them of failure. This is the point where  Canadian businesses must discover the fine art of global scale name branding, and only accept the world-class and Five Star Standard Naming Standard brands, anything less will simply hurt your sales badly. This time allow your team to walk away quietly from lingering and damaged name identities, the one that too similar or to identical to dozens of others. This re-naming process can be very rewarding if played under a master strategy, resulting in a hassle free global name identity. Find the best professional answer to achieve hyper-visibility and proper image positioning to avoid  ending up in the eye of the storm.

Re-Train Staff
When your people are exhausted, fatigued, and disenchanted, train them. After all, at the end of the day, a business is all about people and when the recessionary cycles hit, they hurt everyone. Canada is blessed with the finest and most competitive human resource base among the Western Nations. Though underpaid and underutilized, it has the largest potential for growth that is still untapped by our current corporate structures. The human resource should always be protected, and what is left of it must be properly nurtured and retained so that it is ready before boom time, all set to burst out through the gates with brand new winning strategies.

No matter how hard, how difficult and how long the process, the fact is, smart businesses must  embrace this as a moment to evaluate and rebuild. This way this bad cycle will not only become a passable transition but also you will discover the great charm in the "R" words.

A senior level discussion on the Corporate Image Quest addressing the above matters is being held on Monday, June 23rd, 2008 in Toronto at the Novatel Hotel. All details are posted on the main website of AZNA, visit www.azna.com.

Naseem Javed is the recognized world authority on global image positioning, and founder of ABC Nambank, a 30-year old consultancy established in Toronto, New York and now Dubai. Naseem has personally created the well-known name brand identities of TELUS, CELESTICA, INTRIA, GENNUM, EPCOR, ZARLINK, KEYBASE, OMNI-TV and hundreds more. Naseem has just returned to Toronto after a major lecture circuit in Dubai and Asia.