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Recession Resistant Marketing

Apr 29, 2008
After September 11th, 2001 the mood of American consumers was somber. The horrific wrinkle in our collective history had everyone pulling inward financially and a sense of fear gripped consumers for a time. Some marketers responded to the crisis badly. They overplayed the importance of patriotism and some even focused on the need to continue spending to keep America moving forward.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with being patriotic, but when something as cherished as patriotism is used as a selling tool your message has the appearance of being less than genuine.

Whenever a nation begins to move into an economic downturn there is an incredible negative response that often happens when certain businesses fail to grasp the mood of consumers.

The upbeat positioning of marketing needs to take a dose of reality and come back with a slightly different message.

We've all seen television ads that show a group of beautiful people enjoying life and either dancing or laughing in the environment they find themselves in. This type of advertising tends to invite viewers to join in the fun. Of course that fun is associated with the product being advertised.

In a recession the role of corporate responsibility might have a business demonstrating ways they are helping others weather the storm. The ad might have nothing to do with the products or services provided, but provides others with the opportunity to see you helping others in the midst of great difficulty.

If you do talk about your products make sure to gear the conversation back to quality. People will continue to make purchases in hard times, but they will often find themselves more interested in the durability of a product than with what may have been considered an impulse buy in better times.

Another consideration for business owners is to actually alter the concept and design of your advertising campaign. If for instance you have relied on bold colors in a fun environment you may consider replacing that with more neutral colors and a message of practicality. Do not feel tied to continue an ad campaign that was useful to you in better times. It may not work in an economic downturn.

Consumers might also be more prone to consider the quality of the product as a primary consideration. If you can demonstrate your product has a higher quality than similar products you may find your sales actually increase in lean times.

If you watch television you can almost gauge the economic mood of the country by watching the shift in advertising technique. Ads that may have seemed fun, but meaningless are replaced with ads that present a picture of a solid company with solid answers. Advertisers will express concern for families and budgets. Products will be cast in a spotlight of quality and purpose.

This doesn't mean that the fun of your website needs to be tossed out, but it may need to be tempered. You don't want an overly optimist presentation to conflict with the realities customers are facing.

Wise is the man or woman that knows when to shift gears and begin marketing their products to offer solutions to tough circumstances.

Economic downturns affect all of us, but when consumer focus shifts you need to correct your visual marketing prescription.
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