Rethinking the Saying: If It Ain't Broken, Don't Fix It!


Rethinking the Saying: If It Ain't Broken, Don't Fix It!

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, can the age-old saying "If it ain't broken, don't fix it" still hold true for well-established SMEs? While it may have worked in the past, recent economic downturns and the disruptive impact of technological advancements have challenged this notion. To ensure survival and relevance, SMEs must prioritize staying top of mind for their customers. Let's explore the importance of customer relevance and the critical role marketing plays in sustaining a brand, with real-life examples that highlight the significance of adapting to changing times.

Shifting Customer Habits

The rise of technology, social media, and unique events like the COVID-19 pandemic have reshaped customer behavior. Consumers now seek value even in luxury offerings and have become more discerning due to the abundance of choices available. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram, once considered primarily for the younger generation, now influence decision-making for all age groups. This shift in customer habits necessitates a strategic response from SMEs aiming to remain relevant.

Example: Ravi's Restaurant in SATWA, Dubai

Ravi's, a well-established brand since the 1970s, faced financial difficulties, posing a threat to its survival. However, an ingenious activation by adidas temporarily shifted the focus onto the iconic restaurant. The substantial investment made by adidas not only boosted Ravi's sales but also raised awareness of the brand. This example illustrates how a well-executed marketing initiative can revive a struggling brand and contribute to its sustained success.

The Diverging Paths of LG Electronics and Samsung

  • Two South Korean giants, LG Electronics and Samsung, were once neck and neck in global consumer electronics sales. However, their fortunes diverged after the 2008 economic downturn. LG opted to significantly reduce its marketing investment, while Samsung increased its efforts. This pivotal moment proved to be a turning point, as Samsung's sales soared while LG faced stagnation. The choices made in marketing strategy can have irreversible consequences, shaping the trajectory of a company. In 2019, LG Electronics decided to increase its marketing budget. The company launched a new marketing campaign that focused on innovation and design. The campaign was a success, and LG Electronics was able to regain some of its lost market share.

Examples from the UAE and Global Markets

By examining both local and global instances, it becomes evident that SMEs, and any company for that matter, must prioritize concerted marketing efforts to maintain their brand's vitality. Such efforts should not be limited to prosperous times but sustained even during market downturns.

The Imperative of Consistent Marketing Efforts

To ensure long-term success, SMEs should allocate a dedicated percentage of overall sales to marketing, regardless of their current performance. This sustained effort ensures that brands remain in the pink of health and possess the resilience needed to weather unfavorable market conditions.


The saying "If it ain't broken, don't fix it" may have offered solace to well-established SMEs in the past, but the evolving business landscape demands a fresh perspective. Staying relevant in the minds of customers is crucial for survival and growth. Real-life examples from the UAE and global markets demonstrate the transformative power of strategic marketing initiatives and highlight the irreversible impact of neglecting marketing efforts. It is clear that SMEs must embrace a proactive and consistent approach to marketing to thrive in today's dynamic business environment.

A few findings that substantiate the need for concerted and consistent marketing efforts:

  • A study by the Harvard Business Review found that companies that increased their marketing spending by 10% saw a 12% increase in sales.
  • A study by the American Marketing Association found that 70% of consumers say that marketing influences their purchase decisions.
  • According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses that invest in marketing are more likely to survive and thrive than those that don't.

These statistics show that marketing is essential for small businesses that want to succeed. By investing in marketing, small businesses can reach new customers, grow their existing customer base, and increase sales.

Share your thoughts on the above and join the conversation on the necessity of adapting marketing strategies for sustainable success in a rapidly changing world.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any organization. The information provided is based on the author's personal experiences, observations, and insights. While the author strives to present accurate and up-to-date information, it should be noted that the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or guidance. Readers are encouraged to consult with relevant experts and conduct their own research before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided in this blog.


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George Ninan

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