December 20, 2011

According to a CBS News Poll, 1.5 billion Americans are sending out traditional holiday cards this year the old-fashioned way, by snail mail. But if you look behind the numbers, if you are a card company you are in trouble. Only 47% of Americans are now sending out cards and 65% of those individuals are over 65 years old. I point this out to show how if you focus on the business you have, you may miss the trends that will impact you in the future.

Of course, the U.S. Post Office noticed a trend, fewer people using their mail service, but their reaction was unique. Instead of trying to make snail mail more competitive or looking for new services that could support their network of offices, they decided to make snail mail even slower by closing sorting centers. Now that’s a great idea. When your product is not really competitive, take actions to make it even less competitive.

As you review your 2011 results, look for trends that you need to be ahead of, but please, don’t act like our government.

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