What doesn't kill you...

Terry Tyrrell

Brands can't take a pill to cure ills such as bad press and attacks by competitors. They must build immunity - and that means making sure the whole organisation is healthy.

The past few months have dispensed headaches, doom and gloom all round, with the Bear Stearns, Northern Rock and Lehman Brothers disasters in the US and UK. There has also been the collapse of business-only airline Silverjet, which has ushered in a period of difficulty for many other airlines.

As consumer spending tightens, businesses could be forgiven for taking a cautious approach to the forthcoming quarter. But the toughest brands will see out the depressed market with a resilience and flexibility that stems from facing up to - not fleeing from - the malady of today's markets. I believe 'brand immunity' is vital for long-term business survival. Companies can develop this attribute by embracing the opportunities that adversity presents.