Pat Kinsley, managing director, Neworld Associates, talks brands and the opportunities during this 'depression'
12 June 2009
Browsing the shelves of the supermarket, one cannot help but notice how some brands have stood the test of time, weathering challenging downturns far worse than this economic slump.
Now more than ever, brand leaders such as Bulmers, Don Carlos and Coca-Cola are marketing their way through the recession, whilst competitors are cutting back waiting for a brighter day. These brands are securing their position by reaching consumers who need the reassurance of a trusted brand friend.
With jobs being lost and lives being thrown into unknown circumstance, consumers are afraid. Money is scarce and people often seek comfort in things they have come to depend on. That’s the power of a brand. A successful brand should offer reassurance, added value and distinction. Too often brand owners underestimate the extent to which brands become a part of our personalities and lifestyles. Rejuvenating brands can often lead to a great sense of nostalgia for the consumer and a new burst of life to a previously quiescent brand.
A time of opportunity, brand owners must treat this ‘depression’ as an expression of creativity to give stagnant brands a lift, reminding consumers they are still relevant. Signpost brands get great return on their brand investment and prove to have a great survival advantage over other brands. Consumers recognise them instantly at point of purchase giving them high levels of interaction, therefore they tend to have prime shelf locations in stores. This is the place to be for an eye-catching position on any consumers shopping list.
Kellogg’s is one such leading brand that found its growing edge through innovating during recessions, depressions and everything in between. It railroaded past the leader in its category and since then has never looked back. Moments of economic turbulence have not slowed this unique brand down. Just like Kellogg’s, brands need to listen to the market and identify the opportunities that still exist, if they’re willing to find them.
In the end, brand belief and confidence should be essential resources for every company. Combining this with innovation and boundless creativity will go along way in terms of sustaining or profiling your brand, and making it one that will undoubtedly persevere. In order to thrive at a time when we are all trying to survive, brands need to see this as an opportunity to develop positive brand associations that will not be forgotten when the economy turns upwards once again.