Don’t Stop The Clock
Now that re-opening is a reality it is interesting to contrast the way many marketers are looking to the future. James Wright a founding partner of Melbourne based ‘Sayers’ in a recent Financial Review article identified that proven research shows that companies that invest in their brand through a downturn will recover faster than those that stop investing. Perhaps easier said than done for many companies, but a reality if you look at global experience.
Henry Ford’s famous quip, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time” is apt when you look at its relative importance in today’s market.
We live in a digital world where consumption of media has changed to reflect a news and communication cycle that is truly 24/7. Testimonials, customer enquiries and service issues are played out throughout the day. No longer can you just turn off the tap on your customer communication and brand development. Brands must be transparent across all mediums and be accessible. People are making decisions on the brands they will buy and the services they employ all the time. Some of the decisions may be short term and some longer term, but brands cannot expect to turn the communication on and off when they please to suit a budget approach where marketing is the first thing cut.
Recently we became aware of a successful ad campaign where a brand’s sales were so strong, they suspended advertising because they could not keep up with orders. Sadly, an opportunity was lost to develop a premium for that product and to re-enforce positive attitudes amongst those customers who had purchased the product.
How often have I heard brand owners tell me that if advertising works they will increase their spend. The trick is that before advertising can work effectively you have to establish a relationship with your potential customer and sadly few businesses understand the importance of investing and cultivating that relationship.
What empirical studies do show around the world is that if you invest in your brand and do so with an understanding of the market and your competitors, your market share will increase over time if the product story is true and authentic.
Investment in brands makes good business sense as the goodwill built is the key reason why, when businesses are sold today, the price they bring to the owners is representative of that brand’s value to its customers.