Thursday, December 4, 2008

It’s Official

Okay, we can no longer ignore the economy. In fact, I just read that we are officially in a recession according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The National what? Yeah, don’t worry. I’ve never heard of them before either. But apparently they get to make the call. I’m just glad they figured it out. Rumor has it that this recession thing has been going on since December of 2007. Of course, now that it has officially been labeled, we can all put our ears to the tracks and listen for the collective exclamation of “oh no” that will be heard across the nation.

In all seriousness, a lot of companies will have the same knee-jerk reaction of cutting advertising budgets here and promoting low prices there. Sounds like a good short term fix, but what is it they’re really fixing? It’s important to remember that you’ve worked hard to earn a certain amount of goodwill towards your brand – goodwill that isn’t lost simply because the National Billibee Boo says that we’re now in a recession.

The key to keeping a cool head is to remember that even during a recession companies will continue to do business and consumers will continue to consume – both will be just a little wiser about how they do it. You may be able to even use this time to your advantage. Without getting all “look at how big my brain is” on you, let’s just assume that some of your competitors cut their advertising budgets due to the recession. Just because they start limiting their advertising doesn’t mean customers quit listening. They are simply listening for a more convincing reason to part with their hard-earned dollars.

So instead of cutting off the dialogue you’re having with your consumers, you might want to consider digging deeper into your brand strategy and shining a brighter light on its benefits. Your diligence may not only keep your company comfortably afloat during the recession, but it can also pay off huge when people start throwing their money around again.

Thank you for reading the thoughts of Lucas.

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