Businesses have faced many challenges and uncertainties in recent years. The pandemic has exacerbated the situation by making recruitment and staff engagement more complex, compounded with an economic downturn and a risk of recession. As a result, in 2023, many businesses, as well as consumers, cut back on spending and investment, which slows business activity and inevitably lowers the consumption rate. This period is far from obvious for all companies, even less so for SMEs. They are thinking of reducing their budget and prioritizing the cutting of marketing expenses, which is not optimal. It is precisely during this type of situation, that it is crucial to maintain communication with stakeholders. Managers are vying for creativity and ingenuity to implement responsible processes to reduce their expenses, in order to get through the recession. Reductions in human resources, material costs, and even the sale of assets1 are being considered. Is cutting marketing communication initiatives a good idea? No, it is not.
Why? Well, in times of economic downturn, it is strategic to optimize brand image and marketing support to drive both customer demand (B2B or B2C) and growth. By focusing on your company’s visibility, you strengthen the bonds of trust established with your customers, and you can carve out a place for yourself among your competitors, who are also slowing down their communication activities. You also increase the sense of trustworthiness by making yourself more memorable to those who will naturally come to you because they see that you are actively managing risk. Finally, when a purchase or investment decision comes up in your customers’ minds, it will be alongside the fresh imprint of your brand identity. In the end, by activating your marketing communication channels, you will come out ahead by inspiring confidence, relevance and dynamism, even in the slowest of times.
Here are three suggestions for making your brand identity memorable in this economic downturn:
1- Focus on value
In a recession, consumers are more cost conscious than ever. You need to stand out with a brand image that adds real value and justifies your worth. Shine the light everywhere, online, on your packaging, in your corporate communications.
- Brand identity (name, logo or positioning). It is important that the public clearly and quickly recognizes and associates your brand with the values and personality you attribute to it.
- Packaging is the image of your products, a guarantee of quality, a direct link to your identity and a source of trust. Make it distinctive so that it stands out at first glance.
- By properly communicating your achievements in sustainable development and corporate responsibility to your stakeholders, you allow them to recognize the social value of your brand. This can be communicated through your digital platforms as well as through activity reports highlighting your strategies and concrete actions.
2- Deliver consistent, transparent, reliable messaging
A recession is a time of uncertainty for customers. They are looking to buy products and services they can trust and are seeking information from a variety of sources. Well-crafted, meaningful, cohesive messaging on all your platforms will support this quest for trust and build loyalty among customers who will feel secure. Transparency and reliability are also crucial qualities in times of recession. By demonstrating transparency and delivering reliable products/services, customers know they can count on you, regardless of the economic situation.
3- Take advantage of the digital era
Internet presence boomed during the pandemic and many people continued to shop online. That is why it is so important to convey your brand image appropriately in digital formats with the same concern for consistency, transparency and reliability. Share hiring opportunities and successes that you’re proud of, new project announcements in all your digital touchpoints. Rely on a strong, professional, distinctive design to adequately convey the right experience and emotion of your brand. Make your content stand out to attract and encourage users to join your community. Make sure your online presence is consistent and coherent with your brand, to avoid diluting your efforts or create confusion. Take advantage of your online presence to increase your visibility and capitalize on the benefits of the digital era once the recession is over.
While the economic downturn is a difficult time for businesses, take advantage of this time to reinforce your brand image and emerge as a leader and trusted partner!
Cabana Seguin is here to help you find the best way to highlight who you are and suggest solutions that will allow you to remain present and relevant to your audience.
- Focus on value
Stand out with a brand identity that adds real value and justifies your worth.
- Deliver consistent, transparent, reliable messaging
Consistency, Transparency, Reliability: Three essential qualities that will be called upon to build trust in a recession.
- Take advantage of the digital era
Invest in your digital presence with consistency and take advantage of the digital benefits.