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  • Writer's pictureRande Vick

Market Like A Firebrand (even when the economy sucks)



Uncertainty. It's the word that encapsulates these last few years most adequately. The word we've come to dread and accept as reality. The word we can't seem to shake. The word that has almost everyone anxiety-ridden for their future and security.


The only hope is that this uncertainty can certainly not last forever. Right?!


At the onset of 2023, with the latest news from the US central bank calling the near future "bumpy," well, here we go again...


Brands worldwide are making decisions about how to react to the shaky forecasts. Layoffs in fintech, big tech, and other significant industries underscore this reality.


But brands who have weathered similar storms are not as reactionary as their contemporary competitors. So we can learn a lot from history.


In the recessions of 1981-82 and 1974-75, companies that continued to advertise saw significantly more growth than the competitors that slashed ad budgets. In 1981-82, that growth was a whopping 256%. In 2008, businesses lost faith in the economy, and advertising spending dropped by about 13%. Yet stats show that companies that kept advertising budgets up had 3.5 times the brand exposure as businesses that cut costs. Three and a half times the visibility! It's a gutsy move to stay the course, but that's what sets you apart. That's the stuff of Firebrands.


Truth is, everyone is going to have to adjust their marketing strategies. Everyone will need to reset their expectations. But the data shows that staying the course - with these new expectations in mind - is a wise way forward.


And remember, your customers may not be ready to spend today. Or tomorrow. But that's not the goal of marketing. The goal of marketing is to be the brand that comes to mind when they are ready.


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