Thank heavens for the recession, we can get back to normal again!

All this recession stuff is seriously getting to me. Anyone able to use Microsoft Word is writing about surviving the recession and coining phrases left right and centre; longevity is the new luxury, recession-proof your brand... you get the picture!
Thank heavens for the recession, we can get back to normal again! - Brand UnionThis is attention grabbing stuff however I see it as a golden opportunity for things to return to normal. The boom times were good to bottom lines but they also bred some complacent marketers, easily seduced by the latest buzz-words like customer centricity, best-of-breed, integrated solutions etc. All an agency needed to do was present some mediocre work, give it a catchy name and clients coughed Rands.

All of a sudden marketers have got to make every cent work, and work hard! How are we to cope? It's back to basics; marketing 101. Yes that's right, dust off Kotler and toss out most of the fluff that's been written in the past while. The fundamentals haven't changed.

Start with the customer, seeing as they are the ones actually paying the salary of said complacent marketer. Do some research, understand who they are, why they buy the things they buy, and get some insight into what their real rational and emotional needs are.

Armed with this intelligence, take a look at your product/service. Is it hitting the hot-buttons of your target market? Are you delivering on the things they value in your offering? Some of these factors will be ‘hygiene factors'. These are factors which are expected in the product/service for it to even be included in the decision set. The tricky part; find out what makes your product/service different to competitors and make sure that what makes it different, really matters to the customer.

If you have a real cracker of a benefit that no one has and people really need, then you can probably justify a price premium, otherwise look to price a little more modestly.

Next up decide where you want to sell your products. Once again, common sense prevails. Selling high-end audio visual systems through Shoprite is a no-no. Go back to your research and find out where your market shops and sell your product there.

Finally you need tell people all about your amazing product/service. Hire an agency, give them a tight brief and budget (this will irritate them but cause them to think innovatively). Then measure the creative using AIDA - does it Attract, hold Interest, arouse Desire and finally present a call to Action.

And there you have it, a recipe for success. Sound achingly familiar? Understand your markets needs then design your product, price it reasonably, decide what place you want to sell it in and finally promote it with appropriate messaging. Did I hear four P's somewhere?

Otherwise I could also have told you to conduct an in-depth market analysis and metric program, followed by the development of a credibility/differentiation matrix to unlock the underlying consumer value equation resulting in a brand blueprint, overlaid with a price point portfolio management technique and rounded off with the ever effective experiential 360° touch-point specific communication campaign.

5 Aug 2009 17:15


About the author

Gary is a specialist brand strategist with particular skill in brand architecture and brand positioning. A Business Science degree in marketing launched his career at Unilever where he learnt the business at the coalface in sales and key account management. He then took time out to travel Asia and South America before joining The Brand Union in 2004. He now heads up a team of strategists, delivering world-class products to our clients. Gary has recently completed his MBA at GIBS which has freed up his time to read, write, play hockey and cook.

breath of fresh air-
Concise, informative, and a refreshing read in this 'recession'. WD
Posted on 11 Aug 2009 13:33