Standing the test of time: strategies to recession proof your brand

As brand’s hunker down and prepare for the looming recession, there is a tendency to reduce spending and marketing budgets. But there are many steps brands can take to get themselves recession-ready. Let’s dive in.

As we respond to the news that a recession is likely on the way, our first response might be to panic. But the truth is, recessions occur more than we’d like to admit. Since 1857, a recession has occurred on average, roughly every three-and-a-quarter years (Kiplinger, 2022).

In fact, recessions are a regular part of the business cycle, and it’s only ever a matter of time before the next recession is upon us. With this in mind, is your brand ready?


Businesses should take the time to plan strategically, preparing their brands not just to survive – but to thrive throughout the coming months. Brands may be tempted to freeze spending and cut back on their design and marketing investments, but trust us, retreating into the dark is not the solution. In fact, pulling back on marketing and design costs can have detrimental, long-lasting effects, and risks significantly damaging the brand equity you’ve built up over time.


Here are four crucial ways you can ensure that your brand is not just recession ready, but recession-resilient.


Take stock of your brand positioning

A looming recession provides the perfect opportunity for you to reassess your brand positioning. Customers’ pain points will be heightened during a recession, forcing them to tighten their belts and reconsider their priorities, and as customers realign their spending behaviours, it’s vital that brands realign themselves with their needs. A brand audit is a great starting point, allowing you to gauge your brand’s current position in the competitive market, and in the minds of your customers.


Keep an eye on your competitors

Conduct a competitor audit, and look for opportunities to stay ahead of your competition. This is your chance to shine as a market leader – but you can’t do that without a deep understanding of your unique value. Understand what differentiates you from your competitors, what you can do to instil brand loyalty, and drive lifetime value.


Keep your customer at the centre of what you do

Your customers are your most valuable asset, and it’s imperative that you keep them happy. It’s also far cheaper and easier to retain existing customers than acquire new ones, so it’s crucial to drive customer satisfaction and secure customer loyalty. Creating advertising and marketing campaigns with your customers in mind is a surefire way to accomplish this. It is important that your communications and campaigns address the specific needs of your target market and are both appealing and relatable to them. Your brand’s life value and longevity can be secured by creating targeted campaigns that address your target demographic’s pain points.


Explore opportunities to reach new places and people

Consider offering new alternatives to retain and expand your customer base. As your customers  struggle through the recession, they’re likely to become less and less willing to spend on items they can no longer justify to be essential. Instead of cutting your prices, consider offering product alternatives, loyalty programmes to encourage regular purchasing, or new advertising strategies. The key is to give your existing customers and potential customers as many reasons as possible to purchase with you, and repositioning your offerings like this can open up new markets and position your business above your competition. The people you reach during this time, are your customers of tomorrow.


Not sure where to start with recession-proofing your brand? 

You don’t need to be intimidated by the threat of a recession, and whatever you do – resist the temptation to reduce your marketing spend. Cutting back on marketing and advertising can significantly weaken your brand image and impact. So, instead of panicking, view the challenges that come with an economic downturn as a chance to flex your brand, consolidate impactful customer relationships and expand your offering.

If you need help ensuring your brand is recession-ready, drop us a line – we’d love to help you grow and prosper through change.

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