RECESSION SURVIVAL GUIDe
– 10 Experts Weigh In

Putting together a strategy for surviving the looming recession? No matter what your business is, we’ve got you covered. Don’t slash your prices — do these 10 things instead, and you’ll find yourself on top when the storm passes.

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1. REASSESS YOUR POSITIONING (BRAND AUDIT)
Understanding where you are, in relation to your competition, is the first step in identifying opportunities. These opportunities aren’t always immediately obvious, especially because an economic downturn changes consumer and business behaviour. A brand audit will give you the information you need, to decide how to capitalise.

Read more at “5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Brand” by Brian Lischer, Ignyte


2. STRENGTHEN YOUR BRAND
Your brand is the relationship between your business and your audience. It’s what you mean to your customers, beyond your product or service. In tough times, when others are price-cutting and penny-pinching, the relationship is what gets you through. A strong brand helps audiences keep choosing you, even through a recession.

Read more at “Managing Brand in recession: a CEO responsibility” by Chris Halliburton The Marketing Society, “Why you should focus on brand building in a declining economy” by Sebastian Nastuta, Inner Pride


3. LOOK FOR TALENT
One of the effects of a recession is that great talent becomes suddenly available. If your business has been lacking fresh eyes and new blood, there’s no better time to start looking.

Read more at “6 Recession Strategies for B2B Brands” by Corien Kershey, Branding Strategy Insider


4. ACQUIRE THE FALLEN
First to fall in a recession—businesses that don’t operate conservatively. If you’ve been eyeing a competitor’s market segment, complementary product line, or proprietary technology, this downturn may be a good time to cut a deal.

Read more at “The Hidden Opportunities of Branding in a Recession” by David Vinjamuri, European Financial Review


5. UNDERSTAND HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY
While core human motivations and fears remain the same, the psychological effects of a recession cause people to act differently. Before planning your marketing strategy this recession, take some time to understand the psychology at play.

Read more at “How to Market in a Downturn” by John Quelch and Katherine E. Jocz, Harvard Business Review


6. RECONSIDER TRADITIONAL CUSTOMER SEGMENTS
Most brands segment their audience by demographics. If you’ve taken the time to analyse the psychological factors at play in a downturn, try segmenting your audience by attitude and lifestyle instead. You’ll be better able to predict what message sticks, and how they’re likely to act.

Read more at “Psychographic Market Segmentation” by Directive Group


7. DEPLOY AN EMOTIONAL STRATEGY
People like to think that they are rational decision-makers, but the truth is that we all decide with our hearts. Resist the instinctive reaction to thrifty customers—price-cutting. Not only does price-cutting lead to an industry race to the bottom, it makes it hard for your prices to bounce back once the storm passes. It also does nothing to strengthen your brand. Speak to their hearts instead.

Read more at “Companies that last through recessions share this marketing tactic” by Mary Johnson, Bizjournals


8. SKEW OPTIMISTIC
Emotionally-driven brands aren’t always about tugging at the heartstrings. When everyone is pessimistic and struggling, a strong brand reacts with optimism. Tell a good story, give people a laugh, keep their hopes up. A brand that makes you feel good is a brand that’s easy to choose.

Read more at “6 Ways Brands Can Respond In A Recession” by Derrick Daye, Branding Strategy Insider


9. PRIORITISE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
If there’s one rock to cling to during a recession, it’s your customer experience. Even through cost-cutting measures, providing value to customers must anchor all your strategic decisions. Businesses that maintain and improve the experience through a recession, will find themselves leapfrogging the competition.

Read more at “5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Business With Customer Experience” by Paul Hagen, CMS Wire


10. REWARD YOUR MOST LOYAL
Your most loyal customers will be the most expensive to replace— don’t lose them! Double down on your relationship with rewards and new experiences. Your most loyal employees may receive tempting offers to jump ship—show your appreciation by investing in them. Or, just replace that printer that everyone hates (small, sincere gestures go a long way).

Read more at “Branding In A Recession - A Survivor’s Guide” by David Vinjamuri, Forbes


The recession is here, we can choose to be proactive and positive in our approach. Cutthroat competition guarantees nothing but a bunch of anxious losers. We’re all in this together—downturns are a great opportunity to raise the collective bar.

If you’re having trouble applying these 10 tips to your business, or can’t see how they might help you, drop us an email to start a no-strings-attached conversation.


If this is a branding emergency,
call us at +65 6297-7749.