The Importance of Branding In A Crisis ..part1

The buzzword that’s going on in the market now is recession, financial turmoil and crisis.

The recent talk “ Opportunities In A Crisis” has garnered strong response from the web community and entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur, regardless of market conditions, one still has to survive and to pay the bills.

So question is how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors when it comes to crisis? The answer lies in your branding and sales strategies of your products and services. The recent financial turmoil has not only affects major American and UK banks, it has also affected the automobile industry alike.

While GM is close to the brink of shutting down and Toyota reported their first net loss since 1950, Hyundai has been winning sales by buying back cars from U.S. customers who lose their jobs and can’t make payments.

Amid the economic turmoil and high unemployment figures since 1984, Seoul-based Hyundai has had a 4.9 percent U.S. sales gain this year while Toyota is down 36 percent (Bloomberg news)

As evident above, there is something that Hyundai is getting right compared to GM and Toyota. Instead of lamenting to the government for a massive bailout fund that would only cost more tax payer’s money, Hyundai launched its own aggressive marketing strategy to stimulate demand for its products.

In the same way that entrepreneurs should ideally be looking their own business model again to define new sources of revenue stream. Its not that your product or services is no longer in demand by your customers. It’s a matter of simply repackaging your products into a better marketing mix. The major 4 P’s – Product. Price ,Place, Promotion . In this case, it’s all about the promotion.

How you promote your products and brand it is essential for your survival during hard times like this. Products that has a stronger branding has a loyal customer base. Take for example, Milo vs Cadbury Chocolate drink. Regardless of market conditions, every Malaysian would still buy their Milo. In fact, they would scout through many supermarkets to get the cheapest deal available. Ultimately, the demand for Milo is still there in the mind of the consumer.

Question is, how do you create a product that has a deep branding association like Milo? It may be through years and years of complex consumer behavior studies and the BRANDING of the brand that has made this product indispensable to our household.

Branding in itself is manifested in its brand logo, design, marketing collateral, and corporate identity. It is about the message that you as an advertiser would want to convey to the end client.

… be continued (part 2)

3 thoughts on “The Importance of Branding In A Crisis ..part1”

  1. Well, this is interesting.

    For many business, the general idea of rebranding is one that is being done on the surface such as change in corporate look, packaging design, new advertising campaign, etc. And it’s very costly.

    But I’d like to think the success of Hyundai in the US is because of the way they repackage the products. Financing scheme with a variety of options of, rebates, warranty and all.

    Like the other day, I saw this butter cookies brand which usually come in a tin for over RM10 now they have repackaged the cookies into smaller-sized box for just a little lower than RM5. That, i think a very smart. So perhaps, rebranding is not just a reorganisation in the facade but also the way businesses work.

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