Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trusted Brands Need To Stand Up And Be Counted In A Down Economy

Customers Will Gravitate To Brands They Admire In Tough Times

By David Miranda

When times are tough, people gravitate to safe havens and there is no greater safe haven than a trusted brand that has historically delivered excellent value. Who is more qualified to help in difficult times than a brand that has been there for me in the past and will continue to earn my trust in the future?

In challenging times, it is time for trusted brands to leverage their accumulated brand equity in the marketplace. It is called brand "capital".

Let's be clear. This is not about indiscriminate price promotions. Those are just knee jerk reactions and historically have caused unintended consequences, i.e. dilution and displacement of revenue.

In challenging economic times, available demand always searches for the best value and the best place to find the best value should be with trusted brands.

What should admired and trusted brands do in times of economic uncertainty?

  1. Show leadership - Communicate quickly and effectively with the marketplace that you understand the challenging environment and empathize with the audience, i.e. "we feel your pain".

  2. Seek competitive advantage - Be first and bold with solutions that customers gravitate to rather than wait for the competition to dictate your strategy.

  3. Be "stratactical" - In a down market, people and businesses alike make decisions within a more compressed time frame. This means a brand needs to consider strategy concurrently with tactics, i.e. stratactical solutions that allow quick adjustments to volatile market conditions.

  4. "Don't take the bait" - There will be the impulse to react to competitive offerings. Urgency is the handmaiden of chaos.

  5. Steal share - The pie shrinks during downturns so getting a bigger piece of a smaller pie is key to success.

  6. Understand that great brands that do smart things during difficult times become greater.
Stand up and be counted.