Recession? David Has Some Advice For Brands.
Planner and advertising thinker David Nottoli has some simple advice for brands at a time when all the signs point to recession. Here it is, reproduced in full.
According to the research quoted in a recent issue of NY Times, consumers are feeling the pinch of tough economic times and beginning to trade down to less expensive options at the retail counter.
At the risk of adding one too many “business is war” metaphors, if you were “holding your fire until you see the whites of their eyes”, it’s time to load your musket with recession era messaging. What can you do to protect your brand?
If you’re a value brand, it’s time to drive home your value message. Things like “get more and pay less” or “you’re smart for being economical.”
If you’re a premium brand, it’s time to justify that premium. Why should people pay more? You might tout your Technical, Functional, or Emotional benefits (can’t remember where I got that from). Technical benefits include design or technology advantages. For example, the huge chunks of stuff Ben & Jerry’s puts in their ice cream. Functional would include differences in performance – like being able to taste or feel the difference in your product. Finally, you can tap into the Emotional feelings that surround your brand. That might mean messages about having “earned it”, or “deserve it”, or “can afford it.” In tough times, people still work hard, maybe even harder. They deserve rewards. Remind them that you are a reward worth their efforts.
If you’re a badge or status brand, it’s time to elevate the importance of your brand in your customers lives so you don’t become one of the items they sacrifice. That might mean reminding buyers what your brand says about them. Perhaps, purchasing your brand signifies to others that “I’m not hurting for money. I have a good job and can afford to enjoy the good life.” Or “I have such high standards in widgets, I’m not willing to sacrifice my good taste.” You can also highlight the qualities in your product that signify authenticity, or craftsmanship. These remind others that you have discerning tastes.
If you’re a luxury brand, you probably don’t have anything (Recession, what recession? read this post from AgendaInc that has compiled a bunch of articles that show how luxury brands are doing) to worry about recession since it is likely to hurt only middle and working class people. If there is anything such as a recession-proof brand, it will probably come from the luxury category. What better way to separate yourself from the masses than to drape yourself in luxury goods during a recession?