Recession: Rebrand to survive and thrive | Sunday Observer

Recession: Rebrand to survive and thrive

27 November, 2022

A brand is a promise to your customer – and that has to be consistent. In good times and bad, branding is essential for any business that wishes to succeed in today’s ever-changing fast paced world. And in times of turbulence, it becomes even more important because these bring new challenges that need survival action to stabilise and then to regain the growth momentum.

When done right, branding can make or break a company — especially during an economic downturn when everyone’s spending is down or being more carefully scrutinised. It’s what makes your brand stand out from the competition and drives customer loyalty. Brands should take a long-term, brand-building approach that focuses on the value of their product versus creating knee-jerk price reductions.

Fine-tuning, redefining, repositioning your brand is the way to re-align your brand perception with your customers, investors and employees in the changed environment — who are all key players in navigating these economic challenges. When people are less likely to spend money, they’re more likely to go with brands they trust and offer value for money.

Top end consumers don’t necessarily cut spending during a recession; they just change what they buy - either to stretch the value of their rupee, or spend on what is most important to them – the decision is coupled with perception and not just on tangible factors only.

Reassess and reassure

When the economy is in such flux, branding is even more important. Customers 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.

Although any brand shift during a recession won’t be easy, you shouldn’t stop your plans. Instead, reevaluate the purpose and how you activate it to ensure its success. Organisations that understand the value of their brand during uncertain times, and plan strategically to ensure brand updates are made throughout content organisation, can reap major benefits that will take effect for years to come, long after the recession ceases.

With concerns of a recession looming, it may be tempting for many companies to reevaluate their spending to prepare for the worst. However, fighting this knee-jerk reaction and choosing to invest in your brand to meet the needs of customers through a challenging period can be hugely rewarding.

Although uncertainty can pose risks for companies, recessions are a great time to reassess the brand and its place in the market. Your brand is the gateway to connecting and engaging with your customers – especially during uncertain times.

Recessions present a valuable opportunity for brands to reinvent themselves. When recessions hit, customers usually reconsider their priorities, and brands can use this time to strengthen their position in the market and set themselves apart from the competition. By recognising the risks, and executing a rebranding that aligns with economic, cultural, technological and societal shifts, you can strengthen your business.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for winning in a recession, and marketers must make decisions based on the nuances of their individual brand and business.

Explore new ways of working, how to turn insights into action, and learn what technologies are required for successful brand building in a recession.

Brand acquisitions

Recessions are also great times to look for brand acquisitions that may not have planned as well as you did. Strong brands laden with insufficient cash-flow, poor debt structure, incorrect pricing, or general mismanagement are prime targets for stronger brands looking to expand during the downturn.

Acquisitions become unaffordable during times of uncertainty. You might see good bargains to expand your business and market footprint. If acquisition opportunities are unavailable in your segment, consider simply expanding your market share with other smart business manoeuvres.

When everyone else complains about the challenges and difficulties and waiting till the economy recovers to play the game, trusting your abilities and strengths as a business and working harder as a team pulling all your energy in one direction with optimism will make you win.

Strong leadership with strong communications skills would help an organisation to achieve this.