Brands Should Stay Course through Recession

During weak economic periods, emphasis is often placed on reducing costs (and rightfully so). If customers are spending less, marketing managers would be irresponsible if they did not adjust their spending, too. A focus on building and maintaining a strong brand should continue, even during the leanest of times.

A recent trends study report released by Landor Associates acknowledges less consumer spending, but suggests opportunities will continue to exist in the marketplace. Brands with price-oriented value propositions like Wal-Mart as well as what the report calls "home and hearth" brands like Disney and Johnson & Johnson will be less vulnerable during the recession. There is always a space for innovative products, too. The Landor report points out that the Apple iPod was introduced to market during a time when the economy was recovering from the dot-com bubble burst and 9/11.

Most importantly, the Landor trends study report reminds marketers about brand basics. The importance of managing brands is summarized effectively by Landor CMO Hayes Roth: "What we are saying is that brands can't get thrown off the track. If you have done your homework on your brand, are clear about who your customers are, are determined to deliver on that brand promise and don't cut corners on brand fundamentals, you will stay the course. You may have to reduce margins and some services but the core brand promise you cannot walk away from."

Here's to your brand's health in 2009!

Link: MediaPost News Marketing Daily - "Analysts to Brands: Stick to Your Knitting"