Brand Management

Brand Management in a recession – How to adapt your approach when the going gets tough.

The world is experiencing some extraordinary economic conditions. Who ever thought that a growing number of European countries would find themselves on the edge of financial collapse?

This uncertainty is affecting businesses across the board and no-one, including B2B companies, is exempt from the pain that this recession is causing. The levels of uncertainty are making everyone more cautious about how they spend their money, and marketing budgets are feeling the pinch.

Budgets are only one part of the problem though. Brand managers have got to be agile in this economic climate and they must be able to change and their approach depending on the circumstances present.

Budgets need go further and a measurable return on investment is being asked for from every pound or dollar spent. Marketers and brand managers, more than ever before, need to justify how efficiently they are managing their brands.

While creating a strong brand is still a difficult task, managing a brand on an ongoing basis is even harder.

I believe that strategic online brand and digital asset management is now essential to compete in the market, and even more so in a recession. Management of brand resources is imperative in order to enjoy the market benefits of a differentiated, relevant and strong brand.

Start by looking at whether everyone inside your organisation understands your brand positioning and what makes you different. If the people internally in your business can’t communicate what your brand stands for consistently and concisely, your consumers sure aren’t going to understand

what your brand is all about. When the market is economically challenging, projecting a consistent brand image and identity is crucial, and that responsibility does not just fall to Marketing or Brand Management, but to every employee in the business. You cannot afford to be misunderstood.

Thousands can be saved and your brand consistency measurably increased if your brand positioning and strategic communications documents are available in a brand management system online, at the touch of a button to those making strategic business decisions or producing brand communications materials.

An example is our client, train operator Eurostar. Their challenge is to achieve brand recognition around the world, partly through the travel agencies and online sites which sell tickets on the company’s behalf. Achieving consistency is vital in order that the brand is recognised by customers and chosen over its rivals. Much of this relates to making sure the branding and imagery used communicates the company’s philosophy and values.

Lionel Benbassat, Eurostar Marketing Director says “We need to be able to fulfil the needs of everyone and give a set of tools which are used in different contexts and can convey different messages.”

A brand management system enables all the right parties to access the right brand materials at the right time and produce marketing communications consistent with the brand to maximise impact in the marketplace.

By achieving brand consistency and creating and maintaining an efficient brand-driven company, it is possible to generate significant additional company value even in a recession.

If you ensure that your brand positioning, brand stories, values, brand guidelines and even brand assets are understood, accessible and useable by everyone in your business and beyond, you can weather an economic downturn and create success for your brand.