Today’s economic uncertainty likely has you tightening spending and revisiting priorities. Well, guess what? So are your customers, which is not great. In these circumstances, experience tells us it is time to increase your brand strategy investments.
Challenging economic environments equal increased competition. And increased competition cannot be addressed by simply turning up the volume in the market — even if the budget is there to do so. It is essential in this moment that you sharpen your brand strategy to ensure it cuts through, that it engenders customer/partner loyalty, and attracts new, choosier prospects.
Right now, customers tend to be more cautious and pickier, because they can be. A smart and compelling brand will shore up customer confidence, distinguish your offering from the pack, and reassure those customers who are spending that you are the one to pick.
When customers are feeling uncertain, they will always gravitate toward brands that they perceive as stable, confident, reliable, and here for the long-term. Brand investments are a critical path toward achieving this favourable position.
In tricky economic times, you may see your competitor set expand, facing new players that you have not faced previously. Shifting industries and market segments can be a remedy for weakening sales. A well-executed branding strategy can help you seize new opportunities, expand your market share, and defend against new, hungry entrants.
What you should be looking for now is long-term value. By investing in a strong brand, you will be maximizing your competitiveness, so current and future customers choose you. And, importantly, you will be investing in an asset that will appreciate over time — not merely burning cash on market visibility.
Sounds right, but how can you trust that this approach is not just one person’s opinion?
Look at GE in the 1930s — gaining share while others hunkered down for better times. Or how about P&G in the 1980s — another recession — when they solidified their industry-leading position. There is Apple in the early 2000s — dot-com bubble burst — introducing some of the strongest brand work in their history. Or how about Netflix launching an entirely new brand strategy in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
A well-executed brand strategy can address a range of business challenges:
- Market perception
- Customer retention
- Product or service expansion
- Geographic expansion
- Pricing and perceived value
There is no doubt that investing in your brand strategy is the right move, right now. Your growth team and shareholders will thank you.