Lead With Your Brand Through A Recession
by Will Straughn
Branding is a critical aspect of any business. It’s how you communicate the unique value that your product or service offers to your customers. It’s what makes you stand out from the competition and drives customer loyalty. When done right, branding can make or break a company—especially during an economic downturn when everyone’s spending is down or being more closely scrutinized.
In good times and bad, branding is essential for any business that wants to succeed in today’s ever-changing world. And in times of turbulence, it becomes even more important because these times bring new challenges that need immediate solutions. But how do we navigate through all this uncertainty?
Treat your brand as an asset to invest in.
Branding is more important than ever. The economy is in such flux that people are looking to brands for stability, a sense of ownership and belonging, and reassurance that they can rely on their trusted brands to provide great products and services. Branding is not just about using design elements such as logos and taglines to establish recognition among consumers; it’s also about communicating what makes your company unique from other competitors in the marketplace.
Your brand should be built around three key elements:
- Why do you exist? This is known as your mission statement or vision statement, which defines why your business exists besides just making money.
- Who do you serve? This involves defining who makes up your target audience—whether it’s customers or clients—along with their characteristics (age range, gender distribution, etc.).
- How do you wish to be perceived? This refers not just to how others see your company but also to how employees view themselves within the organization.
If now is the time to refresh your brand, don’t wait.
If you’ve been considering rebranding, now may be the time to make it happen.
Fine-tuning your brand is a great way to refine your brand perception with your customers, investors and employees—who are all key players in navigating this economic climate. When people are less likely to spend money, they’re more likely to go with brands they trust.
Think of it this way: If your refrigerator broke in 2008, would you have gone with a company that had a bad reputation? Or would you have chosen one that was known for being good and reliable? In today’s market, people are still making decisions using their gut instincts (even though many will deny this).
When it comes down to it, I’ve seen that people will choose companies or employers based on their gut feelings about them—not by what they read in a news story or hear from their friends who work there. If businesses want long-lasting success in this economy, they need strong reputations to be trustworthy employers and partners and have products/services that customers love.
Use the power of consistency.
Consistency is the key to building trust. A consistent brand creates a strong, recognizable image in your customers’ minds that builds awareness and loyalty. It also increases the value of your company by fostering equity and recognition. In other words, consistency isn’t just good practice; it’s an essential part of branding.
Consistency is one of those things that can seem obvious when you look back on it after you’ve done it (or not) but requires continuous work to maintain over time. When times are tough, people will watch to see how your brand responds. Don’t rush; take your time and respond in a way that is consistent with the brand your loyal customers and employees have come to love.
Good branding is a strategic investment in your business. Branding is about building meaningful relationships, and trust can pay off when times get tough.