Ensuring your brand is recession ready: what works and what doesn’t

As an increasing number of us face economic uncertainty, and a recession rears its ugly head, it might be time for you to think of ways in which you can preserve your brand.

Getting ahead of the recession 

As inflation rises, oil and gas prices rocket, and stocks plummet, many of us are beginning to feel the pinch of the ever-rising cost of living. 

Since April, the UK has seen a 54% jump in gas and electricity prices, with the Bank of England predicting that costs will continue to rise to as much as 40% in October

House of Commons Library, 2022

With a recession looming, business leaders may be tempted to tighten their belts and cut costs in the form of employment freezes, budgeting cuts, and staff layoffs. But in times of crisis, strong branding and marketing can go a long way to preserve and protect your brand. 


1. Turn to your customers 

Strong brands take the time to listen to their customers and respond to their needs – especially in times of hardship. Here is your chance to keep your promise, communicate transparently, demonstrate compassion, practice empathy and forge long-lasting emotional connections.

Consider why your customers use your brand: are you essential, a treat, postponable, or expendable? Ask yourself where customers draw the line between these categories and what they’re likely to deem as essential in the short term. 

Responding to your customers needs and spending habits through insight driven, targeted campaigns will enable you to preserve your place in the market. Whatever you do, prioritise your customers’ user experience – an easy and engaging experience is more likely to instil trust and encourage repeat custom.


2. Turn challenges into creative solutions 

A recession is an opportunity to turn your constraints into positive experiences – this is your chance to flex your brand behaviours and position yourself, and your products, as the solution to your customers’ challenges. 

62% of people globally believe their country won’t make it through the crisis without brands playing a role in addressing the challenges, and that just 8% of people believe that companies should stop advertising

Kantar, 2020

Investment in marketing, product development and customer service during a recession can be incredibly beneficial to brand recovery – not to mention brand longevity. As your competitors pull out advertising and reduce spending, now’s the time to assert your market presence and diversify your strategy to meet your customers’ needs. 

It’s wise to measure and analyse media consumption to ensure that you’re using the most efficient channels. During the pandemic, online sales channels, and work-place communication platforms like Microsoft Teams became more widely used – so, be ready to react and adapt your strategies, which will in turn drive sales and protect your ROI. 


3. Take stock, refocus, and build brand strength

Observe, learn and grow. A recession could be the right time to readdress your brand efforts, observe emerging trends, and re-stragetise in accordance with customers’ changing needs. 

Position yourself as an ally to your customers with product development or engagement efforts – learn from them and be there for them when they need you most. Be sure to listen, respond and take action – acknowledging the need for change and implementing strategic plans, so that you not only withstand the storm – but come back stronger. 


You’re not alone

Whether you want to reach new customers, enter new markets, redefine your brand offering, or re-strategise, we’re here to help you create – and maintain – recession-ready brands. Drop us a line to discuss how we can help customise your brand strategies, ensuring that you don’t just survive – but thrive during the recession, and beyond. 

further reading
Skip to content