Entering the 2008 financial crisis, Lego was really having a tough time. They were mostly focused in the North American market, and basically became stagnate due to lack of product innovation.
The economic crisis forced them to make bold moves which they did. They decide to expand their geographic reach well beyond North America. They also started creating licensing deals with big brands such as Star Wars and also licensing their own brand like the Lego Movie.
So what were the results? As early as 2009, they had a 63% increase in sales, and today, if you do any kind of research, you'll see tons of case studies describing how Lego's marketing and innovation and licensing deals, turn them into the world's favorite toy.
Domino's pizza today, is the largest pizza chain globally. But back in 2008, that wasn't the case. They were really struggling. They had fallen outside the top five in North America, people were complaining about the quality of their pizza, and there was a lot going wrong within the company.
In 2008, during the recession, Domino's decided to make bold moves to try and change their current trajectory. They ended up doing a complete redo of their recipe and of their supply chain from cheese, to their sauce, their dough, everything. They also launched a massive campaign to spread the word of these new changes.
Domino's also made a commitment to digital transformation and embraced mobile technology.
What did all these changes create? Today, Domino's is the largest pizza chain in the world by far. And if you look at some of their case studies, you'll see how Domino's transformed into an e-commerce powerhouse whose product happens to be pizza.
Now we're living in a world now where Amazon is basically eating the entire world of retail. But back in 2008 they weren't established like they are today. They knew that the financial crisis was hurting their competition, they decided to go on the attack. They used their core values and their drive to continuously try new things to launch whole bunch of products.
Between 2006 and 2008 they launched, Amazon prime, Amazon Kindle, AWS they're hosting services.
So what was the impact of doubling down on innovation during the recession? Each of these products have become a leader in their segments and major profit centers. Amazon's market cap went from 16 billion back in 2008 to 1.6 trillion, 10 years later.
Takeaways to win during a recession
Double down on your core values.
Give yourself permission to re-imagine your business.
Invest in your people.
Be bold when others are fearful, make bets on new ideas that will enable you to leapfrog the competition.
Embrace digital transformation.