This week I sat down with a marketing executive of one of one of the top ten window companies in America. Of course, I asked him how business was going, and I was so pleased and refreshed to hear him say, “It is going surprisingly well!” I repeat – he said, “IT IS GOING SURPRISINGLY WELL. WE ARE GROWING AT A PACE JUST SHY OF DOUBLE DIGITS.”

Try that on for size! It’s called POSITIVE NEWS!

The economy is on everyone’s mind these days, but I can’t help but to think that the media’s slant for covering the negative side of things is making matters worse. Whether you pick up the newspaper or surf the web for your daily dose of news coverage, it seems that there is much more coverage of the negative things that are happening then there is around the positives. The collapse of major banking institutions, rising oil prices, job cuts, hurricanes and even shark attacks are all given front page headlines. Just as word of the shark attacks make people afraid to go into the water, the emphasis on the financial doom and gloom makes people afraid to go into economic waters so to speak. If you were teetering on making that business expansion, buying that new car or even taking advantage of year end inventory reductions on lawn mowers, you will think twice about parting with your cash after reading those gloomy headlines. But putting your money into a bank or financial fund is just as scary as buying that new refrigerator! Perhaps placing your money in an “army surplus” ammo can and burying it in the backyard is a better option!

Economists Mark Dom and Norman Morin once completed a study to see how people’s views on the economy deviate from what actual economic fundamentals would otherwise suggest.

To test how the tone and volume of reporting might affect people’s perceptions of the economy, Doms and Morin devised indexes to measures the tone and volume of economic media coverage over time. The indexes are based on the number of articles that contain specific keywords and phrases in the headline or first paragraph. For example, the “recession index” was based on the number of articles that mention “recession” or “economic slowdown.” The authors scanned articles from thirty influential newspapers across the country.

What they found was that public’s perception of the economy was influenced by news reporting at least for short periods of time. The view of the economy as portrayed by the media affected public perception of the economy. It was often out of sync with what actual economic conditions would indicate.

I am not suggesting that we all ignore what is going on in the financial markets and just drink that “red red wine.” But don’t be afraid to make a move. Don’t let talk of the poor economy paralyze you into doing nothing. When the waters are uncertain, a change in direction is often the best move.

Now, let me get back to my visit with the marketing executive. How is he handling the news? He is not scaling back the use of his company’s resources, but instead redirecting them to renovation markets while streamlining distribution channels. He is also investing in materials and production technologies enabling him to produce windows with the highest thermal performance to take advantage of the growth in that specific market segment.

“It’s all about positioning,” he said. You have to analyze where the growth segments will be and position your company to aggressively go after them. We are doing that and we WILL be successful!”

Will they be? With a positive attitude like that, I have no doubt that they will succeed!


  1. Reminds me of a story called The Hot Dog Man —
    There was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs.
    He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio.
    He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers.
    But he sold good hot dogs.
    He put up signs on the highway telling how good they were.
    He stood on the side of the road and cried, “Buy a hot dog, Mister?”
    And people bought.
    He increased his meat and bun orders.
    He bought a bigger stove to take care of this trade.
    He finally got his son home from college to help him out.
    But then something happened.
    His son said, “Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio? Haven’t you been reading the newspaper? There’s a big depression. The European situation is terrible. The domestic situation is even worse.”
    Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son’s been to college, he reads the papers and he listens to the radio, and he ought to know.”
    So the father cut down on his meat and bun orders … took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand out on the highway to sell his hot dogs.
    And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight.
    “You’re right, son,” the father said to the boy.
    “We certainly are in the middle of a great depression.”

    Thanks for sharing positive news!

  2. […] one of our DWM bloggers, wrote last week about another success story from a manufacturer. Click here if you missed his […]

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