The white paper notes that radio and refrigerators took hold in the American home during the great depression. This led to President Franklin D. Roosevelt using radio technology to reach his audience—the American people—via his “fireside chats.” Similarly, General Foods ushered in a line of frozen foods to take advantage of widespread refrigerators and freezer usage. More recently, Microsoft was founded during the depths of a recession in 1975.
AdAge notes that “some change is obvious,” such as Amazon and Walmart changing the retail landscape, while other innovation may be less apparent. “It’s a sure thing that the next Microsoft or Tesla will take shape in the dark days of 2020,” the publication notes.
AdAge also suggests that marketers keep an eye out for the “next opportunity” and offers Netflix as an example. In 2007, just before the Great Recession, Netflix was much smaller than rival Blockbuster and was mailing DVDs to subscribers. It then introduced a streaming feature, noting in a regulatory filing in late 2008 that it expects that watching content at home via the internet will at some point surpass DVDs. By 2010, Blockbuster was in bankruptcy and shortly thereafter, Netflix gained more revenue from streaming than DVDs.