The world is certainly a depressing place to be right now. With people questioning fundamentally everything that has come before the economic meltdown, brands have enjoyed far less success with the declining sales.
But not everyone is suffering. Certainly not if you are in the business of manufacturing or distributing firearms. And not if you're a pharmaceutical company making anti-depressants and sleeping pills.
According to AdAge, despite the weakest holiday season on record in the US, outdoor-products retailer Cabela's turned in strong fourth-quarter sales, largely as a result of an increase in firearm and ammunition sales. Smith & Wesson is reporting pistol sales up 40%, and Sturm, Ruger & Co. reported an 81% increase in firearm revenue.
People seem to be losing sleep too. Research from IMS Health indicates that prescriptions for major sleeping-pill brands rose 7% last year, while antidepressant-brand prescriptions jumped 15%.
Brands are in place to make people feel better. It's just rather ironic that the types of brands that are encouraging for many consumers are some of the most depressing ones too.