Author Archives: brandrep

Why You Should Focus on Brand Building During a Recession

Brand building is about long-term thinking. It cannot be reserved only for growth times. Brands are built over years and during a recession it gets the chance to be considered by consumers who would otherwise not take notice or see relevance. Certain companies  accelarate during a recession, seeing the downturn as an opportunity and raising their marketing investments. Certainly marketers are in a tough situation and they have to decide how to approach the brand building process.

The arrival of recession is a time when marketers have to change tactics and create new ways to provide brand value. More than ever, the recession gives marketers an imperative to rate their brand building process. At the same time, the brand building process is seen as a luxury by many entrepreneurs during market slumps. Cutting the brand building investment is the easiest option but if a company is to succeed it must consider investing money smartly behind fewer strategical projects. Of course there will always be price promotion, a marketing strategy glorified by many companies. Many contend that a recession is the time to forget focusing on brand building and to concentrate on stimulating sales. But they will destroy the brand with their own hands and they will shout out loud that they are vanquished by the tough situation. The marketing approach should remain more focused on brand building than hard-selling in spite of what may seem more practical and safe in the short-term.

During uncertain times, as human beings, we tend to place our trust in those people we believe truly understand us. Similarly, empathy becomes an important source of brand differentiation during a ressionary period. When every cent matters we accept fewer risks and are likely to choose brands that are highly relevant to our immediate needs. We look for products that represent a genuine value, not because of a price promotion, but because they deliver on their promise. Empathy is an essential ingredient in any brand building, even during good times.

Staying on top is about focusing on the long-term goals, continuous engagement with clients and employees and bringing empathy to the brand building process.

Brand building during a recession is not an impossible task. If you have some money that you intend investing in a marketing strategy, this is the perfect time to consider a brand building program for your business. The reasoning behind this is that during a recession there are more people who choose to stay home to save money. It’s a scary time, and they don’t want to spend money. On the other hand, brand building during a recession will provide you some competitive space and it is going to be a bit cheaper for you to do. Prices are cheaper for everything during this time and this is the part of a recession that you should take advantage of. The effort that you put into brand building is going to increase your brand recognition during, and even after the recession. With so many companies falling in the recession tricky trap is no better time for your business to begin an extensive brand building program.

Consider all the options before you begin sinking money into marketing enterprise and steer you budget toward a long-term strategy such as a brand building process.

So, learn to express the power of strong brands in the face of declining competition. Remember that brand building is about long-term thinking and brand building in a recession is about taking advantage of tough times. Approach the topic of brand building not in terms of growing profit share, but in terms of reaching dedicated customers for a long lasting relationship. Most importantly, remember that the brands that endeavor and succeed in building their brand in a recession will be best placed to enjoy the results of their labor when the economy inevitably returns to growth.

Brand Experts are Hard to Find, but Not Impossible

For many businesses, state institutions, NGOs and entrepreneurs the concepts of brand and brand strategy are a real problem. In the first stage of branding they fail to realize the difference between a fancy graphic solution and strategic communication design that produces results. In the second stage they realize that they have invested time and money in an ineffective solution that needs to be discarded. This is when they begin to understand how important it is to work with brand experts. The next question they ask themselves is how can I spot a brand expert?

The identity design field is split between two different styles of approaches, each having its own problems and shortcomings.

First of all, many branding agencies and freelancers do graphic design just because it is ‘cool’. Usually they do logo design, and not brand identity, without much or any background either in the field of graphic design or brand identity. Identity design is more than drawing shapes and typing text in a fancy typeface. More than that, branding is much more complex and difficult to master than identity design. Brand experts are those who have gone through an entire process that requires a great eye for design, composition and typography, and an intellectual capability to come up with creative and original solutions that work for a specific client’s business and the intended target audience. Brand experts know that a branding program means strategy, concept, words, animations and many other thrilling experiences that may be included in the design solutions they produce. Much of what brand experts do as visual communicators involves making aesthetic choices and utilizing artistic skills but it also involves professional practice built on research, continuous learning, concept development, structuring and presentation of messages designed to facilitate better understanding of the brand.

In order to find a brand expert that is appropriate for YOUR Company you must first understand your business and be able to communicate your brand promise and where you want your business to be positioned. These days almost anyone can sell themselves as a brand expert and can create a logo or design, but will that concept be right for your intended market? Real brand experts are able to choose the right concept and convey those messages in a clear and effective way.

Secondly there are the big competitive international brand agencies. No doubt it is thanks to their brand experts’ professionalism boosting their image equity that they have reached this level. But, most of the time they are concentrating on winning recognition and awareness by competing for the famous brand identity awards. They forget that brand experts are not only proficient, but also skillful people who deliver accessible, clear and effective advice to businesses. Many brand agencies deliver successful solutions, but cannot actually deliver a viable and on the brief finished product. Real brand experts have a genuine understanding of their client’s business and marketplace and take a customer-centric approach to develop the brand strategy. They stay away from a design solution that only looks good on paper but means little or nothing to the target outside.

So, in order to spot brand experts you have to decide if you want to have a logo that is admired in a design study case manual or to manage a real problem which can affect your company.

What should you expect from brand experts?

Whether you want to revise your brand positioning, create a new brand, train your team or examine the messages your brand is giving to the audience, working with brand experts gives you:

  • Expert assessment of where your brand is now
  • Practical and inspiring advice to take your brand to the next level
  • Advice on brand positioning, strategic decisions and visual communication