Let me tell you a story about three companies. These three companies went out in the world to make their fortune. The first company decided to play it safe and conservative. Only spending money internally making their widgets that would sell eventually not thinking of the here and now. The second company spent liberally on "getting the word out" but thought little about the future. The third company thought carefully about now and then and balanced their approach.
Large companies act small. It's all the rage among business gurus, and it's about time. The idea is that small business are nimble and capable of avoiding adversity rather than running into it full steam and hoping to absorb the blow. The marketing revolution of the 80's taught its proponents that the people need the company more than the company needs the people.
Traditions; the enemy of progress. Businesses across the country love to claim market superiority with a slew of buzz words like innovative, progressive, and total solutions provider. They hire ad agencies of all sizes who have established institutional marketing strategies and traditional messages. You'll often hear from them "messaging this" and "messaging that", "we'll conduct a series of focus groups to refine your brand messaging".
Ironically one of the first budgets that companies cut when times get tough is their marketing budget. The very aspect of business who's sole purpose is to make more sales and boost the bottom line, gets cut. I can't really blame businesses leaders though when so much of what they hear is "this look... that look... artistically speaking...". It sounds like a bunch of fluff. And it is.