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!