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  • Writer's pictureRande Vick

How to Stay at the Top of Your Clients' Minds

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

Remember telling ghost stories with a group of friends? The next tale always had to one-up the last. And then, sure enough, something would creek or crack, and someone would scream. Chaos ensues.

Many of us have feared the economy's potential to fail like kids fearing the cracking floorboards. Granted, there is much more at stake than a group of kids running in all directions. But, as always, if stories of worse-case scenarios are spooking us, we do well to check those fears in check.

After all, recovering the economy will take effort by all of us. Also, it isn't all doom and gloom out there. Morgan Stanley recently published an outlook that isn't heartwarming but presents a realistic version of the coming future that isn't all that scary. Reuters Q3 report for 2022 was similar. Better than we expected, different from what we'd hoped.

So if we move forward step-by-step, we need to consider how our businesses are reassuring our clients, customers, and consumers that we are not afraid. If our Brands are telling ghost stories (or ghosting our Brand Stories), we aren't exactly exuberating confidence.

I have three things for you to consider as we move through Holidays '22 into a future that's worth our investment. They will also keep you top of mind when consumer confidence rebounds.

Don't Ignore The Noise

The noise is like cable news. It finds your deepest fear and feeds it. Cheeseburgers and fried chicken. Ice cream and brownies. We love to indulge, but it's simply not good for us.

The noise is ghost stories for grown-ups.

Acknowledge it. It is so apparent what our people are hearing: Tech layoffs, job insecurities, and uncertain times.

These stories hit home with so many people who have experienced it. So please don't ignore it. But let's put it in perspective.

If part of your Brand Identity is about philanthropy, let's tell the story with a megaphone. If your Brand values Rock n' Roll, keep on rocking in the free world. Turn it up, man! If your Brand is luxury, there's probably no need for an introduction - but let's focus on goodness, influence, and a future that is as beautiful as your products. After all, according to Bloomberg, folks are flocking to luxury products despite the noise.

Reminds of that scene in Titanic when the musicians keep on playing when the boat is sinking. But I digress...

Rise Above The Noise

The noise is there. Ghost stories abound. Cable news dominates the ratings. This is the world we live in. Ce' la vies.

Let's do better.

Let's not add to the noise, y'all.

Recession fatigue has set in long before any signs of a recession have hit the shores. In a recent survey by Clarify Capital, "66% of respondents think a recession would likely cause layoffs at their company. Of them, 81% think they’d be laid off."

People are genuinely afraid. Managers, VPs, and CEOs, too. Don't add to the noise; rise above.

This is your chance to be a clarion.

Keep Telling Your Story

Quite probably, the best way through this turbulent ripple in time is to forge forward based on reality. Be real, and stay authentic. It really matters to today's consumers.

But also be present. Be where your people are. Better yet, climb to the top and lead the way. That's what Mightier Brands do.

Are your people on social media? Boost your budget.

Trade shows? Show up in force.

Is your business brick and mortar? Don't reduce your hours. Be open.

Remember, marketing through an economic downturn is tricky, but it is more critical than ever. Don't slash budgets because of the noise; lead the way through with a bright beacon of hope.

Sure, you'll need to be innovative with your marketing strategy. Of course, your tactics will look different. You may need to take stock of what is most effective. But the statistics are painfully clear: Those that market well through a recession always stay at the top of consumer minds and are first to recover when there is a breakthrough.

I keep thinking about that McGraw Hills Research study from the 80's that showed that businesses that "aggressively" focused on Brand Building during the recession grew more than 275% over their competitors. Chew on that for a minute.

Your Brand has never been more important. If we've learned anything from the Pandemic, it is this: Your Brand Values ought to be pronounced and bold. Your Brand Identity should garner loyalty. Your Brand Story should be told more now than ever.

If you aren't connecting with your ideal audience, you may not have clarified your story. You may need to sit down with a chisel and carve out exactly what your Brand should be. It's hard work, but it is crucial to getting through these times stronger than when you entered.

As always, if you need a hand or a set of unbiased eyes, we're happy to help. Get in touch today!

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