March 16, 2023

February 16, 2023

How to make your brand stand out in a recession featured in The Telegraph

The big opportunity most brands miss during times of financial crisis



In this article featured in The Telegraph’s Business Guide, we explore a great opportunity for brands navigating through times of financial crisis

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Post-pandemic aftershocks have created a world where, for brands and consumers alike, unpredictable change is the new normal.

The snowballing effect of the cost-of-living crisis, inflation, the recession, and other factors, have forced the consumer market into free fall.

Still in recovery mode, brands – desperately trying to find their way back to where they were pre-pandemic – are slashing sales and marketing costs with hopes of weathering the storm and minimising damage. But there’s a better route.

To find a way forward, brands need agility, creativity, and long-term thinking.

In order to increase brand prosperity and strengthen emotional connections with consumers, brands don’t need radical transformation – they need to learn how to adapt, quickly. But adapting is easier said than done.

One of the most difficult tasks brands face in the current climate is reacting to change.

It’s far too easy to keep our heads below the parapet and continue with what we’ve been doing for decades – regardless of if these methods are translating well in the current market.

But the reality is, brands that choose to invest now, that evolve in the face of change, and that boldly embrace the opportunities created during times of uncertainty, put themselves in a far more advantageous position than the brands that don’t.

For example, as previously stated, this year, thousands of businesses have cut their sales and marketing budgets in an attempt to ride out the recession.

But the fact is, investing in your brand during a recession will lead to an excess share of voice, which in turn leads to growth in market share.

This strategy has repeatedly proved to be successful throughout previous recessions.

And although it seems like common sense, many brands focus on the challenge and miss the opportunity.

In the 1920s, advertising executive Roland S. Vaile reported in the Harvard Business Review of 1927 that companies that had continued to advertise during the recession were 20% ahead of where they were before it started.

And this pattern continued throughout future decades.

A MarketSense study in the 1990s concluded that the best strategy during a recession was long-term brand building combined with promotion for short-term sales.

It referenced food and drinks brands who experienced sales growth of up to 70% after increasing advertising activity during the economic downturn.

And following the last recession of 2007 to 2009, in the Harvard Business Review’s How to Market in a Downturn, it was declared that slashing ‘marketing expenditures in areas from communications to research’ during a recession would be a ‘mistake’.

Helping brands to react to change and take advantage of, often, missed opportunities, especially during a global crisis, is where our team of creative problem solvers come in.

Our approach – long-term brand building and short-term activation fuelled with limitless creativity and reactive strategy.

Our history – backed by 25 years of industry experience from parent company, Uniform Group.

To us, shying away from the challenge isn’t an option. Radically transforming your brand isn’t necessary. And failing to react to change is an avoidable obstruction to growth.

Instead, our message for businesses finding their way through the recession is simple.

Adapt quickly, think long-term, and – the opportunity that most brands miss – invest in building your brand before your moment to stand out in a market where most brands are standing down, disappears.

Click here to learn more about how we can help your brand.


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Never stand still

When uncertainty and shifting expectations are the new normal, brands no longer need radical transformation. What’s needed is long-term thinking and the ability to adapt quickly.

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