📌Strong brands always win
Countries around the world are experiencing one of the worst inflation episodes in recent history.Along with the increase in prices, the cost of living increases, reaching one of the highest levels in several years.There are many factors that influence the current situation. They certainly include the war in Ukraine, supply chain restrictions, interest rate hikes, the effects of COVID-19, rising gasoline prices and local wage pressures.What should brand owners do in this situation? How to deal with it and how to go through it?
As the pandemic began to subside and companies thought the market was beginning to stabilize, new (and possibly bigger) challenges loomed on the horizon. Rampant cost-inflation, which includes soaring prices in every industry, has come as a shock to many companies. Moreover, the hit of inflation has caused many consumers to consider the prospect of tightening their belts, especially as price increases do not go hand in hand with wage increases.
In this situation, many companies began to consider verifying their advertising budgets. But are budget cuts for brand advertising a good idea? No! Why?
First, it is known that investing in marketing during a recession is a return on investment in the long run. Of course, with high inflation, customers will think more intensively about how and what to spend their money on in the near future. That’s where advertising comes into play. What is its role? First of all, justify and convince the consumer why this product is worth choosing. Brands that have built their value over the years have a great opportunity to convince the recipient that they are the right choice, especially in difficult times. By talking not only about the price, but also by showing empathy for the situation people find themselves in, advertising becomes an ideal response to satisfying consumer needs.
Secondly, cutting advertising budgets by brands is a short-term gain. Even though commodity prices (especially groceries) continue to rise, consumers still have the same needs and continue to spend money. They are more sensitive to the budget, but a strong brand can ensure that the purchasing process is maintained at the same level, even at a higher price of the product. This is primarily influenced by brand loyalty behaviour.
Thirdly, the visibility of the brand in an advertisement with an appropriate message (identifying with the situation and needs of the recipients) in difficult times for the consumer is information for the customer that he has made the right choice of a valuable company that aspires to be a reliable partner in uncertain times. This is a clear and powerful indication that value matters more than price.
Inflation, and thus rising costs, may cause advertisers to start looking for budget cuts. However, marketers must ensure that the investments that stand behind the brand are maintained. Why? Decreasing your marketing investment is dangerous. Reducing advertising spend is a short-term gain for the company. Yes, it can lead to some cost savings (which can mitigate other increases in company spending), but at what cost to the brand?
📌a brand is built in the long term. Any cuts in advertising budgets will cost the brand in the future. Therefore, advertising should be seen as an investment in the brand with a positive return. Those who spend more will get a lot of value out of it.
📌lower marketing expenses mean lower brand visibility on the market, i.e. lower availability in the minds of customers. Cutting advertising spending is therefore a danger for brands (also those strong ones until now) that they will fall into the abyss of non-existence and be absorbed by brands with strong budgets or premium brands. As a result, they will find themselves where they do not want to be, especially with shrinking consumer budgets. A 2018 study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute1 shows that brands that stop advertising for extended periods see an average 16% drop in sales in the first year and 25% after two years.
Brands that don’t advertise for an extended period see an average drop in sales of 16% in the first year and 25% after two years
📌a strong brand means a strong protection against price fluctuations. The priority for most customers in difficult times of inflation is to show them the true value of the brand, i.e. that companies do everything to show empathy and understand consumer moods – to be a response to consumer needs at this time. It will not be possible to do this without the presence of the brand on the market. Perversely, the inflationary crisis is an opportunity for brands to return to what consumers expect – providing information on the best values, benefits and shopping opportunities.
Despite appearances, advertisers can really profit in times of price turbulence. Inflation was inevitable and it is not known whether it will be a short-term problem. The challenge for marketers should be figuring out how to offer customers more value and how to improve their lives. Brands should use their message to become a better and more valuable choice for consumers. The question arises: what if the budgets do not allow to act on a larger scale? In addition to the most powerful weapon that brands have at their disposal, i.e. finance, what counts is proximity to the customer and creativity. This solution can be provided by modern marketing methods, especially (D)OOH advertising, which will maximize the value of the budget.
📌BE Media – an agency based in Poland (Warsaw) with an extremely wide range of advertising solutions tailored to the needs and expectations of each client – will advise each brand on how to present its offer in a creative and unconventional way and be present in the everyday life of the consumer.
BE Media – WE ARE AT YOUR DISPOSAL!