Brand matters in economic downturns

Just when people have been touting the death of brands—a ridiculous tout even in the best of times—the recent economic implosion will make brands stronger than ever.

Reason why? Simple. Many consumers have less money in economic downturns (not to mention the recently unemployed) so every purchase becomes a considered purchase. That means they will rely on the tried and true brands they already know and trust and rely on to deliver their money’s worth.

But as someone pointed out at the recent Brand Manage Camp conference in Las Vegas, there is also opportunity for new brands to rise. Companies like Sharper Image, Ralph Lauren Polo, Starbucks and others started out during recessions.

There will be other opportunities as well. This is an ideal time for marketers to start shedding 20th century reliance on expensive television media advertising and start looking at the long tail, getting websmart with people like Google and David Scott Meerman and understanding the new (and less expensive) marketing advantages the 21st century Internet and Web 2.0 has provided them.