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Partially due to the recession and somewhat to do with the focus on baby boomers, we are seeing increasing use of icons and symbols within the store that reinforce comfort, trusted sources and childhood memories. There is a significant increase in the way culinary items are used in displays in food-only stores to reinforce messaging that the items are freshly baked and home-made, and how baskets and wooden trays are used to merchandise both produce and packaged items.
In contrast to popular thought, 'doing more with less' is as much about innovative thinking as it is analytics.
The credibility of major companies has been shattered. There's a lot of cynicism and distrust in the world of big institutions, and companies really need to share with people what they value, what they care about. The recession has changed us all.
When all around are reacting simplistically by cutting their budgets in anticipation of lower sales, the sophisticated marketer holds the line, increases share of voice in relationship to share of market, and gains market share as a result. If marketers exploit this media fact of life alone they’ll be winners.
If cuts have to be made, the question then becomes which expenditure adds the least value? This is possibly what drives companies to reduce their advertising expenditure - simply because they do not understand its full value and especially as it is usually the single biggest investment on the balance sheet.
The average rate of real economic growth has been following a largely unrecognised falling trend for many years. Every successive decade since the 1950s has seen a lower rate of real growth than the preceding one. There are few reasons to believe this trend will reverse, but many reasons to believe it may worsen.
At the tail end of the great global boom, their old richer consumers are behaving more like new poorer ones, also increasingly concerned about cost, quality, and safety.
Nowhere in marketing do emotions run hotter during today’s slowly fading Great Recession than when it comes to the role of (low) prices being highlighted in advertising.
No one looks forward to a recession, but economic downturns can provide opportunities.
It is a truism that in a recession 'big brands get bigger'. The reality is that in a climate of weak consumer confidence, falling demand and price warfare, the ability of marketing to influence purchasing behaviour is likely to become a great deal more reactive and tactical.
Recessions bring out the worst in cost-cutters. It is irrational for costs to become more important when economic conditions are difficult. If costs are important, their significance should not vary at different stages of the business cycle.
This crisis is not just a crisis. Consumers are understanding for the first time that [their] degree of personal happiness doesn't rise past a certain earnings threshold.
The behavioral change engendered by the recession is not simply down to genuine economic impact. There is evidence of what could be considered Recession Concussion: many consumers are dazed by economic events over the last year and are just feeling their way financially.
The global economy is currently experiencing the equivalent of a war. At the same time the market research profession continues to be at war with other suppliers of marketing services for shrinking budgets. Within organizations the marketing department is at war with other departments for its share of budgets that are being cut back.
In this economy, plans mean nothing if they don't reflect your latest market conditions.
Budgets may be cut. But we cannot cut back on innovation.
There is strong historical evidence around companies that step up with their innovation and advertising and their ability to move through economic downturns and emerge with stronger brands.
Brand equity doesn't change based on economic considerations.
If businesses are to redeem themselves in the eyes of the public and regain the trust that they have lost, they should worry a lot more about what they stand for and entrust those with expertise in communication a much freer rein to express this in ways that people might recognise as being sincere and sympathetic, rather than stilted and formulaic.
With more than half the population now checking their account balances more often as a direct result of the downturn, and with more of us comparing prices in virtually every market, it is natural to turn budget management into a skill, an accomplishment, a badge of lifestyle success.
Transparency – talking and responding out in the open from day-to-day – is the new idiolect form of our post-crunch times.
The new face of luxury we see emerging seems to represent a return to the essence of luxury and its core values. After years of vulgarisation, the recession has put luxury back where it belongs.
There's a belief that rising affluence has corrupted the value of money for the generation growing up.
For a long time consumers have been regarded as being cash-rich and time-poor. Now we're seeing evidence of people willing to trade back some of this time and effort in return for tangible financial rewards and even social kudos at having gotten their hands on a really great deal.
Right now, conspicuous consumption is out of fashion. The logo-driven excess of the past decade is being looked upon – at least in the Western world – with distaste. And so luxury is showing us a gentler, more discreet face.
If we see this great recession as a fire, we should ask how nature responds to a fire. It grows.
Avoid the 'business as usual' approach in your advertising. Unless you have an iconic brand which can thrive in timelessness, this choice can result in ads that are out of touch with people's concerns during a recession and, eventually, translate into a waste of money.
