How Important is a Brand Name during an Economic Downturn?

I have been emailing back and forth with a Branding & Marketing reader who works with brands in New York City.  We’ve been talking about the importance of a brand name during an economic downturn. There are probably many schools of thought on this, so rather than post my opinion first and elicit everyone else to comment, I thought I’d throw his questions out there to start the “water cooler” conversation about brands. I’ll put my two cents in later! 

Craig Hoffman asks:

  • Do you think that brands are more important or less important during down economic climates?
  • Do you think brands are more valuable or less valuable during down economic climates?
  • Is there anything about this climate in particular that effects those answers in general?
  • Have you ever seen any deep datasets about customer behavior in relation to brands for changes in economic climates?

So what do you think? How important is branding and a brand name? Let us know your thoughts!

Author: Chris Brown

Business owner operating a marketing consulting firm. Online Publisher. Keynote Speaker.

3 thoughts on “How Important is a Brand Name during an Economic Downturn?”

  1. Hi Chris, in my opinion the attention that you put towards developing a strong brand shouldn’t really depend on the economy.

    Maybe there are certain factors that may impact the way your brand develops and also how much money you put into certain aspects of your brand campaign.

    I think that it’s needless to say that a strong brand will always do better then a poorly developed one in any kind of econoic situation.

    One thing I can say is if you try to brand your company as “expensive” or “exclusive” you may loose some business during economic downturns as people search for more “affordable” and “economic” brands during these times.

    Good questions and curious to hear what others say.

    Sam Zipursky

  2. I think we’re all feeling a lot of fear during this economic downturn, which leads to feeling like we have no control. So, as consumers, we want more control in our buying decisions. So any marketing efforts that support more choice, leading to more control, will leave a positive impression, especially if we see the connection to a brand’s promise.

    Even the most resilient brands are suffering, but more spending, greater efficiency and focusing on customer service and satisfaction will likely steal market share from competitors right now and into the recovery.

  3. Craig, Great questions. here are some random thoughts.

    1) A bad business decision is not made better in a down ecomony. Bad = Bad no matter what. Now, that’s not to say you don’t want to make changes, but diluting your brand must not be one of them.

    2) As consumers we are married to our brands. Most people don’t realize to what degree, but it is an intense part of our culture and must be leveraged even when times are tough. A cheap iPhone knock-off may come out and guess what? There will be lines waiting at the nearest Apple store for the “real” one. Why? Because they have married a phenomenal product with a stellar brand.

    3) Now is the time to dive deeper into your brand and create tribes versus random customers. You can still build customer loyalty even when times are tough, you simply have to talk to a very specific audience with an irresistible offer/value.

    That’s my $.02

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