As politicians, economists, and market professionals argue whether the United States is or isn’t in a recession, it’s vital that your brand have a recession prep checklist.
With the Federal Reserve in a tenacious pursuit of raising interest rates to combat inflation rates, the action could cause the economy to contract and enter into a recession. Now is the time to prepare a recession prep checklist to ensure that your brand not only survives but thrives during a recession.
Incorporate these four steps into your plan to help recession proof your brand:
- Communicate With Your Clients
Carry on in your regular practices to reach your clients. Post online consistently, faithfully following the schedule you have always followed. Continue to purchase the media placements you have always bought without going over your budget. Most importantly, don’t change your messaging. Your clients have come to recognize your brand value through your messaging. Changing your messaging risks confusing your clients during an already worrisome and disconconcerting time. You may feel you can not justify the usual expenses during the upheavals of a recession. However, brands who remain consistent by continuing to build their identity tend to increase their share of voice during and after a recession. Because a lot of competitors will pull back on their marketing initiatives, you can gain share of voice at a lower cost during a recession. In communicating with clients, your goal is to engage and nurture the relationship. Every client, past or present, is priceless, especially at a time like this. Communicating does not have to result in a hard sell but not communicating is failing to acknowledge their needs. Failing to stay in contact is neglecting the relationship and it could be costly and even impossible to bring them back when the tide has changed.
- Build Brand Loyalty
It’s a given that you should be delivering what you promise, never letting the client down on their expectations. Follow that with consistency in your brand. Clients have a feeling of familiarity as they engage through your emails, website, blog, or newsletter. A successful brand’s clients have an emotional attachment to their brand. That attachment ensures that even during tough times clients will choose your brand over a cheaper alternative. One definitive way of building brand loyalty is putting the focus on the client’s experience rather than sales. Make it clear that they are always at the core of your operations. Nurturing brand loyalty is effective in retaining your optimal clients which increases positive associations making your brand a must have. This in turn can increase revenue even during times of economic uncertainty.
- Identify Your Brand’s Opportunity
Marketing research will help you identify what opportunities a recession presents. Staying consistent with your brand’s strategy is key, however it can be beneficial to look into new ventures. During a recession, clients are more likely to seek out value priced products in keeping with a reduced budget. Determine the changing needs of your clients by improving on existing products. Can you offer a value version of your product(s) that will drive clients to you? Consider how improving existing products might serve a different target audience you haven’t reached prior to the recession. During the Covid lockdowns of 2020, many businesses pivoted to meet changing needs such as hotels offering day rates for employees wanting to work from somewhere other than their homes, and gyms creating online workout programs tailored to meet the needs of homebound fitness enthusiasts. In order to determine this you will need a solid understanding of your consumers and the marketplace that can only come from market research.
- Invest in Marketing
The first instinct many businesses mistakenly have is to cut marketing dollars during economic uncertainty. In preparation for a recession, a better plan for your brand is to add new marketing strategies in order to stand out in the volatile sea of competitors.The key to making your marketing work for you goes back to branding. Take a hard look at your branding to be sure it reflects your company. Are you using it consistently in your marketing materials and online?
When it comes to marketing online, social media is where your brand needs to be. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok offer countless ways for brands to connect to both old and new clients. A limited budget can still get quality brand recognition through paid ads through platforms like Facebook. Pages on these platforms provide an excellent starting point free of charge. Even better, ads can be created that target your brand’s specific demographics. Tailoring your ads through the choices of demographics offered can increase conversion rates and boost profits. The Q2 2022 Consumer Trends Report showed 35% of consumers purchased a product or service after watching a brand’s social media live stream. Consider, too, that those marketing dollars invested in social media are working 24/7, accessible from anywhere, and can build your brand as a non stop operation.
During a recession public relations becomes critical because you need to maintain good optics to maintain your clients confidence.