Historically, recessions have developed over time. This one seems to have developed overnight.
The recession has reminded consumers of risk, which a lot had forgotten about, and it will stay in the residual collective memory for some time to come.
Having a strong and desirable brand matters now more than ever. Continue to invest in your number one asset. Do not cut costs, because consumers will notice.
The startling characteristic of this recession has been the survival rate of media ownership, which has created a pretty well perpetual abundance of media inventory, which has kept a cap on pricing, from a buying point of view.
Innovative and inventive thinking is what is teased out in recessionary times. Money is only the means. Limited resources challenge us to put them to better use and that is what leads to path breaking discoveries.
For those companies who have a choice, they should be confident that they will benefit significantly in the medium-to-longer term by maintaining their investment in innovation and new product launches through the challenging economic times.
The crisis, then, became a watershed, an opportunity to reexamine our most basic beliefs and redefine where we want to go, what we aspire to be, which is much greater and more deeply involved than we had ever been before.
The crisis causes regression to safe, trusted brands along with a number of other coping strategies.
A brand sensitive to its customers' hardships can support them through these tough times by underlining that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.
The idea of marketing as stimulant of un-requested consumption looks a little thin nowadays. In fact, it looks a little mad.
Especially in challenging economic times, every communication dollar counts. Public relations is a far more effective and credible vehicle for persuasion of key constituents than advertising.
The experience of working in hard times has taught us, as never before, to value sound thinking, relevance and sheer creativity.
Most of us have worked through one, two or even three similar downturns. Experience tells us that our clients will need our advice, guidance and support more than ever. Like our clients, we must be determined and tenacious.
The current economic crisis will accelerate success or failure. The victors will be those who innovate. The losers will be the change-averse. The future favours the fearless and the foresighted.
A recession is just a cycle; the fundamental drivers of quality, convenience and care for the product will endure, and we forget this at our peril.
Online media, pound-for-pound, is cheaper and more cost-effective than traditional media models based on largesse, waste and inefficiency. And recession-minded marketers are going to leverage that by moving greater shares of their advertising budgets online, and using that as a wedge to drive costs down in traditional media.
I was asked what I thought about the recession. I thought about it and decided not to take part.
Smart recessionary marketing means not waiting for business to return to normal. Instead, you should cash in on this invaluable opportunity your more cautious competitors may be creating for you. If they pull back, your media investment works much harder.
Strategy doesn't change when hard times arrive. Consumers' willingness to try, and to stay loyal, remains, the goal. Winners know this; their brand focus and strategy remains consistent.
The narrative will shift back on to consumers and their behaviour. It is this – whether consumers spend or save, which brands they spend their money on, and how they consume media – that will decide how long the recession will last, and what shape the advertising industry will be in when it gets back on its feet.
The overload of competing data makes media buying harder, but even more essential in today's economic morass.
As banks reorganise and restructure themselves to serve customers in the new financial era, they will need to keep a close eye on what may become the new 'normal' and what will emerge to be the new banking customer as we make our way through this financial crisis.
In difficult times, people hark back to what they trust.
Focusing on fewer varieties with a bold assertion that 'we know what you need' takes serious faith in the quality of your product, but also inspires intrigue in the current it's-up-to-you environment.
Investment is not only volatile, it is the key motor of the economy's prosperity because it has a snowball effect.
Good economics is good politics.
When the facts change, I change my mind.
A nation is not in danger of financial disaster merely because it owes itself money.
We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad moreals; we know now that it is bad economics.
There is empirical evidence that leading brands that keep investing during recessions gain share.
Never underestimate the importance of self-belief to transform your own organization, to reassure nervous clients, and to change the future of our business.
The raw fact is that every successful example of economic development this past century ... has taken place via globalization.
The right remedy for the trade cycle is not to be found in abolishing booms and thus keeping us permanently in a semi-slump; but in abolishing slumps and thus keeping us permanently in a quasi-boom.
Consumers are not going to give up on their aspirations to a better life; they will just re-channel their ambitions to fit the recovery marketplace.
We haven't got the money, so we've got to think.
In November 1982, with unemployment at its highest since 1940, Beatrice Foods introduced Swiss Miss Sugar Free hot cocoa mix. Recession connection? Abolutely none. The point is that in the darkest and coldest days, marketing keeps moving, propelled by both the big ideas that make history and the prosaic workaday campaigns that sell hot chocolate.
