Brands are valuable in good times and in bad. During tough times like these, your brand may be considered by consumers who would otherwise not take notice or see relevance. Make the experience positive and you may build a bond for life.
Many case studies have shown that hard times are actually the best times to steal market share and build brand value. As weaker brands die off, the remaining brands sing louder, calling to consumers who are ripe for change. Steal your competitors’ consumers and the payoff is two to one.
The effect of brands actually alters consumers’ behavior. When consumers value a brand as being a trustworthy, quality offering, they are usually willing to pay more to avoid the risk of making a bad decision. However, they may be prone to try new brands as their wallets are squeezed ever tighter.
Recessions often weed out weaker brands making category leaders even stronger. At the same time, “value-based” brands can gain market share by presenting the consumer with a familiar name at a reasonable price. This brand switching provides an incredible window of opportunity for companies to steal market share from competitors. The number of consumers retained depends on the ability for the “temporary” brand to deliver on its promise of value.
When brands focus on value, rather than price, they reassure consumers with greater confidence. The moral support that is provided by brands during a recession helps to rebuild that enduring bond between brand and former consumer.
As consumers begin evaluating their purchases on a different set of priorities, heritage brands can use the emotional connections that already exist to regain past consumers that have moved on to “higher end” brands. A recession can unlock the relevance trapped within the brands of people’s youth.
The necessity for a clear brand proposition is more important than ever as consumers recognize the need for new ways to work within their shrinking budgets. The companies who recognize and seize the opportunity to steal market share while others are in shutdown mode, will find the benefits far outweigh the costs.