As our economy is in uncharted territory due to the recent pandemic, one of the best things we can do as marketers is learn from the past. From 2007-2009 the nation, and frankly the world, experienced the Great Recession. The unemployment rate was at an all time high, the Dow Jones declined by more than 50% and more than three million homes were foreclosed. We haven’t experienced all of these in 2020; however, we have seen a huge increase in unemployment and businesses struggling – even permanently closing their doors – in the recent months.
Companies that were successful coming out of the Great Recession were those who held true to their brand and found ways to stay relevant with the changing culture. When it came to marketing there were four main things that strong companies did to push forward.
As stated above, all of these things will strengthen your brand not only during uncertain times, but also into the future. Twelve years ago we learned it is okay to pause and re-evaluate your brand. Taking this approach can be scary yet extremely beneficial. It starts with a brand audit … What are your customers, vendors and even employees saying about you? What do you want them to be saying, and how can you change your brand to reflect the things you want to be said about your company? Next is to build strong relationships with your current customers, potential clients, and employees. They are your best source of marketing – word-of-mouth is stronger than ever with social media platforms and online reviews. Relationships, Relationships, Relationships. A powerful brand is supported by it’s relationships with other businesses, individuals and the community. In essence, your brand is a relationship in itself – some relationships can be healthy and strong while others are destructive. And last but not least, create transparency. During turbulent times, people require honesty and direct communication.
If we have learned anything from the Great Recession it is to keep your brand strong and continue marketing. We can learn from the past because if we know one thing for sure, history repeats itself!