|Branding Tips in Today's Economic Climate
By Michelle Adelson, March 12, 2009
- Be Relevant.
We live in a changing landscape where communication is instant and continuous. Ensuring that your key messages and brand positioning are relatable to the current environment, especially in today’s struggling economic conditions, will allow your company to stay connected to your target audience. Start by determining the issues and challenges on the forefront of your customers’ minds. Address these topical matters directly in relation to your brand platform and how your business consistently responds. It is an opportunity to identify with your customers and in return, have your customers identify with your brand.
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
In these market conditions, oftentimes, when people don’t know what to do, they do nothing at all. This results in uncertainty and a lack of confidence. In the larger scheme, it is also a disconnect from a critical opportunity to be more aligned with your target audience. Implement a communication plan that arms your team with vehicles and procedures to reach and stay connected to your customer. A cohesive and meaningful communication plan significantly reduces uncertainly, breeds confidence, and builds long-term loyalty. Once a communication plan is established and implemented, check in with your staff to measure how it’s working and ensure the communication and messages are consistent for the greatest impact.
- Save Money. Save Trees. Digitize.
As the world is engulfed in a recession, opportunities are present. As the poorly managed corporations fade into the sunset, astute entities take their place having paid attention to the constant ebb and flow of world trade and the enormous pace of technology. Incorporate the technology into your communication plan. Regular newsletters or announcements with relevant updates and information are valuable to customers, reinforce your brand, and allow you to stay in front of your target market. Additional benefits include saving on printing and postage costs, being able to track your results, and doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Align Internally.
Any misalignment with your brand can create a contradiction in the market place. Brand alignment starts from within and then bleeds into external perception. In order for your organization to stay connected with the brand, your people must be informed and involved. Chances are you need to make changes within your organization to react to the economic conditions. Many smart businesses are doing so to not only survive, but to stay proactive. Ensure to communicate your strategy, vision, and plan to employees. Don’t expect them to figure it out or assume. Clarity rears motivation and helps shape one consistent perception.
- Zero In.
Understandably when sales are down, marketing decreases. Although you are tightening the belt on ad spending, do not eliminate your reach completely. There are effective methods to utilize a decreased budget. One solution is to segment your primary market from your secondary and follow on markets. With a narrowed reach, you are spending less on the customer base that does not maximize profitability nor possesses consistent buying behavior. In managing your marketing spend and efforts toward your premier customer, you become laser focused on building loyalty, reduce ad spend for those who aren’t in for the long-haul (non brand loyalists), and ultimately increase your ROI.