We are not seeing people trading down. What we are seeing at all levels of the pyramid is people just spending a little bit less. There’s less footfall to start with and when people come into the stores they are just holding off on buying that second or third item. They are looking for the branding because they are looking for an investment here in a difficult environment and they want that to be overt.
A recession doubles the necessity to be really focused on three or four tactics that can prove a return on investment.
Above all, recession will mean an insistent and potentially rewarding invitation to consumers to reconsider everything they do/buy/desire. This will result in a fiercer scrutiny by consumers of all claims, and declining tolerance for unsatisfactory experiences. Where decline is already under way, it is accelerated”.
Advertising is an anti recession tool.
At a time when our customer is feeling the pressure of a tough economy, Wal-Mart's price leadership is more important than ever”
At Lever we felt we could deal with the best of times and the worst of times – the prevailing culture was 'business as usual'. We looked for areas of competitive advantage, some of which were more visible in a downturn. We built brand value, knowing it would pay off for our successors. We kept prices tight – we did that all the time anyway – strove for low-cost leadership, maintained product-led innovation and kept advertising weight constrained, knowing much of our differentiated advantage lay in more concrete, measurable areas; and, also, we would keep levels of competitive spend against our big brands under some control. It was truly a winning formula.”
Crisis situations are those that allow one to do better things afterwards, to break with routine. Nothing is more boring than business as usual.”
For the aggressive marketer, the data suggest that a more ambitious increase in expenditure, although reducing short-term profit, can take advantage of the opportunity afforded by a recession to increase market share even further.”
Given the current economic climate, there are opportunities for brands to package frugality and value for money as sensible and identify themselves as citizen brands by emphasizing transparent, flexible and empathetic ways of doing of business.”
is the key thing and it’s what I learned managing Tesco through the last recession in the late 1990s and indeed, in the recession before that. Keep going sensibly through the downturn; it puts you in a very strong position in the upturn.
It is a time to focus on creating new added value and refocusing investment on effective differentiation through research and development and new product development.
It is not the strongest species that survive, or the most intelligent, but the ones who are most responsive to change.
It seems that the single biggest culpable error made by marketers last time around was the failure to realise that, in a recession, proactively controlling cost becomes as important a marketing skill as great creative insight and visionary pricing strategies.”
It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.”
Like Damocles, if you keep looking up at the sword hung above by the single thread of horsehair, you will only distract yourself from the profitable business in hand. That is looking after the brand
Look at the recession as an opportunity to deliver the death blow to some marginal players.
More than ever, the recession gives marketers an imperative to think outside their categories. Abstaining in one market might prove an opportunity to treat in another. It seems the key to capitalising on 'the recession' is to drop the idea that there is simply one recession.”
Sales and profits can be maintained and increased in recession years and [in the years] immediately following by those who are willing to maintain an aggressive marketing posture.
The best way to ensure that you adopt the right strategies in recession for your businesses is to determine which strategies have proved successful for businesses analogous to your own.
The best we can do is deal with reality...and not put our heads in the sand and just do what we have in the past. We need to see what is driving the most return-on-investment and identify where we think the communications business is going.”
The rationale that a company can afford a cutback in advertising because everybody else is cutting back [is fallacious]. Rather than wait for business to return to normal, top executives should cash in on the opportunity that the rival companies are creating for them. The company courageous enough to stay in the fight when everyone else is playing safe can bring about a dramatic change in market position.
This year is an extremely good year for us, with all the turmoil going on. We are structured in a way with our business model that we do well in good times, and we do well in harder times, as long as we stick to our foundation”.
We are selling optimism. Advertisers should fight the urge to avoid taking risks, developing campaigns that can cut through the economic gloom”.
We do not yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple, but we are armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry”
We've weathered several periods when times weren't so good, and so I don't think we'll cancel our advertising now. In fact, we might even increase it.
When Leo Burnett founded his agency in the middle of the Great Depression he may have had two advantages – the first is less competition. The second is counter-intuitive, but makes sense: a market needs strengthening precisely when it is weak. The very fact of starting an agency was an act of courage and encourages like-minded people. In a services business, this leads to bonding.”