I´m frequently asked to comment on what we should be doing for our brands in this time of recession. The answer is oftentimes case specific but here are some general thoughts.
Communicate and be honest.
Don’t stay silent but be part of the conversation and the solution. Be honest and transparent and tell people how they can count on you and that you will be their partner through the hard times.
Think about the next recession.
I know this sounds paradoxical but investment in brands is long term. I’d probably say that if your brand is suffering more than your close competitors, your brand could be stronger. In times of uncertainty people look for security and find it in strong brands.
The main thing you should be doing is strategizing. This is a time to think and reflect, to understand your brand and what your clients want. Do not run to your ad agency and say, “fix this”. Do not ask them to create a campaign or do any short-term remedies.
Don’t cut marketing
Don’t stop investing in marketing. In times of recession, most companies cut marketing spending first. Therefore, you get the most out of your marketing budget and it is more likely that your messages will be heard more clearly and coherently than before.
Think what happens next. Don’t crouch but keep your back straight and carry on. The recession will end, and you will be in business as usual in the near future. You want to be a part of that future. We have probably not experienced so much uncertainty in the past decade. Still, this will end and there are brighter times ahead, plan for it.
To prove that this will end, I’m sending you a picture of myself. I took it last week. I’m an Icelandic guy living in Iceland. Living here reminds me why the Vikings called this place Iceland. The weather can be rough. Only last week it was snowing, and a storm was blazing. Now, the sun is shining. I didn’t think about the spring being around the corner in the middle of a hailstorm. Same with this recession, it will end, we will get through it.
I’m certain that the CHARGE’s message will be more important than ever after these crises, helping us to communicate and keep strong.
We already have great speakers and partners, looking beyond Covid and planning to have a great event in September.
Allow yourself to have something to look forward to.
See you in Iceland,
Dr. Fridrik Larsen